Isn't it lucky?

temporary email address rogue007 at
Thu Jan 9 16:07:38 EST 1997

In <mbrisbane.100197.0 at> mbrisbane at (Martin
Brisbane) wrote...

>Michael Hucka <hucka at> writes:
>>   mbrisbane> Isn't it amazingly fortunate that every way that the brain can
>>   mbrisbane> be influenced aperceptually, IE without going through the five
>>   mbrisbane> senses, is either impossible or unsubtle? Unsubtle meaning, for
>>   mbrisbane> example, surgically implanting electrodes. Just think if that
>>   mbrisbane> weren't the case! Surely we'd be a planet of zombies by now!
>> I won't argue with the last sentence, but as to "subtle" manipulations of the
>> brain, I think there are many ways to do it without going through the 5
>> senses.  Chemical means are probably the most obvious; foods and drugs can
>> cause subtle changes in various aspects of brain and behavior, and most
>> people probably wouldn't consider such manipulations "perceptual".
>I will certainly grant you most of what you say: chemical means are
>aperceptual; they can alter brain function and behavior powerfully;
>introducing chemicals to the unsuspecting poses few barriers to stop a
>would-be dictator.

How would a chemical be introduced into an individual's brain without
them having some perception of it being administered?  I don't mean by
baking it into a cake or spraying an odorless gas into the air; I
mean, how would someone not perceive their brain was 'behaving' (i.e.,
perceiving or regulating the body, thereby influencing changes in
homeostasis that should be detectable by the senses) in an altered
fashion?  In cruder forms of chemical influence, such as sodium
pentothal or sodium lactate, how would it be possible the recipient of
the chemical wouldn't *perceive* something was very wrong?

Maybe I'm missing the thrust of the original question.
"Unless one has pure culture, 
 all is penicillium notatum and nonsense."
                -- Robert Koch (1843-1910)

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