Boston Globe article from page A1

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Sat May 10 11:56:42 EST 2003

"KP-PC" <k.p.collins at> a écrit dans  : 
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> I could not post to sci.psychology.
> "Allen L. Barker" <alb at> wrote in message
> news:b8sojb$srj$1 at
>| [Here is an interesting article that brings out some of the
>| ethical issues, even as it downplays the currently existing
>| technology and the current human rights abuse victims of the
>| covert testing and application of the technology.]
>| Some fear loss of privacy as science pries into brain
> y_as_science_pries_into_brain+.shtml
>| By Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff, 5/1/2003
>| Using magnetic resonance imaging machines that detect the ebb and
> flow
>| of brain activity, researchers have become so good at peering into
> the
>| workings of the human mind that their work is raising a new and
> deeply
>| personal ethical concern: brain privacy.
> What? Folks're going to do stuff to each other that's worse than the
> stuff folks already do to each other? :-]
>| One study of white students found that although they expressed no
>| conscious racism, the seat of fear in their brains still fired up
> more
>| when they looked at unfamiliar black faces than at unfamiliar white
>| faces.
> I'll comment on this study below, where additional [necessary]
> information is given.
>| Another recent imaging study reported that certain parts of the
>| brain work harder when a person is lying than when telling the
> truth,
>| raising the prospect of a brain-based lie detector.
> The TD E/I(up) Consequences of 'moving away from' Truth - as I've
> discussed, these can be read directly from 'body language'.
> So what's the 'big deal'?
> Folks don't know, yet, that this stuff can be read directly from body
> language - so folks 'rely'-in routine 'moving away from' Truth -
> which, as I've been discussing all along, is the main thing that
> imbues Humanity's existence with Savagery and it's attendant Misery.
> [Truth's one map discussion - 'moving away from' Truth compounds
> complexity within one's living. To the degree of such, one is reduced
> to 'treading water' - unable to actually do anything but sustain the
> 'illusion' inherent in one's former 'moving away from' Truth.]
>| A marketing research company is already starting to use the
> machines
>| to gauge consumers' unconscious preferences by looking at the
> pattern
>| of brain activity as they respond to products or messages.
> 'marketing' has =always= been intrusive in this way, even before
> 'marketing' was given a name.
>| Though brain scientists are nowhere near reading minds, their
> mounting
>| success at mapping brains is sparking a discussion that echoes
> recent
>| debate about preserving the privacy of people's genes. The issues
> of
>| brain privacy, however, hold the potential for even more heat, say
>| scientists and ethicists who are beginning to address them.
>| ''Everybody's worried about genetic privacy, but brain privacy is
>| actually much more interesting,'' said Steven E. Hyman, Harvard
>| University's provost and a neuroscientist.
>| The need for discussing brain privacy is urgent, said Arthur
>| L. Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for
>| Bioethics. ''If you were to ask me what the ethical hot potato of
> this
>| coming century is, I'd say it's new knowledge of the brain, its
>| structure, and function.'' Most people feel a much greater sense of
>| privacy about their brains than their genes, Caplan and other
>| ethicists say. Genes play critical but complex roles in what people
>| become, while ''your brain is more associated with you,'' Caplan
> said.
>| Brain-scanning is too new and imperfect to have engendered
> real-life
>| tales of invasion of brain privacy, but controversy is easy to
>| imagine. What if a court, a potential employer, or a suspicious
> spouse
>| wants to scan an individual's brain for telltale signs of something
>| she would prefer not be known or something the individual may not
> even
>| know about himself?
> Trust me, "potential employers" do worse than this already :-]
> The way thing are already is worse because the folks who make the
> decisions do so on the basis of a lot of stuff that, itself, 'moves
> away from' Truth. What happens is that folks who make such decisions
> invoke 'tools' that confirm their prejudices, and since the existing
> 'tools' all have high B.S. qoutients, everyone 'thinks' their
> prejudices are 'the way things are supposed to be' :-]
>| What if scans could be used to check a soldier for homosexuality?
> Or a
>| potential parolee for lingering violent impulses? Or a would-be
>| employee for a susceptibility to major depression?
> The presumption is that there's 'negativity' that's 'carved in
> stone', but that 'presumption', itself, 'moves away from' Truth.
> See the problem? Be-cause the way that nervous systems process
> information had not been generally comprehended, there's been a lot
> of B.S. that's been treated as 'truth', when all it is is
> relatively-'familiar' ['blindly'-automated TD
> E.I-minimization-correlated] stuff, simply be-cause it's been
> experienced relatively-frequently.
> There's 'moving away from' Truth that's groupwise-coersed in-there.
>| Such questions are part of neuroethics, as the field is called by
> many
>| participants in the fast-growing discussion of ethical implications
> of
>| the explosion of knowledge about the brain.
>| A handful of neuroethics conferences have been in the United States
> in
>| the last year or two. Emory University is holding a faculty seminar
> on
>| neuroethics in mid-May. The American Association for the
> Advancement
>| of Science plans a meeting on the legal implications of
> neuroscience
>| in September.
> That one will be 'interesting' :-]
>| If the brain privacy debate follows the model of genetic privacy --
>| which focused on concerns that genetic information could be abused
> by
>| employers, insurers, and others -- it will lead to the proposal of
> new
>| laws. It could also influence ethical guidelines for the operators
> of
>| brain-scanning machines and help bring public opinion to bear on
>| scientists and policy makers.
> Ab-use is ab-use. There's =nothing= mre Reprehensible than is the
> ab-use of Truth.
> Get it?
> When folks understand how nervous systems work, folks'll not stand
> for such ab-use, and folks who do ab-use Truth will come to
> understand all that's entailed.
>| So far, the discussion is full of caveats. The automobile-sized MRI
>| scanners needed to image brain activity are too expensive,
> generally
>| $2 million or $3 million, and need too much expertise to be used by
>| nonscientists, say researchers. Also, existing rules about
>| experimenting on humans protect subjects from coercion.
>| Functional MRI -- the hottest of current brain-monitoring
> techniques,
>| though far from the only one -- uses magnetism to peer into brain
>| tissue just like any medical MRI. But it also picks up jumps in
> oxygen
>| use that signal added activity in particular spots, illuminating
> them
>| in the resulting images.
>| Though fMRI is broadly accepted as a valid way to track brain
>| function, it is still relatively new, and many of the exciting
>| findings about which areas of the brain ''light up'' during certain
>| activities have rolled out only in the last couple of years and are
>| far from established.
> It was all nailed-down 20 years ago in NDT. The world's still
> turning, isn't it?
>| As the technology has improved in speed and
>| accuracy, functional MRI studies have been growing, and many of
> their
>| findings are striking.
>| Consider a Yale experiment published in 2000 that appeared to
> detect
>| unconscious racism in white students. The students reported no
>| conscious racism, but when they were scanned, the amygdala, which
>| generates and registers fear and is also associated with emotional
>| learning, lit up more when students were shown unfamiliar black
> faces
>| than unfamiliar white faces. They showed no amygdala response to
>| familiar black faces.
> Relative-'familiarity' - relative TD E/I - There's no better reason
> to assert Affirmative Action :-]
> That is, the observations point directly to Truth with respect to
> stuff that folks can do with respect to stuff that rends Society
> apart.
> Foster 'familiarity' - foster TD E/I-minimization that results from
> mutually-inclusive experience.
> The TD E/I(up) 'just' correlates to mutually-exclusive experience.
>| ''You can see that as an indicant of the kinds of things that might
> be
>| unearthed about people,'' said Michael S. Gazzaniga director of the
>| Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College, who is
> working
>| on a book about neuroethics. ''That's an issue.''
>| Work published last year by Dr. Daniel D. Langleben, assistant
> profess
>| of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, indicated that
>| certain areas of the brain show more activation when people lie.
> His
>| group is now trying to see whether they can use the technique to
>| produce an effective lie detector, one that would far outperform
> the
>| deeply imperfect polygraph.
> They will. TD E/I(up)-'costs' are inherent in Lying - in 'moving away
> from' Truth.
> Anyone who 'moves toward' Truth has nothing with which to be
> concerned.
> But there should be a 'rule' - anyone who wants to subject another to
> a 'lie-detecting' brain scan should have to undergo a 'lie-detecting'
> brain scan themselves. That'd solve it :-]
>| Mind-reading is decades away, Langleben said, but ''if you ask your
>| questions properly, lots of questions that are in the realm of
>| mind-reading probably can be answered using existing neuroscience
> and
>| functional imaging techniques.''
> All of this already happens during the courses of folks' 'normal'
> living, except folks do it in a haphazard way that, mostly, creates
> Injustice and Misery.
>| If a truly accurate lie detector could be developed, Caplan warns,
>| current privacy guarantees might not provide enough protection
> against
>| scanning requests from courts, the government, the military, or
>| employers.
> Like I said, just 'move toward' Truth, and laugh at the 'test'.
> Honor Truth, and Truth Honors you right back.
>| Other imaging work has turned up results that could prove
> clinically
>| useful, including visible hallmarks of depression and signs of
>| learning disabilities. But those findings, too, raise questions.
> Again, much worse versions of the same-stuff are already occuring
> ubiquitously within commonplace interactive dynamics - only, 'moving
> away from' Truth is built-into all such because it's founded in
> nothing more than haphazardly-accumulated 'blindly'-automated TD
> E/I-minimization that perpetuates Falsehood.
>| Scanning could prove a boon to psychiatrists and mental patients,
> by
>| helping sort out diagnoses and by leading researchers toward
>| developing better treatments. But what if someone with no symptoms
> is
>| diagnosed as having a tendency toward mental illness because of a
>| brain profile?
> That'd be ab-use.
>| Other questions abound. ''Brain scientists have recently identified
>| the cerebral area involved in intention, the region responsible
> when
>| thoughts are converted into actions,'' Bruce H. Hinrichs, professor
> of
>| psychology at Century College in Minnesota, wrote in the magazine
> The
>| Humanist.
> It's not 'recent'. It's been in AoK, Ap7 all along.
>| ''Perhaps child molesters and other criminals in the future will
> wear
>| headgear that will monitor that brain region in order to determine
>| when their intentions will be carried out,'' Hinrichs wrote.
> ''Would
>| this be a reasonable method of crime prevention or a human rights
>| violation?''
> Nope.
> What's going to happen when folks in general come to understand how
> nervous systems work is that folks'll find better stuff to do with
> their brains than perversion.
> Parents will Love their Children in a way that 'moves toward' Truth.
> Children will mature to become Adults who 'move toward' Truth.
> Perversion 'moves away from' Truth, so perversion will be 'moved away
> from'.
> The problem has been that folks who 'lable' this or that in behavior
> have, themselves, not had a clue with respect to Truth about how
> brains work - so there's been all of this 'superstition' in high
> places that is, itself, a huge progenitor of 'perversion'.
> You know - an elementary school 'teacher', for instance, is just
> 'unfamiliar' with the stuff that's 'familiar' to a CHild. The
> 'teacher's reaction to the Child's behavior 'brands' the Child as
> this or that that's 'negative', and the Child's stuck with that
> 'diagnosis' 'cause, after all, "there it is in black and white in the
> Child's school records". "Must be true. Everyone knows every teacher
> knows everything." :-]
> And, so, the Child starts going down the 'waste shute', as the Child
> manifests sensitivity with respect to having been 'branded'.
>| He also identified the ''insidious threat'' that corporations could
>| try to worm their way into consumers' minds.
> Gees louise! 'corporations' are already doing all of this - and do so
> with reckless disreguard for Truth.
> It's already as bad as it can get :-]
>| But brain-based marketing research has already begun. BrightHouse
>| Institute for Thought Sciences, an Atlanta company, announced last
>| summer that it was starting to apply MRI scanning to the task of
>| determining people's likes and dislikes, providing what it called
>| ''unprecedented insight'' into consumers' minds and seeking to
>| understand ''the true drivers of consumer behavior.'' Clint Kilts,
>| professor of psychiatry at Emory University Medical School and
>| scientific director at BrightHouse Institute, said he had been
>| surprised at the level of concern people expressed about the
> prospect
>| that marketers could be trying to get inside their heads.
> This's flat-out ab-use, and. as above, these folks'll, soon, discover
> the Consequences inherent in committing such blatent ab-use.
>| ''We're just an observational science,'' he said. ''We expose
> subjects
>| to certain stimuli, but we don't have the ability to change their
>| perception of that stimulus.''
> "Yeah, sure."
> That's why billions of $ are spent on 'advertising' :-]
> I'm particularly concerned because what this suposed 'application' of
> brain scans comes down to is ab-use of the work I've done [the
> Admonition with respect to such has been in AoK all along.]
>| Caplan predicted that the first time neuroethics becomes a
> real-life
>| issue will be in the courtroom. Some lawyers have already tried to
> use
>| brain scans to absolve their clients of responsibility, he said.
> Indications of organic damage are legitimate evidence within Court of
> Law. [I'm =not= 'taking sides' with respect to how the Court should
> rule, beyond the 'normal' guidelines for "mitigation".]
>| There are also questions of employment: For example, what if
> scanning
>| became a condition of employment, like drug testing?
> Honor Truth and Truth Honors you right back.
> As above, what's already going on within hiring dynamics is as bad as
> things can get.
>| Such a scenario is many years away, but knowledge, often imperfect
>| knowledge, of the use of brain scanners is spreading fast, and
> that,
>| too, creates the potential for abuse. Within a few years, Caplan
>| predicted, there will even be a television show that
> sensationalizes
>| scanning, with a name like ''Is Your Brain Bad?''
> That'd be ab-use that, that'll not be tolerated when folks know Truth
> with respect to the way nervous systems work.
> This is an =Important= Article.
> I've enjoyed it immensely, but it over-emphasizes the 'spookiness' of
> the absence of understanding that still prevails, but which will,
> Hopefully, not prevail much longer.
> K. P. Collins
>| Carey Goldberg can be reached at goldberg at
>| This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 5/1/2003.
>| [...]
> --
> "Schmitd! Schmitd! Ve vill build a Shapel!"

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