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Russell Mast mastrd at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.edu
Sat Oct 9 15:02:18 EST 1993


In article <199310081700.AA06805 at kepler.unh.edu>, dmn at kepler.unh.edu
(There's a seeker born every minute.) wrote:

This is likely not the proper forum for this discussion, so I'll try to
keep this brief.

>    Have you ever heard of the MK-ULTRA project? (not that it involved
> funding cutting) I suspect those scientists involved w/that project
> (if it in fact existed) didn't feel free to openly discuss it.

I can imagine that the gov't and/or individual scientists occasionally
engage in such shenanigans.  I can't imagine that any individual (scientist
or otherwise) with the lack of ethics and simple-mindedness that would be
required to participate in these studies would ever care to discuss their
results here anyway.  Fear isn't what would keep them from posting.

>    Would you hold .... anything Uncle Sammy
> funds... neuroscientists can speak freely about with impunity?

Uh, actually, yeah.  I think that science in this country is probably a
heck of a lot more boring than you'd imagine.  (I love my field and I enjoy
my work.  I find the prospects for the application of my research exciting.
 But not dangerous.)  

I think it's possible, perhaps even likely, that some weird factions within
our government have tried to use science for nefarious politcal reasons. 
(If Ollie North had money for the contras, maybe he has some for crooked
scientists.)  But, I would assert that virtually no data of any scientific
interest will have come from this.  Occasionally, art is abused by
governments in order to further some weird political goals.  The artists
involved are almost exclusively hacks who make bad art.  I think that this
would be far more true of scientists involved in weird
politically-motivated science.  Any such research is being conducted by
buffoons, whose goals do not include truthfulness.  As such, any such work
is crap, and only meaningful to politicians.  

As such, it doesn't belong in this newsgroup.  (Sorry if this also
doesn't.)

>     What I'm saying is that I suspect there's a lot going on in
> neuroscience that simply won't be discussed by neuroscientists
> publically.   Perhaps with good reason. 

Rest your suspicions.  Most of the secrets that real scientists have
involves sexual infidelity, departmental politics, and trying to spend
moneys earmarked for "supplies" on things which are categorized as
"equipment".  Unless you've got a burning interest in a particular field,
science isn't terribly exciting.  (Fortunately, I have such an interest.)

> I'm also saying that I'd 
> like to see some real neuroscientists discuss this more speculative,
> para-neuroscience stuff (para in the sense of beside... not in the
> sense that suggests anything outside of the materialist's world
> view) 

That would be a topic appropriate for this newsgroup.

>     If anyone can suggest a good book refuting neuroscience/mind-control
> fringe theories, I'd appreciate it. If my concerns are groundless, fine.
> If not, I don't want to wait another 30 years to find out what the
> state of the art in behavior manipulation is.

The state of the art in behavior manipulation is utilized on a daily basis
by the advertising industry.  The people to talk to are, alas, not
neuroscientists but social psychologists.  Peer pressure and simple operant
conditioning continue to be far more powerful tools than anything
neurscience could present (or even augment) any time in the foreseeable
future.

The fluoride in your water is to prevent tooth decay.  The "New World
Order" is a PR gimmick, not a plot.  And NAFTA is something so confusing
even it's author's have no clue what it might lead to.  The people who are
trying to manipulate your behavior are generally far less clever than
anyone would think, and are simply trying to make a buck or stroke their
ego.  Television and alcohol are far greater threats to your independence
than all of science and government combined.

-Russell Mast

ps.  I said I'd keep this brief.  Good thing I'm not being graded on that.



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