Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 11 April 2024

Bill Of ‘Neurorights’ Coming Soon? Mind-Reading Tech May Force Us To Rethink Freedom Of Thought

By Parker Crutchfield, Western Michigan University

Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, never wrote things down. He warned that writing undermines memory – that it is nothing but a reminder of some previous thought. Compared to people who discuss and debate, readers “will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing.”

These views may seem peculiar, but his central fear is a timeless one: that technology threatens thought. In the 1950s, Americans panicked about the possibility that advertisers would use subliminal messages hidden in movies to trick consumers into buying things they didn’t really want. Today, the U.S. is in the middle of a similar panic over TikTok, with critics worried about its impact on viewers’ freedom of thought.

To many people, neurotechnologies seem especially threatening, although they are still in their infancy. In January 2024, Elon Musk announced that his company Neuralink had implanted a brain chip in its first human subject – though they accomplished such a feat well after competitors. Fast-forward to March, and that person can already play chess with just his thoughts.

Brain-computer interfaces, called BCIs, have rightfully prompted debate about the appropriate limits of technologies that interact with the nervous system. Looking ahead to the day when wearable and implantable devices may be more widespread, the United Nations has discussed regulations and restrictions on BCIs and related neurotech. Chile has even enshrined neurorights – special protections for brain activity – in its constitution, while other countries are considering doing so.

A cornerstone of neurorights is the idea that all people have a fundamental right to determine what state their brain is in and who is allowed to access that information, the way that people ordinarily have a right to determine what is done with their bodies and property. It’s commonly equated with “freedom of thought.”

Many ethicists and policymakers think this right to mental self-determination is so fundamental that it is never OK to undermine it, and that institutions should impose strict limits on neurotech.

But as my research on neurorights argues, protecting the mind isn’t nearly as easy as protecting bodies and property.

Thoughts vs. things

Creating rules that protect a person’s ability to determine what is done to their body is relatively straightforward. The body has clear boundaries, and things that cross it without permission are not allowed. It is normally obvious when a person violates laws prohibiting assault or battery, for example.

The same is true about regulations that protect a person’s property. Protecting body and property are some of the central reasons people come together to form governments.

Generally, people can enjoy these protections without dramatically limiting how others want to live their lives.

Read More: Bill Of ‘Neurorights’ Coming Soon? Mind-Reading Tech May Force Us To Rethink Freedom Of Thought

The Dream

From our advertisers