4 - possibilities mind reading could open up, from fixing...

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Mind-reading: The terrible truth, The Economist, 29 October, 2011 Like most everyone in my major, mentioning Douglass Adams in the opening sentence guaranteed my attention for the remainder of the article. The allusion to the babel fish, an ear dwelling, thought translating, telepathic organism from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , very accurately compares the horrific and amazing possibilities of what this article suggests is possible: mind reading. Neural analysis might make reading thoughts possible sooner than what might be expected. There are a slew of legal questions that would need to be addressed if and when this becomes a possibility. Firstly, to what extent could this kind of technology be legally used? We could ban the technology altogether in the interest of privacy, but there are so many incredible
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Unformatted text preview: possibilities mind reading could open up, from fixing handicaps to creating new life-easing products. At the other unlikely end, we could abandon personal privacy altogether, creating a society where everyones thoughts are publicly available, eliminating the ability to lie. As unlikely as this is, we can already see what mass communication and in particular the internet has done to personal privacy. Sales records, GPS devices, and tweets have made peoples private lives much more public than they were at the turn of the 20 th century. From where we have headed, my guess is that legislation will fall somewhere in between, with a massive influx of legislation and Supreme Court decisions....
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