Forecast / Technology

Forecast Friday: Mind Reading

The University of California has succeeded in building a brain-to-tweet interface that can predict what song the bird will sing before it starts (A new game – I can name that song in…) This is seen as a precursor to being able text with our minds (really? I find it hard to believe that THAT would be a major objective. It seems so petty – like using massive computing power to create Angry Birds instead of a Mars colony. How our ambitions have fallen…)

Of course, there are far more worthy ways to use a brain interface. Give better mobility and independence to the disabled, or improve remote control of other devices.

Or there could be ignoble purposes, also. What mischief could be done if you could read someone’s thoughts? To know what their thoughts are before they think them? To pilfer their memories?

Most of us are able to hold our tongues; we have the wherewithal to not utter things we don’t want others to hear. But that restraint happens AFTER the thoughts surface. Who can keep themselves from thinking? Or having memories at all, for that matter? (Hmmm – Alzheimer’s to the rescue, as it was supposed to be in my story “The Unreliability of the Mature Mind.”)

The eavesdroppers would need to map how memories are stored in each individual’s mind – I believe we are blessed with our own personal encryption that would take quite a bit of cracking to break. Thoughts aren’t stored the same in two different people’s minds – the associations are different. I get the impression that it’s sort of like spaghetti code, with each brain fitting memories into place dependent on what’s already stacked in there. Maybe you could tell easier from twins who spent all their time together, but there would still be differences there.

An interrogator would have to spend substantial time mapping the victim to be able to interpret the brain activity they’d be seeing. It’s not quite the same thing, but brain interfaces usually require a teaching period – both for the device and the interfacee.

Still, I’d just as soon they stay out of my head. Just saying…


This year’s remaining releases:

October 20th: “Stalking Rebecca” – Vampires are always good for Halloween.

November 17th: “Imperial Purrogative” (Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #5.)

December 15th: “Sleep with the Snowmen” – because he knows when you’ve been bad or good, so…


Collection9CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent collection Just Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get Out of My Mind – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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