Thursday, December 9, 2010

Your brain fingerprinted, detected for pre-crime or how about embryonic bar codes?

Oddly enough I clicked on Dave McGowan's site today. Hoping for something new to read... Only to have my hopes dashed.
Clearly I am feeling melodramatic, but....

I started reading an old entry from 2001
Would You Mind If We Fingerprint Your Brain?

I know I would be highly put out by this proposition.
And in the news story I will follow up with, well, fingerprinting your brain isn't all that is being cooked up for humanity.
So let's look back at this McGowan piece before I get to the latest.

"In case you haven't heard, Brain Fingerprinting is a way to actually read a suspect's mind and determine whether or not he has committed a crime. No shit.

That is the claim made by the creator and chief proponent of the new technology, anyway. As 60 Minutes reported on December 12th, 2000, allegedly 'civilian' scientist Larry Farwell "says that by analyzing the brain waves of a criminal suspect, he can tell whether or not that individual has committed a crime."

The eminent scientist explained to correspondent Mike Wallace that: "The fundamental difference between an innocent person and a guilty person is that a guilty person has committed a crime" -- an obviously brilliant observation by Harvard's finest. According to Farwell, this means that "the record is stored in his brain. Now we have a way to measure that scientifically." Also according to Farwell: "The brain never lies."

This ingenious concept has been embraced by, not surprisingly, all the usual suspects. As Wallace noted: "Dr. Farwell's work has been funded by the CIA," and "the FBI is also interested in Brain Fingerprinting and has allowed Dr. Farwell to test his technology at the Bureau's training academy in Quantico, Virginia."

Brainfingerprinting? Dave goes on to explain how despite the spin of the 'civilian' scientist. This type of technology can serve nefarious purposes. Trial and incarceration without the necessity of a jury. Your brain will just give you away.
As Dave points out-
Brain Fingerprinting is rather preposterously claimed by its inventor to have a "99.99% confidence" level.

A 99.99 percent confidence level??? What does that really mean? I know it sounds impressive, as was intended, but what does that mean?

From "BrainFingerprinting in 2000, we move up to 2007/2008, and all sorts of news about
"Pre-crime detection"

This technology is supposed to "detect hostile thoughts" in people walking through border crossings etc.,
Project Hostile Intent as it was called aimed to help security staff choose who to pull over for a gently probing interview - or more.

A gently probing interview or just a probing along with some groping???
The claims of success on this one?
"We are running at about 78% accuracy on mal-intent detection, and 80% on deception."

Yeah, sure. Whatever it takes to keep the funding up.

Technology to fingerprint your brain and pre-detect crime??

Filled with shortcomings on so many levels. One of course, the most important, the pre-eminent shortcoming is all these technologies to 'prevent crime' trounce all over your right to personhood, your right to privacy. Your right to your thoughts, and your own space.

But, here is an even more invasive technology. One that you may be unaware of.

Scientists attach bar codes to mouse embryos-human ones coming soon

These mouse eggs were tagged by injecting microscopic silicon bar codes into their perivitelline space, the gap between the cell membrane and an outer membrane called the zona pellucida, which binds sperm cells during fertilisation.

They expect to try it out on human embryos and oocytes soon.

There were some problems with embryos being able to free themselves from the labels when they shed the zona pellucida. The scientists are therefore now looking at modifying the surface of the labels, so they could be mounted on the outside of the covering, instead of being injected into the perivitelline space. They are also working on an automated bar code reading system.
Could this technology lead to humans being tracked and scanned by an automated bar coding system, everywhere they go??? Not in the very near future, but, further down the road.
If that was possible, what limitations could be placed on human freedoms then?

I end, as Dave began his brain fingerprinting piece.

Nothing is ever done for the good of the people, even when appearances may indicate otherwise. That is one of the inviolate rules of politics that must be applied when attempting to interpret any significant action, event or trend. A corollary to that rule is: any new technology will be used to the detriment - and never the benefit - of the people.

Bar Codes in human embryos.


  1. some people call this evolution, believe it or not.
    Transhumanism is a biggie for you know who, one visit to vigilantcitizen will tell you that.

    Stellar output as per usual Penny, along with Aang, you don't half crank em out.

  2. why thanks edo!

    vigilantcitizen, eh?

  3. aye, vigilant citizen