In the 1950’s and later 70’s there was a major
scare among the consumer population about subliminal messaging. The Vicary Movie experiment
would flash images and ads in a film at 1/300th of a second, and the results came out as having
an 18% increase in refreshments sold at that movie theater. Sounds pretty convincing until
you find out that it was a hoax by Vicary to sell a fake advertising technique. People
got all worked up and experiments were run to find out that there was nothing to it.
In 1973, when Wilson Bryan Keys published “Subliminal Seduction”. He believed that there
were hidden sexual messages in advertising to get people to buy stuff Using fear he ended
up selling a lot of books. Of course thanks to paradolia we can find patterns in anything
even when they weren’t put their purposely, especially things that remind us of sex. Of
course now we have Axe and beer commercials and don’t need to bother with the subliminal
parts. Keys however did get a few things right however.
He did postulate that if you can control the images of the times, and the cultural symbols,
you’re advertising power will increase. An example of this was when the Bush campaign
machine paid to have a call in survay company ask people what words they associated with
fear, good and other emotions, then had bush use them in his speech.
The brain is something that has been forever impossible to read and difficult to manipulate
or completely control. Because of this, protecting the privacy and apparent control over our
own minds is something we value above all else. From old hypnotism movies to the pod
people to the matrix, we have long feared the power of politicians, companies or aliens
effecting our minds. Of course we are all a little too arrogant in ourselves, believing
that we aren’t already swayed or manipulated for illogical reasons. A great manipulator
can use your emotions and natural biases against you to make you believe something completely
illogical and baseless, but you believe it so strongly. Many can also read your microexperessions,
how cops interrigate more and more these days, and how fortune tellers have worked for centuries.
And of course atheists and skeptics aren’t immune, and though many believe themselves
free from this manipulation, many realize their own susceptibility to manipulation and
bias and learn tricks and steps to reduce their own manipulability. When you destroy
your self-important belief that you cannot be manipulated, you can then begin to work
toward creating mental constructs to reduce your susceptibility to suggestion.
I suggest watching “here there be dragons” by Skeptiods brian dunning discussing logical
falicies, and a series painfullmass did on natural biases that we all have. Links in
the bottom. The future however holds a bit more nervousness
and uncertainty about mind invasion requiring a new fight in the future, and new ethics
decisions. If you watched my two videos on transhumanism which I recommend you watch
before continuing, reading, upgrading and interfacing with the brain could begin on
a wide scale in 50 years time. This will lead to a lot of legal fights in terms of free
speech, advertising and the abilities to manipulate people and read their private thoughts.
How the legal system will protect people from manipulation by both the government, hackers
and companies will require a completely different set of laws than we have now. Freedom of speech
will not work if shown to directly emotionally overwhelm logic, or to alter the neurons beyond
the effect of just learning. It could have a wonderful effect where politicians and companies
are no longer allowed to use emotion or manipulation to effect how you think. Only art and entertainment
will be able to use emotion and nothing will be allowed to manipulate you mentally without
your consent or awareness. Emotional manipulation will be something a kin to enjoying a beer,
like a movie or a magic show, where you know the risk of entertaining an idea and can do
with it what you want. Ever since Scifi was invented, the idea of
removing all emotion, is something that scared us, but test done on people with no capabilities
for emotion don’t have the ability to make a decision because they will keep looking
at all the possibilities and never decide anything. So this will be unlikely, emotions
are more like food addictions and less like alcohol addictions, you can’t quit them, they
just need to be held at a certain level. The problem with emotions, is that unlike with
alcohol or other drugs, you didn’t decide to have that emotion so you sometimes without
lots of practice can’t tell if its the emotions twisting your perspective on a situation,
or if that situation is actually how you perceive it to be. Science is currently working on
neuroimagers for personal use that in the next 10 to 20 years might be able to read
your emotional and neural activity for you and make you aware of whats going on in your
own brain. At some point you might be able to access a program that allows you to know
how emotionally manipulated you are being by something and not thinking logically. Of
course who controls or provides that software is the question. Private companies where you
never know if one group is being selective toward certain products or ideas? Corrupt
governments that would love to control its citizens? Or will it be something of a hybrid?
In our current system our brains would probably be already mush if the tech was given to the
world right now. Remember a utopia is a story to show us something
to aim and aspire for. A dystopia is a story of warning of what will happen if we aren’t
careful and aware enough. The reality will be somewhere in between, varying on the gradient
for nation to nation. North Korean, Syria, and Belarus are examples of modern near dystopias.
Sadly no one is in a Utopia but depending on your values and ideals, you might believe
that you or another’s nation is closer to a utopia.
However in this next decade we are going to face some of these very political battles
and problems. At the moment a new trend called neuromarketing is occurring using something
similar to the bush election. By taking neuroimages while people watch scenes, camera angles,
cultural symbols and such, marketers and movie makers are learning how to get the best emotional
response to a photo or video scene possible. Something as simple as a camera angle, or
a difference in lighting, companies could increase your opinion of them without actually
changing their message at all. Movies could appear to be phenomenal just because your
brain gets a rush off of it, but if you look at the script, it might actually be a complete
piece of mind insulting crap. In our current system where children are introduced to commercials
at a ridiculously young age, an industry raking in 50B on children alone, I don’t think people
would let the government regulate these ad companies using their own technology. A government
could make it illegal to release a commercial that caused a certain level of brain activity
in certain areas known to over-ride logic. I don’t see that happening, especially if
the people who want to keep things that way are in charge of advertising to prevent this
from happening, and will pass it off as anarcho-capitalistic free speech because corporations are people.
This will become more and more of a problem as our ability to analyze the brain improves,
and organizations like a partnership for a commercial free childhood are already working
on changing the system. With our system where corporations are people
and regulation is being torn down, the system is only representative of two parties, and
education is such a low priority, America is setting itself up to be quite a repressive
regime as this technology progresses. Europe and Canada show regulation and restraint over
some advertising and will be much more capable of acting much faster to change the laws needed.
In the future, hackers may be ones to promote free thinking, as this and robotic armies
are going to be the major potential dangers or triumphs of the next 50 years.
This may very well be one of the reasons why aliens have yet to contact us. In a series
of future fiction books I may never get published for 10 years at the rate I’m going, each progressing
50 years into the future, in 150 years we meet the aliens who crashed at Roswell, who
hid their existence from us, as they had tried generously giving this sort of brain technology
to another lesser advanced planet. The tech quickly got into greedy hands and ended up
brainwashing the planet creating something similar to the borg, and was at the point
of containing the crisis from spreading beyond the 3 planets it ended up infecting.
Just like with the nuclear bomb and many other new technologies, we shall be riding the knifes
edge of ensuring that the Moore’s law of ethics keeps up with Moore’s law of technology. It
will be a big nerving fight, but we shall also see great wonders in our future as we
strive toward what humanity could be capable of. PS I know what moore’s law actually is, watch
my earlier videos if you don’t know what I’m referring to.