Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Technology, Stay Out! Have Some Limits!

Technology as we know it today continues to evolve and advance rapidly. It has advanced to the point where people are finding ways to use it with our bodies such as identification (fingerprinting) and medical diagnostic procedures.

Where does that delicate fine line between technological use for benefit of humankind and invasion lie? Which advancements are essential or beneficial? Which ones are intellectuals' exploring playground and pushing technology to the edge across that fine line?

A friend sent me this CNN.com article. I thought it was a ridiculous advancement and somewhat amusing. This pushes technology over the edge in the wrong direction. Talk about a waste of time and money following through on this. Some things should stay out of our bodies and be left natural. Technology can be used in other ways with better purposes. Just imagine how scientists may start to think about tinkering with deaf people and "cure them" somehow, according to the way some people out there think. As someone else said in response to this article, some schizophrenics already think this is happening. This challenges reality testing. What's real and what's delusional or hallucinational? Poor deaf schizophrenics or deaf people who may happen to use this technology in the future may start to have their reality testing challenged. For those of us with good strong reality testing, this may come across as "cool! far-fetched" as another friend said. Technological advancements can be cool. Yet, it may not be cool for some people with compromised reality testing.

Here is the article for your review. Before you begin read, ask Scotty to "beam me up" for an enlightening reading journey. (Note: This is sarcasm. My reality testing is fine. I personally think this advancement and innocation is amazing yet ridiculous and non-essential. Thank you.)


Sony aims to beam sights, sounds into brain

Thursday, April 7, 2005 Posted: 1:43 PM EDT (1743 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- If you think video games are engrossing now, just wait: PlayStation maker Sony Corp. has been granted a patent for beaming sensory information directly into the brain.

The technique could one day be used to create video games in which you can smell, taste, and touch, or to help people who are blind or deaf.

The U.S. patent, granted to Sony researcher Thomas Dawson, describes a technique for aiming ultrasonic pulses at specific areas of the brain to induce "sensory experiences" such as smells, sounds and images.

"The pulsed ultrasonic signal alters the neural timing in the cortex," the patent states. "No invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live and/or recorded images or hear sounds."

According to New Scientist magazine, the first to report on the patent, Sony's technique could be an improvement over an existing non-surgical method known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. This activates nerves using rapidly changing magnetic fields, but cannot be focused on small groups of brain cells.

Niels Birbaumer, a neuroscientist at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, told New Scientist he had looked at the Sony patent and "found it plausible." Birbaumer himself has developed a device that enables disabled people to communicate by reading their brain waves.

A Sony Electronics spokeswoman told the magazine that no experiments had been conducted, and that the patent "was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us."