While the subjects read the story, the scientists applied a magnetic field using a method known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. The magnetic fields created confusion in the neurons that make up the RTPJ, said Young, causing them to fire off electrical pulses chaotically.
The confusion in the brain made it harder for subjects to interpret the boyfriend’s intent, said Young, and instead made the subjects focus solely on the situation’s outcome. The effect was temporary and safe.
The moral outcomes – the judgment passed by those subjected to the magnetic manipulation only varied by about 15 percent versus when the bran was not manipulated. The researchers think this is significant. Since it is hard to avoid magnetic fields – like the one’s produced by anything using a DC current and they’re used in medical equipment like MRIs the implications are worth considering. Though scientists have known for some time that strong static magnetic fields can slightly restrain blood flow around the heart and can interfere with the balancing mechanisms of the inner ear. That being the case its doubtful that any great moral consequences will reverberate though the court systems as suggested in the article. Especially in comparison to antisocial behavior that can be attributed to organic mood disorders.
One implication – if scientists can eventually figure out a way to use magnetic fields to consistently produce specified behaviors, as in a way for police to control crowds and some military warfare applications – that would seem like something to be concerned about. Hey Scotty beam that guy and make him do as told.
Which brings up one unintended implication related to just publishing this research. It gives those that have a propensity toward embracing conspiracy theories another source of quasi-justification.
funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ for a little while – credit for the picture title to the Jeff Bridges penned song from crazy heart.
It’s like spending your life rolling the same rock up a hill, but I would rather do that – in the rhetorical sense – than use any magnetic gizmos on some people that ain’t quite right, as tempting as a quick zap might be – The four best lies about the new health care law
Microchip in your brain! “The Obama health care bill under Sec. 2521, page 1,000 will establish a National Medical Device Registry,” one reader posted March 25 on the Chattanoogan.com. The reader then went on to quote legislative language, from pages, 1,001 to 1,008 of the bill that made reference to “a class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.” This device, the reader explained, is an “implantable radiofrequency transponder system for patient identification and health information.” Lest you think this is just the ravings of one solitary commenter, be advised that the phrase “health care reform microchip” returns 55,500 results on Google.
Like McCaughey, the new Obamacare conspiracy-mongers strive for verisimilitude by citing precise bill sections and page numbers. But in truth the phrases National Medical Device Registry and Class II device appear nowhere in either the health care bill (searchable text here) nor in the follow-up reconciliation bill (searchable text here, here, and here). The language is from an earlier version of the House bill (the Senate bill never included it) and, you may not be surprised to hear, that language never called for implanting microchips in anybody’s brain. It proposed that the Health and Human Services department collect data about medical devices surgically implanted in patients to help the government better gauge the devices’ medical effectiveness and alert consumers in the event of a manufacturer recall. All across America, the device in question is already being inserted with the patient’s consent into his brain, his heart, his knee, wherever, and its function is not to enable the government to track his whereabouts but to make his body work properly and, in many instances, to keep him alive. Medical device manufacturers opposed the registry and the House omitted it from the reconciliation bill, possibly out of concern that it would not qualify under the Senate’s strict reconciliation rules.
If you’re really worried that the government wants to know where you are at all times, stop bitching about the health-reform bill and throw out your cell phone. ( the links for the various versions of the bill are at the link)
I could not resist the microchip one. The last paragraph is something for privacy freaks to be concerned about. To look at cell phone tower records and to use your cell phone to locate you does not – as of this writing – require a warrant. It has become common – in the real world and on TV crime shows to do so. Not in every case, but most of the time even the courts have ruled that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy as regards the records of your calls and authorities using your cell phone to monitor your location. As a national security-executive branch issue this point of view has followed unchanged from the Bush to the Obama administration.
It should be noted that per the CNET article the FBI claims to have only used cell phone locating technology to monitor a bank robber once. I guess we’re supposed to assume from that they are not doing it as daily operating procedure. And it is, examples such as those particularly scummy bank robbers, many people hesitate to complain. Hey, we’re just giving up some privacy to catch the bad guys. Wall St used some goofy equations and spreadsheet software to lose so much of the nation’s wealth they make bank robbers look like small time punks.