Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Synthesizing contentment, at what price?

Synthesizing contentment, at what price?
Thread Tools
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 3, 2014, 07:35 PM
 
This is a subject my book/discussion group has taken up recently and it brought up some interesting observations so I'll pitch it here too.

Let's say there's a company that has a product, a family of devices, that can determine exactly what you desire. However, there's a catch, it requires that you get a neural implant that wirelessly interfaces with an analyzer, and after a period of time performing analysis, it determines what you want without any active input from you. Let's say you want to hear some music, it would automatically know that, then choose the type, volume, and duration of the listening experience based on what is read. The same goes for TV, web sites, etc., custom tailoring any content for you. Of course, it maps everywhere you go, records everything you think (based on your reactions to various types of stimuli), and due to the complexity involved, this information has to be shared with the content providers so they can know what to serve up. Would that interest you?

Going a step further, what if not only could it read what you feel but directly make you feel; blissful, afraid, anxious, or any emotion, by triggering specific brain centers, causing you to manufacture the various chemicals required, bypassing the need for any "traditional sources" of stimulation? Too far?
( Last edited by Shaddim; Jan 4, 2014 at 01:12 PM. )
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: May 2008
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 08:04 AM
 
Operation Mind F@#K ?
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Going a step further, what if not only could read what you feel but directly make you feel; blissful, afraid, anxious, or any emotion, by triggering specific brain centers, causing you to manufacture the various chemicals required, bypassing the need for any "traditional sources" of stimulation? Too far?
For the general population, I'd think this goes to far.

I can, however, see this working as a treatment for illnesses, especially psychological ones.
And as a treatment for violent crimes offenders.

-t
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 01:21 PM
 
The therapeutic aspects are an undeniable benefit, as a treatment for people who battle mental diseases, such as severe depression and schizophrenia, such a product could prove to change everything.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Administrator
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Land of the Easily Amused
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 03:39 PM
 
Part of life is denying yourself the short term wants in favor of the long term needs. Sounds like a great way to treat disease and/or pacify people.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 04:14 PM
 
The cost of the apparatus and amount of insurance necessary to protect such an endeavor would price the gizmo away from all, but the mentally ill, uber-rich. This will eventually be deemed unfair at which time synthesized contentment would become a civil right and CGI would take over the project. "Glitch" would mean something else entirely and then we'd have a bunch of folks running around on auto-pilot trying to behead others for the stimuli in their analyzers.
ebuddy
     
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 04:26 PM
 
While a UI that can intuit the music I'm in the mood for, or the show I feel like watching, sounds good... sometimes I like not knowing what I want, and discovering it.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Nashua NH, USA
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 04:42 PM
 
This sounds like any number of Outer Limits episodes.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 05:01 PM
 
I'm mildly interested in the first.

Don't care what the content providers know. Do care what they tell the gubmint.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 4, 2014, 05:07 PM
 
Sounds like a precursor to... Idiocracy.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 12:52 AM
 
The groundwork for Idiocracy was laid with the advent of reality TV. I wish I was joking...

Originally Posted by Demonhood View Post
Part of life is denying yourself the short term wants in favor of the long term needs. Sounds like a great way to treat disease and/or pacify people.
I have a feeling the government believes that's its job as well (the pacifying part), as does certain demographics.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 01:04 AM
 
IMO, reality TV is about an order of magnitude worse than hardcore pornography in terms of exploiting one's self.

At least people in porn are honest about what they're doing.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 02:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
The cost of the apparatus and amount of insurance necessary to protect such an endeavor would price the gizmo away from all, but the mentally ill, uber-rich. This will eventually be deemed unfair at which time synthesized contentment would become a civil right and CGI would take over the project. "Glitch" would mean something else entirely and then we'd have a bunch of folks running around on auto-pilot trying to behead others for the stimuli in their analyzers.
For the latter function, I think the economics of scale would kick in before long; first used with mental patients and the criminally insane, then as a drug for the wealthy, but ultimately it would get into the hands of John Q.

Early devices that are simple "readers" could already be in development, but the processing power necessary to analyze on the fly would be substantial, more than a top end smart phone can currently provide, and they'd be rather clunky at first; I imagine a device with two contact points attached to the head (behind each ear), and another about the size of a Zippo, that's attached to the first, that works as the interface to the computer (or tablet, smartphone, etc.). It could possibly even connect to current devices already being made, things like, say... Glass. All of this is hypothetical, of course.

Personally, as long as it stays out of my head, I'd be willing to try it, but I wouldn't let anyone cut on me to install anything. One, because I don't trust any company that much, and two, because I can only imagine how much of a bitch any upgrades would be. However, I can see where this would all go terribly wrong, people forgetting how to make choices and decisions on their own, attention spans becoming even shorter (think goldfish).

Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
While a UI that can intuit the music I'm in the mood for, or the show I feel like watching, sounds good... sometimes I like not knowing what I want, and discovering it.
You'd be able to turn it off, though leaving it off for too long compromises the quality and accuracy of its data collection.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm mildly interested in the first.

Don't care what the content providers know. Do care what they tell the gubmint.
It's no secret I'm a pessimist, I'm pretty certain that any information the data collectors get will be compromised, legally or illegally, by the Feds. To me, that's a given. I can see it now...

It's 2021 and "Mindgate" has boiled over, it's been discovered that the NSA and DHS have been reading everyone's thought profiles, which were initially said to be completely inaccessible, but all this time there's been a deeper layer of information being collected, beyond simple tastes and preferences... [cue Duel of the Fates]
( Last edited by Shaddim; Jan 5, 2014 at 03:12 AM. )
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 03:43 AM
 
Some day, someone will come up with the novel idea of founding a country based on freedom of interference from the government.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Some day, someone will come up with the novel idea of founding a country based on freedom of interference from the government.
ebuddy
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 01:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Some day, someone will come up with the novel idea of founding a country based on freedom of interference from the government.
I'm actually not sure if I should laugh or cry

-t
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 5, 2014, 02:42 PM
 
Something good came out of this, I liked my Mindgate blurb so much I've started writing a novella. I'm already 20 pages deep with notes and have 10 pages written.

"We know what you're thinking, and you can't stop us. No one would believe you, anyway."
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Isle of Manhattan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 6, 2014, 11:00 AM
 
Drinking helps.
     
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 6, 2014, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Something good came out of this, I liked my Mindgate blurb so much I've started writing a novella. I'm already 20 pages deep with notes and have 10 pages written.

"We know what you're thinking, and you can't stop us. No one would believe you, anyway."
This thread reminds me of something vonnegut either wrote, or would have. Have at it.
     
Shaddim  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 6, 2014, 02:52 PM
 
There's 8", and counting, of snow on the ground here, what else am I going to do?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 6, 2014, 04:18 PM
 
All work and no play makes Jack something something...
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 6, 2014, 04:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
IMO, reality TV is about an order of magnitude worse than hardcore pornography in terms of exploiting one's self.

At least people in porn are honest about what they're doing.
I don't think that pizza guy was really a pizza guy.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: UKland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2014, 06:07 PM
 
read "Learning to be Me" by Greg Egan from the collection "Axiomatic" about a device implanted into peoples brains that learns to be them, and once it has done so perfectly runs in sync with the implants own brain as a check before taking over and disconnecting the actual brain.

Axiomatic is packed full of wonderful hard science ideas.

Axiomatic (story collection) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 9, 2014, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
read "Learning to be Me" by Greg Egan from the collection "Axiomatic" about a device implanted into peoples brains that learns to be them, and once it has done so perfectly runs in sync with the implants own brain as a check before taking over and disconnecting the actual brain.

Axiomatic is packed full of wonderful hard science ideas.

Axiomatic (story collection) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Looks good. I've been thinking about picking up some new sci-fi, maybe I'll try to track this one down.
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:39 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2014 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2