Hacking the mind – the next generation technology frontier !

The term hacking brings up a lot of connotations some of which are even close to what it exactly means. So to begin we need to get an idea clearly of what hacking is and what hacking does, the criminality etc. The word roots are in medieval English where it meant to cut away and clear a path sort of a thing and a good explanation is given here.

It is a lot like you cut away the detritus and make sense of what you have in place. In computer terminology and more closer to what it now stands for today – it is about making a connection cutting through perhaps layers of security of non compatible communication protocols. To hack into a network is al about making a connection and getting inside a place that you may not be legally or rightfully supposed to be at.

An Apple iPad a tablet computer for example as sold by its manufacturer – Apple Inc does not let you access its root – the core complete control of the system so to speak. They the manufacturers feel that you need to not have it and that it perhaps makes it les secure and possibly they want to control what stays on it or runs on it as in software applications that get the best value of the underlying hardware. To use such a computer to its 100 or more percent capability – you need to hack into it and the method specific forth at class of devices is called ‘jail breaking’ – an American nuance!

Hacking in a way makes a system better than what it was initially or rather at any rate and with the Apple example unlocks key functionality that was hidden or locked by its makers! Hacking the human mind is a lot like that. You don’t really like send it alphanumeric instructions on SMS or electrical signals – but in a away what is happening is that the neural networks in the mid are firing in different ways – seeking out new pathways and the neurons are signaling and getting the thing done!

Wired magazine for example has been for the last few years now several articles of this kind of human hacking and what they have achieved. The most interesting was the tale of Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert series and who had discovered that he had a new kind of a nervous ailment that would not allow home to speak as well as he would have liked to. One way around was he found if he could perhaps sing what he wanted to day and he would be able to say it.

Interest in hacking the mind came about as a result of perhaps brain injuries or nervous disorders or something that has upset the standard pathways and caused a need for new ways to be found or new neural pathways to be created. Occasionally it is about recalling and recreating memory. A great example has been of course Chris Nolan’s movie Memento, which is probably the best example of how the human mind can adjust to a situation where no short-term memories are formed! It would be a lot like if I started the article and forgot what it was that I wanted to write about or what the entire point was?!

Chris Nolan took the discussion a notch ahead as artistes and visionaries are wont to do and in Inception he gave us the possibility of power over our dreams. A very powerful concept that has been shown to be at least theoretically possible and the dangers therein. But the concept is not in a way entirely new. Ancient yogic beliefs in India and then from elsewhere like China have shown that there are methods and practice that can make us function in a more optimal manner. At its very simplest and from my personal experience over the years – you can train your mind to for example wake you up at a certain time from sleep like an alarm clock without actually a real alarm clock outside our mind!

I think in the near future and in the really short-term, say like a quarter or three away – I am expecting actual products that will hardwire or rewire your mind to do things. A little like say certain kind of fast moving color and imagery from a TV for example can cause an epileptic reaction in those thus afflicted. I imagine the possibilities if such subliminal imagery can be ‘piped’ / sent to you through the Internet, cable TV, radio satellite – what have you and any other means that may be discovered and things like LTE (long term evolution) and 4G come to mind immediately and imagine that this can be sent to you like a small instruction set that can be picked up and implemented!

To get an idea of what that might look like you can consider the way SIM cards get updated, upgraded, set instruction sets over the air like maybe an SMS or a bits and bytes data set that they can implement.  You can set up roaming or disable or disable all services permanently from an IMEI number. This brings up of course the specter of mind control and what have you but I will always opine that are we not under a bit of or quite a lot of mind control as it is as we are where we are today? We have advertising, we have government propaganda, we have PR and media, we have search engine optimization and many other means that make us believe what we see and get millions into a way of thinking and buying and many other activities for example.

There will be a need for enough legitimate mind hacking products and services like say smoking cessation programs and from that a host of such cessation programs like crime and violence that will always justify its need and existence. People will try to work with the risks and benefits doing the fine balancing act, which always threatens to tip at any time. This is because along with all this and more there is a huge lot of possibility and potential for all manners of scurrilous activity, cheating, forgery, bad stuff. The way I see it people like RSA, Mac Afee, Symantec, Verisign the security guys, the validation guys, the guards and checks and balances and the validations, the keys and the encryptions and the gateway security are going to have a great time in terms of business opportunities.

About Soumya
A technology enthusiast, forever enamored by all that it hath wrought and of course here is an attempt at making sense of it all and perhaps simplifying it!

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