Editor-in-chief s culture, episode 7

Welcome to the seventh episode of the series "Editor-in-chief's culture. About everything shitowe. For those who do not know what the cycle is but want to find out, I refer to the first episode . Here is a list of all texts in this series so far.


The sixth episode of this series resulted in an extremely interesting discussion in our editorial Slack about the future of 'everything', including further technological accelerators. This resulted in two extremely interesting texts - Maciek Gajewski and Marcin Połowianiuk . I strongly encourage you to read both texts.

Personally, I am closer to Marcin's line of reasoning (which of course does not mean that Maciek may be wrong), who writes :

If access to information is immediate, universal, and virtually completely location-independent, what must the next accelerator, the next big thing? How can the flow of information be further accelerated? There is only one way to do this: by providing information ahead of real events.

From there, only a simple logical sequence leads us to the following conclusion verbalized by Marcin:

Because when it turned out that algorithms work better than the mix of our hormones and nerve impulses in the brain, wouldn't we agree to some limitations in free choice? It sounds ridiculous today, but 20 years ago it sounded just as ridiculous the idea of ​​giving corporations all their data in the name of free navigation and efficient e-mail.

Exactly - free will. Something that seems to be the foundation of human life. The basis of everything - from choosing the color of underwear that we put on in the morning, through selecting the series to watch on a weekend evening, to choosing a partner / life partner and the profession that we will perform.

Well - and here we come across something really shit - free will doesn't exist. And there is compelling evidence for this.

That is, let us be clear - if by saying "free will" we understand the ability to act according to our own desires, then we can probably assume that we humans have free will. But the question is different - do we have the ability to choose these desires?

Why do I want to buy a super car and would choose Porsche 911 Turbo S over Ferrari 488? Why did I vote for Rafał Trzaskowski and not Andrzej Duda in the last presidential election? Why would I gladly eat dessert and go for apple pie with vanilla ice cream instead of tiramisu?

We don't choose any of these desires. We feel that a specific desire is born within us because it is produced in our brains by biochemical processes. And - as scientists have repeatedly proven - these processes can be deterministic or random, but they are certainly not free.

These are not philosophical speculations. Based on brain scans, scientists are now able to predict people's desires and decisions before they become aware of them.

This has been proven by experiments using the brain scanner. Participants of such research are placed inside it. They are given two switches and are asked to press one of them at any time. And yes, intuition does not confuse you - researchers can predict with full precision which switch will be pressed by the test subject long before they actually do it. How do they know this?

Because they can perceive the sequence of biochemical reactions in our brain that makes us really want to flip the left switch before that desire reaches us. So the conclusion is simple - we do not choose our own desires, we only feel them and act accordingly.

And if anyone doubts it, let them perform a very simple experiment on themselves. Try to think of nothing for 60 seconds and see what happens. Exactly - are we really the masters of our thoughts and decisions, since we are not able to control the stream of consciousness for just a minute?

So if we are not controlling our own desires and, consequently, free will, then a cunning question arises - what if we would like to steer them like the processes of biochemical reactions in our brains? The answer is shocking - it is possible. Moreover, experiments and tests prove it one hundred percent.

Rats were tested first. It is known because rats. They were implanted with electrodes in the sensory and reward centers of the brain. Thanks to this, it was possible to remotely control such a rat. For example, order him to turn left, climb a ladder, or even do things that rats especially don't like to do - jump from great heights. In response to criticism of animal welfare activists, the head of the experiment, Professor Sanjiv Talwar of New York University, explained that rats work for pleasure, and that electrodes stimulating the reward center in their brain put them into a state of extraordinary satisfaction.

And what if ... you think right - you can control a human in exactly the same way. And of course, such experiments are already being carried out. A major success of Israeli psychiatrists was implanting an electrode into the brains of patients suffering from severe depression. The electrodes are connected to a small computer that is attached to the patient's chest. At the command of the computer, the electrodes send electrical impulses that paralyze the regions of the brain that cause depression. In many cases, patients have reported that the dark void feeling disappeared as if by magic. As long as the electrode in the brain was working, they were cured.

The military is carrying out similar experiments. Probably not only the American, which a few years ago invited the journalist "New Scientist" Sally Adee to test a special helmet that stimulates the brain. With him on her head, Sally defeated 20 virtual terrorists who were supposed to kill her. The superpowers made such an impression on the journalist that after the experiment her life changed completely: - For the first time, all the noise in my head fell silent. (…) When my brain was taken away from self-doubt, I experienced a kind of revelation. (…) After this experience, the only thing I wanted to do was go back there and put on the helmet again.

From here it is just a step away from having a helmet for "learning a foreign language in 14 days" (after all, the ads served by Robert Gryn would be real!), A helmet for "learning toilet programming", or a helmet to ... "live your whole life in nirvana ".

As Marcin Połowianiuk writes in the conclusion of his text :

Today there is a debate as to whether it is worth sacrificing privacy for the sake of convenience. Perhaps in 50 years this problem will go much further, and our children will ask themselves whether it is worth sacrificing the so-called "Free will" in favor of a well-tailored hint optimizing life choices. Who knows, maybe it will be a great ethical problem for future generations.

I am sure it will. And Sally Adee, who, after trying the superpowers of integrating her brain with a computer and giving up the illusion of free will, will be plenty.

And eventually we all will. We will integrate with technology, we will become one connected brain. And then the Singularity will come.

Editor-in-chief's culture, episode 7


Popular posts from this blog

What is VoLTE and how can you activate it on your Xiaomi

So you can check the battery status of your Xiaomi smartphone and how many cycles you have performed

How to exit the FASTBOOT mode of your Xiaomi if you have entered accidentally

Does your Xiaomi charge slowly or intermittently? So you can fix it

Problems with Android Auto and your Xiaomi? So you can fix it

If your Xiaomi disconnects only from the WiFi it may be because of that MIUI setting

How to change the font in MIUI and thus further customize your Xiaomi: so you can change the type, color and size of the letters of MIUI

What is the Safe Mode of your Xiaomi, what is it for and how can you activate it

Improve and amplify the volume of your Xiaomi and / or headphones with these simple adjustments

How to activate the second space if your Xiaomi does not have this option