We can hate others from the privacy of our ideas. We own our thoughts and our silences. We have the right not to testify against ourselves and to take advantage of the Fifth Amendment. It seems that some of us think in words and others in pictures. But we all take refuge in this material that is our brain to criticize the boss, painfully kill that neighbor who doesn’t pay the bills, or covet our neighbor’s wife. As long as you do not carry out your homicidal or violent intentions, you are protected by the privacy of your mind. And it’s very powerful. Thought is so powerful that it guides revolutions, plans hostile takeovers, invents realities such as states and laws, and destabilizes social peace. We have been programmed by religions not to think impure thoughts, to limit our imagination, lest the line between intention and action be so fine that we skip it in an Amen-Jesus.
What leader wouldn’t want to know what’s going on in the minds of his citizens, how much we would save in the state budget if we knew people’s true motivations in real time, and how many marital arguments would end if, when he was saying without thinking about anything, you can actually check that the background music is connected. Interesting people would be unmasked by remaining silent and the police would finally have their pre-crime. Panopticon paradise.
In front of everyone, our thoughts are the warrior’s rest, our only personal heritage. We are what goes on in our head, the conscious, the unconscious, our ego and our superego. This is why two recent news stories have confused me. I’ve been thinking about the first since Elon Musk decided to start a company to develop brain-machine devices. I was already shocked when he killed a dozen implanted monkeys and, despite this, he asked for human volunteers which he seems to have found. Via his Twitter account (I refuse to call him We don’t know for sure if the transplant recipient suffers from a motor-related disease, but what Musk promised us is that we will be able to mentally type on our cell phone Anyone who observed the way the social network was managed last year will have no doubt what will happen to their identity, ideas and secrets if they are entrusted to an oligophrenic who has stopped taking his medication .
The other news that surprised me were the statements made by the director of the Data Protection Agency to this newspaper. Mar España, driven by the legitimate mission of protecting minors from the evils hidden behind the screens, affirms that “the agency will collaborate in the development of the bill for the comprehensive protection of minors on the Internet with the inclusion of what we call neurorights”. . According to experts, young people are all the more vulnerable to the impact of technology on their neurological development as their brains are still forming. Let us stop for a moment here, because so much good will, erroneous in its objective and its definition, needs to be clarified. Neurorights (to identity, free will, mental privacy, fair access and protection from bias) are designed on the basis of neurotechnologies and their more than obvious dangers.
According to the report released by the Office of Science and Technology of the Congress of Deputies, Advances in neuroscience: applications and ethical implications, Neurotechnology “enables a direct connection between a device and the nervous system (central and peripheral) to record or modify nervous activity. They combine neuroscience with other advances in artificial intelligence, robotics or virtual reality, to modulate or measure various aspects of brain activity, including consciousness and thought. Does the Spanish data supervisor assume that children will plug a device into their heads to access TikTok, the metaverse (whatever that is) or to hit shots in a video game with the power of their minds, and then we are going to protect them? I prefer to think that the director of the Agency is more on the side of those of us who believe that brains are wired according to what happens to them during their formative years and that we must be on the side of the pseudoscientists to ensure that their wiring be the healthy one, and not on the side of those who believe that brain-machine technologies should be a consumer good like smartphones.
Because giving up control of our thoughts seems excruciating to me. If we think that anyone accessing our brains and collecting our neural data is not going to misuse it, they have been living in a different dimension for the last 20 years, they are stupidly living in the paradigm of doors and fields, or , which is worse, He has an economic interest in making us commune with the millstones. It is foolish to be convinced by recreational, domestic or personal use based on the benevolent or beneficial uses of a technology. Since brain implants make it possible to walk quadriplegic, we’re going to give them to everyone so they can play. Fortnite, change TV channels with your mind, or respond to emails with your thoughts. If climate change doesn’t kill us, comfort will. Wall-e It’s not a movie, it’s a premonition.
That’s why it’s sad that a data controller or the EU as a whole consider the battle lost and move on to bureaucratic management of corpses. The entire scientific community is working on the development of these neurorights mentioned under the hypothesis that we will collect this data, that there will be no resistance to the progress of science, even if no one has asked for this. no giant step is applied to my toaster, is unstoppable and that any resistance is not only in vain but also a mistake. Neurological rights which, in a multi-jurisdictional Internet, with limitations of economic, personal and technical knowledge, cannot be guaranteed. As is already happening. Or could a European data controller go to China and sanction the world’s largest video game company for collecting our citizens’ thoughts and using them against them?
We already know the cost of this misguided thinking. let’s have the courage of the Supreme Court of Chile. There is no need for universal neurological rights if we control the manufacturing, sale and distribution of brain-machine devices and regulate them as medical devices. Let’s use technology in environments where it is beneficial to human beings and prohibit its use in those that we know will not be beneficial and that we are unable to control. Because there is no data better protected than that which is not collected and because I want to continue killing people in the privacy of my thoughts.
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