ZOMG, Esquire! "Obama's Brain Activity Map Could Be Mind Control"

Esquire has published one of the clickbaitiest neuroscience articles in the history of all ZOMG-dom: "President Obama's proposed Brain Activity Map Project could lead to cures for Alzheimer's, autism, and schizophrenia. But members of Congress should read the fine print when the $3 billion proposal hits their desks next month — because the project might also provide the first viable means of remotely controlling the human mind." What a load of irresponsible, fear-mongering crap. (HT: @noahWG)


  1. What’s weird is that Esquire is usually somewhat liberal-leaning.  But clickbait is clickbait!  
    (Came to BoingBoing™ via Reddit™)

  2. Well, duh, if he can be a socialist, fascist, communist and nazi all at the same time, then it makes perfect sense that he also possesses mind control powers.

    Oh, wait, that’s not what the article was talking about, was it… shoot.

    Back to reality, then.

  3. It isn’t false that an improved understanding of the brain would be a necessary part of any remote mind-control system(though good luck, and probably a stack of awards in physics and biochemistry, with reading and modifying neural state from any distance…); but I’m pretty sure that classical-era ‘demagoguery’ technology provides 95% of the mind control, with zero percent of the therapeutic potential…

  4. I think it pays t think about the consequences of any new technology, no matter how outlandish. Also, remember that the American government did experiment with mind control in the 60s. There is nothing wrong with asking for transparency and a little bit of vigilance to make sure a new technology does not get abused, no matter how unlikely that is.

  5. the project might also provide the first viable means of remotely controlling the human mind

    I thought religion was first, political ideologies next, then BoingBoing, and finally, well, you know.

  6. In which case, we should support it.  The last time the U.S. government tried to control minds, they ended up releasing a bunch of high-grade LSD into the general population.

    1. They usually go with tried-and-true methods like scary graphics purporting to show mobile WMD laboratories.

  7. does the term slippery slope mean anything to anyone? that was my first thought as well… this is not something that’s going to stop prior to complete invasion of mental privacy and control.

    1. Just like how early pacemaker research was just the first step in BUILDING AN UNSTOPPABLE ARMY OF UNDEAD CYBORGS.

  8. Let’s see. This is the same government that has spent literally decades trying to concoct mind control methods, truth serums, etc. etc. There has been a complete continuity of power and internal intelligence agency leadership between the era of MKULTRA and today. The heads of the current shadowy US alphabet soup Intelligence apparatus are the handpicked heirs of the baddies of the MKULTRA days.

    The MK-ULTRA stuff is widely corroborated and totally in the public domain. They HAVE been deeply involved in mind control research in the past. Nobody who led it was ever removed from power, meaningfully punished, or lost funding. So, shouldn’t we simply assume that the current regime is continuing this, unless proven otherwise?

    This Esquire headline is as fearmongering as a headline ‘US Government planning another war.’ Of COURSE they are. They always are. The US government spends billions of dollars every year on some very dark, dark stuff. There is often some sort of ulterior/military motive to US Government research. To pretend it’s impossible because it seems too ‘out there’ is what’s truly irresponsible. It’s simply sticking your head in the sand.

    BoingBoing: bravely questioning the establishment, within a very narrowly limited scope of potential bad things they might do.

    (disclaimer: i didn’t read the esquire article.)

    1. “Nobody who led it was ever removed from power, meaningfully punished, or lost funding.”

      I would like some sauce with that sweeping generalization, monsieur. 

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