Neuroeconomics: Another researcher cash cow?
Picked up this NYT story from TBP at unbillable'. It is about scientists studying brain response while making economic transactions. While I think study of human behavior is a great way for society to work out problems, I am skeptical about authorative brain studies and their conclusions. For example; the whole left brain/right brain theory has been adopted through some research programs and a number of books as fact. But if you look into it's opponents, there is still too much we do not know about the brain. There are even those who claim it is pseudoscience or psychoheresy. Today's power construct uses science to control people. Labels are a great way to to categorize and thus control them. Unfortunately, people are too diverse, too subject to change, to neatly fit those labels. (Read this interview with MIT's Steven Pinker author of Blank Slate') This is why socially most people recognize psychology, yet personally most of us belive much of it to be bunk. Essentially what I am saying is that witch hunting, and the beliefs like the 'world is flat' and 'flies come from trash', that used to come from yesterday's social leaders and scientists, are still here today, just hidden behind more acceptable yet less obvious terms. Producing studies to explain the obvious makes dumb people think you are smart.
For example look at the NYT article which states:
"Expectations alter economic experience. It feels better to get nothing when you expect $10 compared to getting nothing when you expect $90, researchers say. "
It took how many tax dollars, how much time and resources to figure that one out? Duh. If your like me you see the steady stream of scientific research that confirms what most of us assume is common sense. While granted there is some value in confirming certain theories scientifically, it doesn't take a Harvard degree to figure some of this stuff out.
Vanguardism aside, the "creative side of my brain" takes the story to it's potential Orwellian result: A hive of cloned Allan Greenspans all neural-netted into the NY stock exchange and government financial institutions instinctively making real-time adjustments. Neuroeconimic testing for applicants at stock agencies and venture capitalist companies that weed out those with "bad judgement". Resulting in a homogenized, sterile and inhuman environment already dominated by shark-like inhumanity (sorry Tim). Ultimately creative thinkers will be viewed as "criminal", then jailed and "disposed of" to "protect society". Sounds way out? Well think about it. Society already has a natural aversion to change and authoritarian environments already reward obedience and conformity, so who are we to think that technology and knowledge will not be used to further this behavior? Our only hope is for Neo to help humanity to escape the Matrix!