I Know You Did It...

Your brain told me so. A fascinating article about the concern over emerging technologies that map the brain and as a result can detect "guilty knowledge". Talk about opening up a gigantic can of ethical worms. A lot of the questions that leapt into my mind were penned in the article: "We could have pictures of everybody's head on file. Is that a good idea? Who would run it? How would you get access to such a thing? Somebody may say, 'I want to take a picture of my head to show you that I'm innocent, but it may cost something.' Will it be just a gimmick for the rich? Should we insist that everybody have fair access if it comes up for legal matters?"

A new branch of ethics, called neuroethics, is taking a front seat to see that society understands the implications of neuroscience and the new devices that it enables. In a related article, the authors of "Bioethics and the Brain" (from the June issue of IEEE Spectrum), voiced that the consequences of new technologies are hard to predict, however - "Even if we can never fully anticipate the impact of employing these technologies, it is important to try." I agree.


Gear Suit

Here is a nice peak into the future of the armed forces and their future gear melding into their unifrom as early as 2011. While I raise eyebrows at a helmet that covers the face for infantry, and mines that hop to new locations (aren't we trying to get rid of mines not make them smarter?), I am gung-ho for technology that could help to save lives, and improve the qaulity of living for our soldiers. Knowing that very often battlefield innovation finds it's way back to public life. | Full Story Here
Via Blogdex


Why make Whuffie?

The memorializing of The Flock of Seagulls and their song "I Ran" from a post on this blog I culled from the random links on Blogger.com reminds me of why I believe a real mechanism for Whuffie is necessary.
While royalties from music services like BMI and ASCAP are paid to some musicians, many never secured proper rights, and have whole underground followings but never know. A way to express ones appreciation in units without monitization could be truly useful.
I am getting the idea that such a system might be a labor of love and not a monetary venture.

Lisa Marie Presley gets auto whuffie for just being Elvis's daughter, additional sympathy whuffie for losing her dad to drugs at an early age, loses points for marrying Micheal Jackson, and divorcing Nicolas Cage. How does this help? Who decides, if anyone? Would Lisa's Whuffie get plinked automatically from Micheal's bad public whuffie?

If your like me you don't care about celebs'. Likely you don't share my enthusiasm for Flock of Seaguls. But what about the neighbor who comes and visits your old grandma and brings treats, kids and joy to her last years of life? She works as a waitress and you eventually move away. How do you quantify your appreciation? Traditionally it is through communication or deeds, but we, regardless of it being good or bad, in today's fast pace lifestyles demand new tools for human interaction. Whuffie could be such a tool.

While venture capitolists do not get wiggly about "labor of love" projects, home grown self motivated deals take time to come to realization. Someone would have to provide funding for such a venture at some point. Which is why many groups have went to the commercial models to provide income. They appear to be having some success in applying social software to business applications. (though true success will be measured in time.) I would like to believe that if you create something truly useful the cash will come. Then again maybe someone will just expand on your free labor and the cash will come to them.