- U.S. News
- World News
- Latin America
- Middle East
- First Nations
- From Our Files
- Classic Essays
- Vintage Mencken
- Vintage Mercury
- Social Science
“Psychics” at the Pentagon?
Published by Malcolm P. Shiel on April 28, 2010
by M.P. Shiel
ACCORDING to Wired magazine, the Pentagon just spent $4,000,000 to learn how to read our minds. (Er, I mean read “the enemy’s” minds! And we do seem to have a lot of enemies these days.) Leaving aside the question of just why anyone who could truly read minds would have any need of something so crude as weapons, this is pretty scary stuff if there’s any truth to it.
‘Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other’s minds.
‘At least, that’s the hope of researchers at the Pentagon’s mad-science division Darpa. The agency’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to “allow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.” That’s on top of the $4 million the Army handed out last year to the University of California to investigate the potential for computer-mediated telepathy.
‘Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.
‘The project has three major goals, according to Darpa. First, try to map a person’s EEG patterns to his or her individual words. Then, see if those patterns are generalizable — if everyone has similar patterns. Last, “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.”…
Last year, the National Research Council and the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report suggesting that neuroscience might also be useful to “make the enemy obey our commands.”…
Earlier I said that this is pretty scary stuff if there’s any truth to it. Upon deeper consideration, I’ve decided that it’s very unlikely there’s any truth to it at all. Forcing people to “obey our commands”? Come on. More likely, all this “psychic combat” “research” is nothing but a racket; a con game that illustrates for us a sycophantic relationship between not-too-bright military bureaucrats carving out a comfortable niche for themselves, and clever “contractors” who have figured out a way to cut themselves in on a slice of the biggest military budget ever seen on planet Earth. (Currently, the U.S. military budget is nearly the size of all the other military budgets in the world combined.)
Since no is really minding the store (it’s “unpatriotic” to notice when our war machine is misused for evil purposes, and “anti-Semitic” — even if you’re Jewish — to notice that Zionists and neocons use our men as cannon fodder) — a large part of this huge sum is bound to find its way into the pockets of crooks. Better them than warmongers, I suppose.
US News »
April 26, 2013
by Keith Johnson WAS SLAIN Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamarlin Tsarnaev (pictured) coerced, blackmailed or manipulated by Mossad agents posing as FBI agents? Mark Glenn and the crew over at The Ugly Truth have produced a series of radio broadcasts making a compelling argument that he was: TUT Broadcast April 20, 2013 The Victory Hour […]
January 3, 2013
by T.R. Bennington AS EVER, BUT ESPECIALLY in our present state of civilizational malaise, there is a need for figures with the power to inspire — men who in less confused and cynical times would have been unabashedly described as heroic. One such figure is Corporal John Alan Coey, a young soldier who has perhaps […]
March 2, 2015
“DOES the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?” If you answered the latter, you’re among a quarter of Americans who also got it wrong, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation. A survey of 2,200 people that was released Friday revealed some alarming truths about […]
Login / Register / RSS
February 12, 2015
LUCY STONE: Pioneer of Woman’s Rights, by Alice Stone Blackwell; Boston: Little, Brown & Company; reviewed by H.L. Mencken IF THIS biography is a shade partial the fact is surely not surprising, for Miss Blackwell is not only Lucy Stone’s daughter but also a firm believer in all of the reforms that she advocated, excluding, […]
October 19, 2014
by T.R. Bennington FOR ANY political movement that seeks eventual ascendancy, it is incumbent to engage in regular bouts of self-analysis. As a casual but sympathetic observer of the so-called far-right, I have compiled a list of what I believe to be some of the tactical errors and misconceptions made and held respectively by many […]
Arts, Film, Literature »
May 6, 2012
Selected Writings of Pauline Kael; Library of America, 2011 Pauline Kael: Alone in the Dark; Brian Kellow, Viking Adult, 2011 by Ron Capshaw FOR CONSERVATIVES, PAULINE KAEL IS notorious for her much-quoted comment about her astonishment that Nixon won the 1972 election since “everyone I know voted for McGovern.” Despite this prime example of the liberal […]