Woa! Telepathic Thoughts, A Computer Inside his Skull, A Computer for your Eyes, and Wiring your Brain. PBS recently premiered pilot series “22nd Century” which dives first hand into the intriguing theory of the wired brain with some fascinating examples in our current society! If you have an hour, this is a must watch video for some serious questioning, inspiration, and mystifying wonder. (thanks Alycia!)
Watching this show, I began to drift back to my high school English class, discussing Lord of the Flies. Is man innately evil or innately good? If we could all share all of our thoughts and feelings would it homogenize us? Or would it homogenize most, while leaving some open to manipulation and others desirous of control? Unfortunately, I think the latter.
More specifically, I donâ€™t think humans really want a peaceful utopia. As the philosopher Maxine Greene says, you can never know freedom until you find your limit. If you are never tested, you are not free.
I think that itch to know more makes us human. It leads to positive and negative thingsâ€”which hopefully balance out.
The show really got me thinking, especially once I realized this wasnâ€™t science fiction, but actual research. Itâ€™s baffling, frightening and awesome in its truest sense.
However, I would have liked to know what the qualifications of your â€˜expertsâ€™ are. I think a few philosophers would have been better. You could have a really strong debate here, so the showâ€™s lack of intellectual depth was disappointing.
I also thought the â€˜guestsâ€™ were cheesy and over-simplified. The script could have had more interesting exchanges. For example, imagine Huxley saying that connecting to the World Wide Mind, were it possible, does not conclude that people would be able to experience and truly understand other people. Assuming that oneâ€™s thoughts and feelingsâ€”our minds themselvesâ€”are simply electrical impulses and, thus up/downloadable, is inconclusive. Personally, I disagree. Not to say that â€œplugging inâ€ wouldnâ€™t raise the possibilities for more accurate communication, but it wouldnâ€™t necessarily make â€˜the objective selfâ€™ up/downloadable. â€œIâ€ wouldnâ€™t be on the WWM, just some of my thoughts or maybe some feelings. However, I imagine someone, maybe your 22nd century guest, could disagreeâ€”and that would have been a more interesting exchange (script).
Thank you for the show. In an age where the availability to learn, and be inspired to think philosophically, from a television show is rare, I am gracious that PBS is still committed to creating programs like this.