Saturday, May 19, 2007

msb-0153 "Minority Report" Comes To Neurobiology

msb-0153 "Minority Report" Comes To Neurobiology


The music I'd picked out for this episode has completely changed since I started to write the script because I discovered music on the PMN (the Podsafe Music Network,) from "Digital Droo."

He used to fill my ears on many a lonely evening while I was coding away.

The tune "Gunga", which I'll play second, is a particular favorite of mine.

I just loved griding out code with Dr. Pepper filling my mouth and that kind of music filling my ears. (I'd shake the walls of the place with some of my music. [Its a miracle I haven't gone deaf.])

I have a much, much wider selection that the five "Digital Droo" tunes I'm about to regale us with on this episode, but the RIAA and ASCAP/BMI won't let me play any of it for you. Well, not without exacting their "pound of flesh".

----"Ari" by: "Digital Droo"

Feedback comes first, so...

I'm going to leave you alone for a week or so as I'm off to Florida for a good friend's daughter's wedding. (Be good now. :-)

Hopefully, I'll be bringing back a surprise for all of you.

---- "Gunga" by: "Digital Droo"

Feed Forward comes next, so...

Its your segment ... If you don't want to share, it means that I've got nothing to say. (Doh' I'm supposed to be "encouraging" you to write. I'm not sure that my saying 'that I've got nothing to say" is exactly the best way to do that, now is it?)

Drop an email to charles (at)

You can even say it yourselves through the widget on the left hand side of the page at

---- "Looking for a Sign" by: "Digital Droo"

Feed Me comes third, so...

Do you have a therapy, product, good or service that is of interest to MSers?

Consider advertising on this podcast.

Reminders on this segment only cost $0.03 per reminder per download of an episode. (A $30CPM targeted at MSers.)

It can/should lead to a full ad, in text, audio or video, which costs $3.00 per download.

That sounds expensive until you do the math and realize that if nobody downloads it it costs you nothing, unlike print, where you often can't even get an ad in to the specialized journals, or radio or TV where you'd just be wasting your money with the 0.0833% MSers rate of return. (That's about six times "below" the level of "statistical noise".)

But MSBPodcast is 100% in your market, and you only pay per download of your material.

No play, no pay.

Reach the MSers who would buy your therapy, product, good or service, with-out having to waste your advertising money on anyone who is "not" interested...

Send me an email at: charles (at)

---- "Rocket" by: "Digital Droo"

Main Topic: "Minority Report" Comes To Neurobiology

FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a fascinating technology and a fascinating field of research, but it also raises some rather disturbing issues when it comes to its application outside of the purely medical research environment.

I refer of course to the legal environment (the term "law" being derived from "legare" which is Latin for "choice" [the law is nothing but the choices we make, the compromise we reach, in order to stand together, or to stand each other, as a society.])

FMRI not only reveals the structure of the brain as an artifact, (I look at my MRI scans just for the wonder of it,) but it shows the brain as it actually works at given tasks, such as pondering things or reacting to stimuli.

This "reacting to stimuli" is the part that has the legal profession positively drooling.

FMRI has the potential to act as a "lie detector" because the presented stimuli and the reactions occur utterly outside the sphere of volitional control.

Ask a question and the answer from an FMRI "will" be the truth "before your mouth get to shape into words."

(Political debates would be a lot less popular with the candidates if said candidates knew that their responses were going to come out without any spin or any bull-shit.)

I bet you're thinking "Sweet ... No more lies when the truth matters."

---- "Minor Things" by: "Digital Droo"

Main Topic, part deux:

Yeah ... "Sweet" ... But that depends on what the FMRI reveals, and to whom.

I would hate to have my brain reveal its broken wiring at some crucial moment before my brain, which is used to interpreting the intent "through" the sclera, has a chance to rectify, correct and edit the responses to itself, uh, by itself.

I'd hate to think one thing, which would probably reveal itself as complete gibberish, and not have any recourse to being able to interpret it for a jury. (That would never be a jury of my peers in any normal situation. Where are the courts supposed to find twelve jurors with my specific configuration of sclera?)

Just some things to ponder while I'm in Florida.

---- "Code Monkey" by: "Jonathan Coulton"


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