To the modern world the idea of collective consciousness is a common idea, given a tool like the internet. With it we can share ideas and collaborate on projects almost at the speed that we can imagine them. Once they've been filtered down through the organic hardware of our brain and through our nervous system and into motor control signals that manipulate our hands into moving a mouse or typing keys on a keyboard, the information contained in the mouse movements and keystrokes are turned into a collection of electrical switches that contain the information content, and in turn are modulated into an analog carrier through a wire or over the airwaves and go through the reverse process on the receiving end. All of that happens in a couple of seconds.
A thought occurs somewhere in the brain or somewhere else in extradimensional space with the brain acting as a "thought receiver". It then goes through a complicated series of electrical signals and nerve impulses to become manifest where it most often translates to an interaction of some kind with an object. That object is used to convey that thought to someone else in the material world. That thing might store the thought for later retrieval by the recipient of the thought as in a paper note that is left on a door, or might convey the thought instantly as in the case of speech.
What if we could bypass that whole process of translating a thought into a series of actions which affect the material world in a way that represents the thought to direct conveyance of the thought itself, or the contents of the mind from one mind to another. The model for how our conscious mind uses the "hardware" of the brain to store and retrieve information works with our conscious mind acting as a kind of magnifying glass (our concentration) with access to the various parts of mind. Those parts might be cumulative cognition (the sum of our perception and senses for a particular immediate experience), recent memory and long-term memory. Such facilities in our mind are accessed by our conscious mind in serial, that is our conscious mind allows us to focus on one thing at a time whether we are solving a problem or remembering an experience. We might be driving a car and our concentration would safely be focused on our cumulative cognition. If we were dialing a phone number that we had previously looked up in a phone book, our concentration would be recalling from our recent memory. If we were relaxing on the couch and listening to music which reminded us of something we had experienced a long time ago while listening that same music, our concentration would be on our long-term memory.
If our conscious process works via electrical impulses that stimulate the various parts of our brain through electro-chemisty, then Maxwell's Laws of Electromagnetism must apply and that is that a current passing through a conductive medium produces an electromagnetic field, and an electromagnetic field passing through a conductor produces current. Now if we take two brains, each functioning on the same principles but perhaps with a little bit of a different structure that is based upon the adaptive growth of neural conduits, it may be possible for one brain to intercept the thoughts of another via Maxwell's laws as the electromagnetism produced by one brain would trigger the other brain to produce currents from the electromagnetic information contained therein. Each of the brains thoughts would produce an electromagnetic field that would contain the sum information of the electro-chemical process required to process that thought. Therefore the possibility exists that each one of two such brains could reinterpret the thoughts of the other by reproducing the current in the receiving brain via the electro-magnetic emanations of the sending brain.
Assuming this to be the case we could then look at models on how one person could retrieve thoughts like looking up information in a computer from another via cognitive steering. Cognitive steering works by the use of suggestion, that is by one person saying a particular word to another person, a thought is evoked and our conscious mind reflexively focuses on the recall of a memory. In this way, one person could with enough experience and given enough such suggestions perform a whole series of lookups in the brain of another person. Such words in this case are like sounds or smells that remind one of a particular experience or memory and focus our "magnifying glass" on the particular part of our mind required to access that experience. By cross referencing the results of such lookups, one could form a complex model (a reference model) based upon another person's thought process and associative analysis, that is knowing what thoughts and memories are associated with what words and how they collectively form a pattern. In this sense, it would be akin to looking up information on a search engine, with different keywords producing different results.
Each time, the person doing the lookup would likely be receiving the current focus of the allegorical magnifying glass in the other person's mind. This magnifying glass would likely be required of the person doing the lookup as it would be needed to do the translation and accomodate the differences in brain structure between two people. The conscious focus is an abstract feature of the mind that would be common in most minds and therefore would likely be the window through which a person performing a lookup on another person would peer through to be able to perceive the translation of thought of the subject's brain.
Unfortunately for the person whom is being used in this way, this whole process might be somewhat invasive, if not ultimately so if done against the permission of the person whose brain was being used as an organic search engine. Someone who is vulnerable to such an activity could be said to be susceptible. The person who is susceptible might seek to protect themselves with something similar to a firewall (although it would not go so far to simplify the brain to being anything like a classical computer as it is far more complex). Such a firewall against intrusion using suggestion would require someone to exercise their conscious will in such a way that when someone tried to use suggestion to perform a lookup, their conscious mind (or the magnifying glass part) wouldn't automatically jump off to the activity of recalling an experience or memory. To do so, someone might try constant exercises to keep their conscious mind at the wheel at all times and not let themselves drift off into autopilot, a semi-conscious state where they would be susceptible to attempted lookups.
In such a premise, where people's thoughts were retrievable by merely finding the "brain address" (web address?) and then performing a lookup, there would most certainly be much mental noise like radio station static that someone attempting lookups from someone else would have to first navigate to find the person whose signal they were looking up from. This means that to find the connection to the person they were looking up from, they would first have to drop a series of suggestions in the open and look for a candidate amongst the results, that is the people whose brains automatically performed the lookup when the person dropped the suggestion. By using suggestions in a series based upon the reference model for that person's mind, the person doing the lookups could attune specifically to the mind they were looking for. This is somewhat akin to the analogy of the Voight-Kampf examination from the movie Blade Runner although this test was geared to finding artificial humans or replicants that lacked or imitated conscious process rather than those trying to conceal it.
It is therefore in this noise that would be the best place for someone to protect themself against such an intrusion, and would be akin to hiding in a crowd. To train oneself to do so, they would have to train themself to break the rules of word association in such a way that when someone else dropped a suggestion, a completely unrelated thought emerged, or no discernible thought amongst the "thought" background noise. A person with this capability could be said to have a stealth mind. Training oneself to this would take a considerable amount of time and effort, but the effort would be worth it. When not in a crowd though, such a mind might attract attention from those attempting to perform lookups, as they would most certainly get suspicious when they encountered a mind with no response.
Therefore breaking one's associative memory would have to occur in such a way that the associations would in fact retrieve decoy memories or experiences, that would have a relationship to the context of the lookup, but provide no real clues or information that would be useful for someone attempting such lookups. Such a person would require the association to be flexible enough to change it on the fly so as to accommodate associative interpretation of experience when it would be beneficial and switch back to dissociative interpretation in order to remain hidden. Computer software could most certainly help in training someone to gain the ability to switch between associative and dissociative thought so that contextual pattern could not be derived from the results of such lookups by an invasive person.
We will explore some other possibilities in this paradigm in order to understand the hypothetical risks there are if such a theory were proven true.
© Copyright 2012 Brian Joseph Johns