Friday, October 4, 2013

Mind Games

So, I finally watched Pacific Rim this week at the dollar theater here in Birmingham, and if you haven’t seen it yet I make a suggestion to do so; especially if you like big robots, big monsters, and the idea of the two fighting each other for the fate of the planet.  If not, then you still might find it enjoyable.  Honestly, it has been a while since an intense part of a movie causes me to catch myself not breathing (although that could have had something to do with the theater we were in).

But the movie got me thinking about one of the aspects of it.

If you don’t know by now, the big robots are handled by two pilots who link minds with each other (not a spoiler since it’s revealed in the trailer).

I find this concept incredibly fascinating.  Having seen the movie I now find myself wondering what that would actually feel like to essentially mind meld with another human being through technology.  To experience all their emotions and memories that has led them up to this point in the blip of a couple of seconds.  How overwhelming would that be?  Would we be able to actually physically process that much information?  How strong is a bond that is made like this?

The most interesting aspect to me about it all is that the experience is very organic.  It is portrayed in the movie by flashes of memories, scenes from the individuals life, that pass by in a moment; some of which are much more vivid than others both in detail and content and it makes me think of all the other times I have seen a sci-fi movie or show that had something similar happen (Vulcan Mind Meld for example).  It got me thinking, permitting that it is even possible to see or read a mind in such a way, would it be possible to do so with technology?

A lot of advances have been made with the human study on the brain, but I can’t think of anything I have personally seen that would indicate that it is anything more than data points.  As of right now there isn’t really a way to attach some unobtrusive device to our heads and see images on a screen.  Do I think that we will ever get to a point when we could see images?  I think it is plausible but I’m not sure we’d ever reach the point where it is as clear as some of the things that have been represented by Hollywood.  Still it is fascinating to think of.

On the other side of things what would that be like to experience?  Think about it, two complete strangers come together who are found to be “compatible” through whatever rigmarole is deemed the appropriate steps for analysis, and are connected to each other’s minds via a metal coil.  In the background the countdown can be heard and anxiously they try to calm their minds and their bodies.  Suddenly, like the rushing wave of a tsunami each is engulfed in the endless sea of years of memories and emotions.  Everything that was ever thought, felt, experienced (everything) lay wide open for the other to experience as a memory as well.

How vulnerable would you feel?

How much trust would you have in the other person?

You would know this person so intimately that even that others romantic interest would be embarrassed of not knowing as much.

I think, because of the way humans are, that experiencing something like would develop a bond and relationship unlike any other.  It would be impossible to lie to one another even if you wanted to because it would be recognized so quickly.  I think it would also lead to what I’m going to call an echo imprint.  Essentially, once the mind has been touched there is evidence of it within that individual.  Whether personalities start to meld, or perhaps a way of speech, a part of you is left on the person and vice versa.  That has some profound, if not dangerous, implications.

What then becomes definition of identity with people who experience this consistently?  Do they even deal with identity or do they view themselves as a single entity in two bodies?  What are some negative effects this could have on the mind?

Who knows, at the moment I can only talk theoretically anyway.

Still I find it fascinating, and I think it was and intriguing idea to use.

What do you think?  What would this mean for someone like you?

Grace and Peace.

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