This is one of those articles I think nearly everyone I know sent me, and in my trawling, I found it myself. And it bears pondering very carefully: can we, via technology and careful neurophysiological mapping, actually image the brain to the degree that we can control, in a detailed fashion, its thoughts and dreams?
Well, according to this article, we can....well, at least, we can in the case of lab rats:
One can, as with so many emerging techniques and technologies, imagine two moral paths and applications: one good, one evil. On the good side, we have the potential here that this technology could be developed to the point where, during sleep, human memories could be enhanced to remember particular details that we want to remember, for a test, for a difficult project at work, for daily tasks and errands. If you're like me, you write things down in your daily "to do" book, or, perhaps for the more internet-sophisticated, use some form of online computerized calendar that mails you those helpful email reminders that you've got to be at such a place for an appointment. If you're like me and deal with lots of emails on a daily basis, such things aren't all that helpful...and, if you're like me, you forget to look in your date-book to remind yourself what to do, then you write yourself another post-it note...well...you get the picture. Frankly, if such a technology were available cheaply I'd certainly plug in while I sleep just to be able to remember what to do.
But there is a very dark side to the potentials of this technology, and I only need remind people of the MKULTRA mind-control program of the CIA, nor of the hideous torture performed by one of its experts, Dr. Ewan Cameron, on his "patients" (victims, in the proper sense). This "technique" included cocktails of psychedelic drugs, sleep deprivation, or, conversely, days of continuous induced sleep. When we add to this the known technologies that can influence - from a distance and via electromagnetic waves - human mental and emotional states, then the potential here becomes very dark, for during the suggestibility of sleep, one could be "programmed" as it were, without even being aware of it, while one slept.
Would "they" do that to us? Well, I suspect your view of "them" is probably the same as mine: they're slugs. And "they" view "us" as so much lab rats in their global laboratory. But, we can also relax in a certain sense, because as soon as the technology goes public - as eventually it will - there will be those who will invent the "dream modification preventer" which can be yours for a few quid, and you can sleep the sound sleep of the unmodified-dreams-just, and we'll be right back where we started.
See you on the flip side.