Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mind Over Matter (coming this Christmas!)

A great article at heralds the release of new toys that run on "mind control over matter." Here's the link: Brain Wave of the Future.

Surely this is The Next Big Thing. It addresses the age-old conundrum of mental/physical duality, and by Xmas it'll be on the shelves of Toys 'R' Us (for ages 8 and up). Here's the gist: you attach an electrode to your forehead, it reads your level of concentration, and translates it to levitation of a ping-pong ball.

Think of the possibilities. The new technology is a likely cure for ADHD and senility, and will allow paralyzed people to control appliances with their minds. But why stop there?

Consider all the spiritual/religious groups that hold up super-concentrated states (meditation, contemplation, prayer, etc) as The Goal. Their Spiritual Leaders make unsubstantiated claims about achieving one-pointedness, and demand blind faith in their abilities. Now we have a technological solution, a way to actually quantify who's got the best concentration.

Think of Yoga cults, where Swamis claim superior God-realization. Why not subject them to the test, and make them surrender their seats to anyone who can levitate ping-pong balls higher? Or when a Dalai Lama dies... why make the Lamas go through that tiresome process of seeking his reincarnation? They can just hold a contest to measure mind-over-matter skills, and declare the winner as Supreme Meditator.

When Benedict XVI dies, I'd like to see the College of Cardinals all hooked up to electrodes, and the ping-pong balls will reveal how intense their prayers really are. Wouldn't that be a more efficient way to select the next Pope? Put it on pay-per-view, and maybe the Vatican can pay off some legal bills.

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