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Friday, December 02, 2005

Eraserhead given new meaning

Believe it or not, but neuroscientists have unlocked the secrets behind memory, making it possible for them to erase memories from the recent past. Crazy, but true...and very scary. They also believe long term memory could be targeted and erased as well with more research. This research is being done under the guise of a cure for things like PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. Whatever.

I know that PTSD can be paralysing and destructive, but I think moving forward in this area is a very dangerous and slippery slope to travel. Maybe I am just a touch too paranoid, but what happens if let's say our government decides to use this technology on critics and dissidents? What about other opressive regimes? And, even on a more basic level, what happens to someone - to life and the value and meaning it has to us if we can just erase the pain? Will it kill our culture? Will we, in effect, by "curing" fear and mental anguish destroy the human spirit? Is it all worth it?