Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Relax, you’re safe with bad thoughts on your mind

I don’t want to worry you, but reports suggest top boffins are on the brink of being able to read our minds.

Yes, I can see you're worried already. Let's face it, our first concern is that we might be thinking about something rude. Or we could be harbouring anti-social thoughts: “I'd like to pee in my neighbour's hat.”

When you read the story further, it turns out that all the boffins can do is extrapolate information from brainwave activity monitored on a computer screen. They don't actually read your thoughts in the way that, for example, you have just read this sentence (see, I'm on to you already).

In experiments, they got volunteers to watch videos and were able to put together images of, for example, a skyline or a man in a white shirt. But it didn't tell them much.

They might examine your bonce and say: “We're getting something here about a hat and a waterfall.” The other thing to bear in mind is that you have to sit still while they zap your napper with their sinister laser beams. You can put them off the case by bobbing about and whistling manically.

Still, it's a scary thought, isn't it? It won't matter much to decent, law-abiding citizens. With some of my mates, you could point your laser beam for hours and get nothing but a football and a keg of ale. But it's you lads planning to micturate on the millinery who'll have to watch out.

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