Mind-reading Utopia

Mind-reading, or mind-decrypting, is a prominent feature in many post-human scenarios, particularly the more science-fiction heavy postulates.

From the symbols of tyrannic subjugation that are the pods in The Matrix, the escapist memory-pods in Fallout, Dr. Xavier’s enhancing Cerebro in X-men, to the ability to ”mind-write” that we see in Inception, the ability to decrypt, translate, read, or write signals from the brain are a central part of any scenario.

For that reason, I have chosen a paper by Nishimoto et al. (2011) , wherein they explain how they’ve succeded in decrypting signals from the occipitotemporal cortex (action perception and knowledge), and correctly matching those signals with a movie the subject was watching – the first decryption of moving imagery, rather than static pictures.

Could it be the birth of any of the above? If we know how to interpret, we will most likely know how to instigate (e.g. Transcranial magnetic stimulation)
If they unlock not only vision, but memory – if not all faculties – then can we look forward to a not-so-boring utopia, where we are free to construct fantastical, mundane, anarchic, or extraordinary lives for ourselves to live through?

Would it birth ”oneiropolitical” thought? Rather than the preservation of life or production (both being meaningless in most utopian scenarios), would politics become centered around the perpetuation of a utopia, of staving off boredom – keeping the dream alive, so to speak?
Who gets to dream and when, what limits are there to the dreams, and perhaps most interestingly, what kind of fail-safes would there be?
Indeed, to parrot Elon Musk, how would we know we aren’t already simply escaping tedious utopian lives?

Nishimoto, S., Vu, A. T., Naselaris, T., Benjamini, Y., Yu, B., & Gallant, J. L. (2011). Reconstructing visual experiences from brain activity evoked by natural movies. Current Biology, 21(19), 1641-1646.

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