Retro Thoughts

2037 words

The following collection of documents and document fragments was put together for an exhibition titled ‘Retro Thoughts: Brain Imaging Culture in Review’ at the National Museum of Humanities in 2076.

1: Speech Excerpt: “No Regrets”

Excerpt of a speech given to a government advisory panel by early brain imaging subject Ezra Marsden.

I’ve been invited here today to tell you all about my own personal experience of brain and body imaging technology. Before I get into that, it’s worth defining what that technology really is, what it has done for the human race and what it might still be able to offer us in the future.

Simply put, brain and body imaging technology has allowed us to scan and preserve not just the physical structure of a human brain at a moment in time, but also its conscious content, the mind or character of that person on that day, as well as the precise state of their body. Once scanned and stored in this way, the brain image can be copied, booted and executed on limitless runs just as we execute computer programs.

Since the inception of this technology, the scientific community has been able to build on it to produce brain image container scenes, running multiple brain images in a simulated environment including scans of real-world objects. The benefits of this technology to humankind have become manifest over the past few years, but we have only scratched the surface of what is possible.

I take pride in the words “I was imaged”, and pride in the fact that my own human experience has now been experienced far more than that of almost any other human being in history. We all get one chance to make our mark on the world, and I know for sure I’ve made mine.

2: CodeHub Repo: MidgeTools

MidgeTools (short for “image tools”) scanning and inclusion software for brain and body image container scenes (BICS or BBICS).

This package contains the MidgeScan object imaging tool with drivers for several commodity hardware scanners, and the MidgeInclude command line tool for importing scans into a brain image container scene.

Important note: the MidgeTools software is designed for scanning inert objects for inclusion in brain container scenes. It is not appropriate for scanning brain images or live organisms due to the fidelity requirements. Do not attempt to use MidgeScan to scan subject brain images, or to use MidgeInclude to include imaged brains into a container scene.

Install MidgeTools with easy_bics, and load it on to a hardware scanner (see driver availability here).

easy_bics install midgetools
easy_bics build . --target /dev/scanner514

You can find some pre-built objects in the /objects directory for inclusion in your scenes, including:

The full ima-ji set of common objects has not yet been finished, but an early version of the full set is available on the ima-ji-alpha-01 branch.

Certain brain image runs might integrate badly with certain objects and scenes, particularly when the fidelity is low.

You can try using the max scan fidelity to address this:

midgetools midgescan --fidelity=-1

3: Abstract of a Study in Journal of Applied Psychiatry, 2054

“Effectiveness of Brain Image Scenes for Rehabilitation of Recalcitrant Violent Offenders”

Common international practice for treatment of recalcitrant violent offenders involves a combined course of cognitive therapy and drug treatment during incarceration. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the effect of using brain and body image container scenes (both commonly abbreviated as BICS) as a form of extended therapy to treat violent offenders. We suggest that offenders able to use the BICS therapy to fully act out their violent fantasies, without causing harm to real-world victims, is associated with temporary reduction in real-world episodes of violence (EoV, as defined by the DSM-IX) over a 30 day period.

We found that creating the possibility of a tapered withdrawal from offenders’ tendency to violent behaviours was associated with a post-treatment decrease in real-world episodes of violence over a 30 day period of 94% (95% CI 73 to 99). A single session of cathartic release therapy using the BICS instance was associated with a reduction in EoV over a 30 day period of 85% (95% CI 76 to 91). The effect on likelihood of violent behaviour on a given day peaked at 26-29 days post treatment. Comparable reductions in more severe cases of recalcitrant violent behaviour were not achieved, despite repeated courses of the treatment therapy using the same brain images and container scene.

Standard “off-the-shelf” brain images were used to create the BICS instance used for each course of cathartic release therapy. We speculate that using brain images of individuals known to the offender, and of greater emotional significance to them, might allow a stronger cathartic treatment effect to be achieved. With the introduction of the Personality Rights of Imaged Brains Act 2054, this would require permission of the image holder for commercial use if offered by a private medical provider, although personal use of images acquired by patients themselves would fall outside the remit of this law.

4: CodeHub Repo: MidgeTools, fork by user scanmania26

If you tried increasing the fidelity of your object scans as described in the main branch README, you can try this fork which I got working for a better reaction from brain images in some cases.

With this fork you can try reducing the fidelity of the whole brain container scene, including the brain image/s within it, as lower fidelity brain images tend to be less likely to comprehend the diminished reality, or to panic in response to it:

midgetools midgescan --rebuild --fidelity=0.2 --image=c943-2037-02-19.brnimg

Lowering the fidelity like this can result in visual and audio artefacts in the scene, which can be disruptive to the brain images in your scene. Re-trying the scans can help with this. I found running and testing several brain container scenes in parallel made it quicker to identify the less disturbed versions. YMMV!

I’ve been using this fork to produce brain & body container scenes to practice emergency situations in surgery and trial some new ideas I have about anaesthesiology techniques, with some success. Hope it can help you in your project, too.

5: Section of Alex Patterson’s Autobiography

The Invention of Spatially and Temporally Remote Viewing

The 21st century saw the invention of many influential technologies that led to the betterment of mankind. Much hyperbole has been written about my own meagre contribution to that number, and I’m grateful for the reader’s indulgence in letting me write my own account of it here.

Whilst early speculation that wormhole technology might be used to transport physical mass between arbitrary points in the spacetime continuum has so far met disappointment, the ability to amplify a section of the electromagnetic spectrum in that way has nonetheless had significant implications for our scientific progress.

Firstly, it has enabled us to see the light of other places instantaneously and at ever-decreasing cost, enabling whole new industries of communication, monitoring and surveillance to flourish. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it has enabled us to see the light of other times. In other words, our technology has given us the power to reproduce electromagnetic waves both spatially and temporally. We can view anywhere and any-when, at least in the past.

As the reader most likely knows, this has already had profound implications for every society on our home planets. You can easily go and watch me write this paragraph “live”, to give a trivial example. I will never forget the moment I realised, as I brought the new technology to fruition, that countless wave-tourists from across time and space must have been watching me in that moment. I have since become one of them. The impact on the legal and political fields make for decidedly less benign examples, to say nothing of the myriad other cascading effects on our lives.

I am aware that it did not take long before the technology my team and I brought into the world was subsequently combined with the invention of brain and body imaging (BBI). The BBI technology works by reading electromagnetic waves as signals about physical structure (not entirely dissimilar to the principle behind old-fashioned passive radar that has since been obsoleted). Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your moral stance, this means that it is possible to perform brain and body image scans through a spatial and temporal transfer. We can image the brain of any person in any place from any time.

“Personality Rights of Imaged Brains, aka ‘The Celeb Sim-Sex Case’”

In summary, I would advise that an application be made on Ms Wade’s behalf to continue proceedings as an infringement of personality rights law on the grounds that the information Mr Smith was selling to clients for so called “sim session” purposes can not be regarded as public domain at the time at which he was selling it, regardless of the ubiquity of the brain and body image data in question.

Intercepting and decoding brain imaging data remotely may be relatively commonplace but nonetheless requires sophisticated hardware and software. Even if it is commonplace for members of the general public to trade brain and body images made of themselves, members of the general public do not typically mistakenly assume that personality rights law as commonly understood does not apply to likenesses of others acquired without their knowledge.

Mr Smith’s objection that consent for use of the images was acquired without duress cannot be considered valid, as this consent, whilst indeed apparently acquired without duress, was acquired from one of a multitude of attempted re-runs of the images in a so-called “ground hog day” strategy.

7. Classified Ad

“I will image anyone you want for $400”

I have decent quality remote wave and brain and body imaging hardware plus the software and knowledge to use it. Give me a name and time and location if it’s not someone famous and I’ll give you whatever brain and body scan of them you want. Price is $400 by anonymous cryptocoin. No haggling no questions asked by me or by you.

8: CodeHub Repo: MidgeTools, fork by user scripter9b7f

A new fork since the last one got removed by mods. Let’s see how long this one lasts.

You know what you’re here for. Fork of MidgeTools with some “fun factor”.

Pre-built object images included here:

(I tried to get the komodo to behave properly but MidgeTools isn’t great at scanning animals, kinda cool anyway).

Also a couple of pre-built environments for you and your guests to try:

Get yourself a nice brain / body image or two and have some fun.

9. YouImage Comment Section on “Images of some medieval peasant guy”

2021cactus: Man these medieval peasant people had way more messed up thoughts than I imagined. Go to the memory analysis at around 13.0000046538 years.

butterops6: Ew!!!

spidermanfornow: @2021cactus ur not exactly normal urself, every1 check out teh brain img i got of @2021cactus, link is bics.hub/7887ee7a.brnimg, mem analysis at 16.0000098711 years is like wth

Basin79: @2021cactus what is wrong with u??!!

2021cactus: WTF!

10. News article excerpt: Take-down notices served to Midge Bay

The operators of the popular dark site “Midge Bay”, which is used for sharing brain and body images of dubious origin, have been served with a DMCA+ take-down notice.

Despite the bulk of content on the popular sharing site being images of ordinary people both present and historical, the DMCA+ take-down is only concerned with the illegal distribution of commercial images of certain celebrities which are legally owned by the claimant, Image Corp.

When he heard about the DMCA+ notice, Oliver Bunde, one of the site’s original founders, was not impressed.

“It’s obvious Image Corp and the DMCA team don’t care about anything else, just raking in the cash off the brain images they own. That’s all this is about. Their claims about privacy protection are bullshit.”

“Of course Midge Bay got hold of some nice images of some folks from Image Corp and the DMCA+ enforcement team – maybe we won’t put them up on the site if everyone can play nicely with us.”