Hello fellow Sunday sufferers. If you’re anything like me, you won’t have gone for brunch or had a cycle round the river, or gone and bought the weekend paper and a latte at 8am. You’re probably still in your pyjamas, lying on the couch with all the conceivably required remotes within arms reach, reading a true crime novel and sipping a cheeky chardonnay.
I hate to throw your Sunday routine into disarray, but I’ve got some news: Australian researchers have developed a spooky technology that reads your thoughts and speaks them out loud for you:
I shit you not. Of course this is brilliant news for the many thousands of people with paralysis and various other conditions that makes communication impossible. I applaud the researchers. But at the same time, I’m slightly concerned about where this could head.
The last thing in the world that would be good for anyone is for my (and your) innermost thoughts broadcast to a wider audience. In the course of living alone for many years I have developed an incredibly bad habit of talking to myself out loud. ANd yes, that has been embarassing on occasion. When I’m driving, I like to pretend I have someone on the phone on loudspeaker as I discuss with myself what I need to get done that day, rant about things that went wrong and pretend I am being interviewed by Parkinson on my long, varied and interesting career. No really, I actually do that.
But if my inner monologue was broadcast to the wider public, let’s say at work, it would go kinda like this:
“Fuck I hate that woman. Why does she have to do that? She has crap hair and that cardigan is rubbish.”
“I need a cup of tea. Who left their fucking food in the microwave? Jesus I hate it when people make comments about my lunch. It makes me want to throw it in their face.”
“Fuck, I hate my job. If that fucking phone rings one more time I’ll stab someone. Who would I stab first? Probably that guy. If we were in a hostage situation, who would I try and save? Not him, that’s for sure. He could die and I’d get some kind of flesh wound and then I could sell my story. I’d get time off too. Paid probably. WHy doesn’t someone ever call in a bomb threat to this office? Why?”
“WHy does the fucking cleaner always have to clean the toilet at 11am? It makes no sense.”
“Oh god, woman working in the cafe, I hate you. I really really hate you. Are you like this all the time or do you go home and cut yourself? I fucking would if I were you.”
And that’s a slightly edited sample. Let’s hope these researchers use their power for good instead of bad. Please don’t go all Brave New World / 1984 on us. *Unless you start dishing out Soma and fix me up with a scent-organ, in which case, knock yourself out.
*This is a nerdy literary reference. You should really read both books if you haven’t cos they are ace.