The symbiosis of the brain / mind and artificial intelligence will give rise to a new humanity, a kind of ´super-humanity´.
Brain-machine communication will allow that the cognitive capabilities of human beings will be enhanced, giving rise to the first augmented humans. Connected brains will lead to powerful synthetic telepathy technologies making it possible to not only to read other person’s thoughts, but also manipulate them. But where what are the potential benefits and pitfalls of these new technologies?
Neuro – technologies are about to cause a radical social shift that will change our understanding of the inner self and our very conception of reality. Neuro – rights will be foremost, necessitating regulations that guarantee the privacy of our conscious or even subconscious thoughts.
Mind Forward explores the frontiers of this brave new world.
Eminent Monsters traces the roots of western governments love affair with torture.
In 1950s Montreal Scottish born psychiatrist Dr. Ewen Cameron experimented on his patients, using sensory deprivation, forced comas and LSD injections. Covertly funded by the Canadian government and the CIA, his techniques have been used in Northern Ireland, Guantánamo and 27 countries around the world.
Including extraordinary first hand testimony from Guantanamo survivors, the Hooded Men from Northern Ireland and senior American psychologists and military personnel, Eminent Monsters shows how the collusion of doctors to aid and abet torture began in the 1950s and continues to this day.
At the age of 52 and suffering from terrible chronic back pain, Victor D’Altorio decided to end his life.
Victor was a proud homosexual, a lover of life, honest, and outrageous. As an acting teacher of the Meisner technique for 20 years, he was committed to living in the moment, and accepting all that that had to offer, however painful it may be. But after fighting bone marrow cancer into remission he found himself with debilitating degenerative disc disorder in his neck and back, and he could not deny the pain that he was in or the dim prospects of relief. His personal commitment to truth and honesty made him despise the idea of suicide in the traditional sense. He simply could not cause that pain to the ones he loved. He decided to tell everyone (via his blog) that he was going to kill himself. This is the starting point for our story.
Over the next five months together we see Vic soaking in the tub in pain, making sex jokes, yelling at the cameraman, crying over his deceased partner, teaching eager new students, wavering on the big choice, and bonding with Brendan, the film maker. During this time, Brendan’s mission changes. He stops being simply the filmmaker asking why, and becomes a close friend trying to change Victor’s mind. Brendan puts together an acting class for Victor to teach to remind him of the life he once loved living, he teams with other students to produce the play that Victor had written, he does all he can to convince his new friend and mentor to stick around.
At the age of 19 Samuel Stefan, consumed by crisis, was drawn into a cult. It would be 10 years before he was able to escape.
Using a technique called ‘love-bombing’ cults prey on the vulnerable, recruiting new members with love and warmth. After a period of brain-washing, members are forbidden to leave, enslaved through psychological control, and in Samuel’s case, even violence. He was finally able to escape in the dead of night, persued by other members and seek help.
Cult Witness is an intelligent exploration of how cults attract and manipulate their followers, sharing the disturbing firsthand experiences of Cult Witness director Samuel Stefan and six others who have freed themselves from cults: Jill Mytton (The Exclusive Brethren), Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey (The Gentle Wind Project), Lea Saskia Laasner (The Janus Project), and Celeste Jones and Amoreena Winkler (The Children of God).
Analytical insights into the cult experience are provided by leadership expert Betty Sue Flowers; Benjamin Zablocki, chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University; UCLA Professor Emeritus Bertram Raven, an expert on interpersonal influence and social power relationships; psychotherapist Miguel Perlado, who specializes in cult-related problems; and Urs Eschmann, a specialist in legal issues involving cults.
Cult Witness unravels the hidden world of cults; the hold they have on their victims, the reasons people form and fall prey to them and what takes place within..