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2004 Cognitive Liberty News

Top Cognitive Liberty News |  December 2004

CCLE Contributes Comments to
United Nation's International Bioethics Commission

The CCLE contributed written comments to guide the UN's draft of a Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics in incorporating freedom of thought protections.  The CCLE stressed the need to incorporate clear wording that protects brain privacy, autonomy and choice.
Read this and other Top News for December


Top Cognitive Liberty News |  November 2004

Debate: Cognitive Enhancement and Human Dignity

Washington D.C.

Wrye Sententia, co-director of the CCLE, addressed members of the President's Council on Bioethics at a national bioethics conference in Washington, D.C. concerning their October 2003 Report,  Beyond Therapy:  Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Read this and other November Top News

Top Cognitive Liberty News |  October 2004

Revolutionary Minds!
CCLE's Richard Glen Boire Named One of Eighteen "Revolutionary Minds Redefining Science."
>> Read this and other October Top News


September 28, 2004
A digest of the most important and interesting recent cognitive liberty news, including:

  • CCLE in the News: two articles in the current issue of Reason

>>Read more

August 25, 2004
A digest of the most important and interesting recent cognitive liberty news, including:

  • Director of The Corporation spotted in Cognitive Liberty T-Shirt!
  • Articles: "The 'Just Say No' Shot"; "Technology vs. Torture"; "Monkeys test 'hardworking gene'"

>> Read more

August 10, 2004
A digest of the most important and interesting recent cognitive liberty news, including:

  • Back issues of the Journal of Cognitive Liberties for sale at reduced prices! >> Buy now
  • In the News: Articles on Pharmacotherapy drugs including,
    "New Ways to Loosen Addiction's Grip" & "Children to get jabs against drug addiction"

>> Read more

July 21, 2004
A digest of the most important and interesting recent cognitive liberty news, including:

  • new volunteer forum at Judges Against the Drug War
  • Wrye in Psychology Today
  • Richard on Canadian radio
  • In the News: "Brain implants 'read' monkey mind" and "Magnetic therapy for depression enter widespread trials"

>> Read more

July 1, 2004
Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War

A 50-page policy report released by the non-profit Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics warns that the war on drugs may be about to enter a new era “that expands the drug war battlefield from the Colombian coca farms and the Middle Eastern poppy fields, to a new terrain directly inside the bodies and brains of drug users.” The report is the first comprehensive and critical analysis of ‘pharmacotherapy,’ the use of new medications designed to block the effects of illegal drugs.
>> Read More

June 23, 2004
Peyote Case Decided by Utah Supreme Court

Peyote is a psychotropic cactus that has been used as a religious sacrament for centuries. Today, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a federal exemption for peyote-using members of the Native American Church must be interpreted as applying to non-Indians and Indians alike. Utah’s Controlled Substances Act incorporates the federal exemption, ruled the court, and because the plain language of the federal exemption is not limited to Indians, it must be read as applicable to Linda and James Mooney, both of whom are non-Indian members of the Native American Church.
>> Read more

June 22, 2004
First Implant for Depression Recommended for FDA Approval

An FDA expert advisory pannel has recommended approval of the first implantable device for the treatment of a psychiatric disorder. The device is implanted in a person's neck and electronically stimulates the vagus nerve, which is believed to regulate mood. Read more about this device on CCLE Advisor Zack Lynch's Brainwaves column.
>> Read more

June 18, 2004
Strange food for thought| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
What used to be confined to speculative fiction is fast becoming scientific fact. Brain boosting, or "neural enhancement," is already being done - and much more powerful techniques are on the way. Some observers say we're rushing into this brain-gain revolution without sufficient thought or preparation... But even others with ethical concerns say drawing such a "bright line" between the use of a drug or other technology for therapy or for enhancement is problematic. Pharmaceutical companies are going to want to produce and market drugs that appeal to 100 percent of the population, not just the minority who are sick at any given time, Mr. Boire points out. After all, many people would like a better memory, to be able to think a little more quickly, or to forget troubling memories. Yet a number of issues of personal liberty are being raised, he says. "What rights does the person have to manage their own thought processes?" Boire asks. "Thought is not just something that is changed by reading a book or hearing a speaker. Now, and more and more, as time goes on, thought will be changed by pharmacological agents." >> Read More

June 2, 2004
FBI Abducts Artists, Seizes Art
Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism

The Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is an internationally-recognized group of five artists and intellectuals whose work examines and critiques biotechnology, information technology and media studies. The arrest and pending indictment of CAE member Steve Kurtz on "bioweapons" charges reveals the current fragility of freedom of thought and freedom of expression. The CCLE urges all our supporters to read the following press release and contribute what you can to Dr. Kurtz's legal defense. >> Read More

May 19, 2004
The NeuroAge - Zack Lynch in Conversation with R.U. Sirius
Zack Lynch, CCLE Advisor and author of the forthcoming book Neurosociety: How Brain Science Will Shape The Future of Business, Politics, and Culture, believes that neurotechnology will be the next driving technology that will shape humanity’s future. In this exceptional conversation with R.U. Sirius, Zack shares his thoughts on a dazzling array of topics including the the coming wave of neuroceuticals, how people will be able to use these new tools for mental health to enable them to live better, and how they will likely impact economic productivity and personal well being. >> Read More

April 29, 2004
No Ritalin, No Education?

CCLE Announces Campaign to Return Choice to Parents
The CCLE today launches “Making Choices for Children,” a national campaign designed to call attention to the issue of school benefits being conditioned on the use of psychostimulants, and to educate parents on their legal right to make medication decisions for their children, free of coercion by school authorities. >> Read More

April 23, 2004
We hold these freedoms to be self-evident...
By Liz Else,  New Scientist, Apr 2004
  "Do you want to block traumatic memories from scarring your mind? Perhaps you do, but would you be happy if someone else did it for you? Or how about receiving marketing messages beamed directly at you in hypersonic waves? Mind control is getting smarter by the minute, says Richard Glen Boire, co-founder of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics in California. And, as he told Liz Else, we ain't seen nothing yet..."  >> Read More

April 20, 2004
Using M.R.I.’s to See Politics on the Brain
John Tierney, New York Times, April 20,2004
  The CCLE has been watching the "neuromarketing" field develop over the past several years. An article in today's New York Times adds fuel to our concerns about neuromarketing being used for political purposes. The race seems to be on between using sophisticated brain imaging to guard against manipulative political advertising, versus using it to produce such advertising.  >> Read More

April 16, 2004
Experts to Explore Breakthrough Technologies
at The Arlington Institute

04/14/2004 - ARLINGTON, VA - (MARKET WIRE) - Technology experts, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, policy makers, and journalists will peer into humanity's future, spending two days looking at breakthrough technologies and their global impact on April 27-28th. The event, `Breakthrough Technologies for the World's Biggest Problems,` will be held at The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA. The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is a sponsor of this event. >> Read More 

April 14, 2004
With Tiny Brain Implants, Just Thinking May Make It So
Andrew Pollack, New York Times, April 13, 2004
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical trial in which five paralyzed people will have small computer chips implanted into their brains in an effort to enable them to operate devices by thought alone. >> Read More

FDA Approves Human Brain Implant Devices
Justin Pope, AP Business Writer, April 14, 2004
>> Read More

April 5, 2004
Neurotech in the News

Murder in mind

Clint Witchalls, The Guardian (UK), March 25, 2004
"Could reading the thoughts of criminals help free the innocent?" A discussion of the use of Brain Fingerprinting in the case of Jimmy Ray Slaughter; CCLE's Wrye Sententia quoted. >>Read more

New wave neurotechnology: small-scale makes big promises
Kelly Morris, The Lancet Neurology (UK), Vol 3 April 2004
A Newsdesk article, quoting Wrye Sententia, which explores  the future of small-scale neurotechnologies. >>Read more

The Quest to Forget
Robin Marantz Henig, The New York Times Magazine, April 4, 2004

A reductive article concerning memory management drugs that fails to raise key issues about who will be making these choices. >>Read more
>>Read Wrye Sententia's Letter to the Editor in response to this article

March 29, 2004
Cognitive Liberty: What is the Future of Freedom of Thought in the Age of Neurocops, Brain Fingerprinting, Memory Management Drugs, and Hypersonic Sound?
Hear Richard Glen Boire speak at Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute at 4pm on Monday, April 5th. >>For more information

March 25, 2004
Is it Your Brain?
R.U. Sirius in Conversation with Wrye Sententia

Vol. 1, No. 5 Neofiles, (2004)
Cognitive liberty ... the individual’s right to control her own brain. It’s the sort of thing that has been the subject of beaucoup novels and movies. It’s been a topic of conversation — directly or indirectly — at one point or another, for almost every thinking person living in advanced technological civilization. It’s been floating in the psychic ether at least since Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World ... hell, maybe since the first mesmerist tricked the other tribe members into giving him most of the coconuts. But I don’t believe there has ever been an organization dedicated to the defense of freedom of thought. Enter The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, operating out of Davis, California — advocating, analyzing, and educating around cognitive liberty issues; filing amicus briefs and generally bringing brain rights into the civil realm. >> Read More

March 10, 2004
Revving up the brain

By Julie Deardorff (c), Chicago Tribune, March 7, 2004
"The controversial prescription drug Ritalin, best known as a treatment for children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, has been co-opted by a new population: healthy people trying to boost their mental performance." >>Read more

March 8, 2004
Manipulating your mind
European Molecular Biology Organization Reports: Vol.5, No.3, 2004
  "The Decade of the Brain, proclaimed by US President George Bush in 1990, passed without making much of an obvious impact. But it did in fact produce considerable scientific advances in neurobiology.... This knowledge is slowly trickling down to society as well, be it in the pharmaceutical industry, to parents concerned with their child's performance in school, to students looking for chemical helpers to pass their exams....
  In a way, Ritalin is neuroethics 'in a nutshell', commented Wrye Sententia, co-director of the CCLE and head of its programme on neuroethics.... [C]ognitive liberty, as Sententia described it, would have to rest on better public education and understanding about the risks and benefits, the potentials and myths of neurobiology." >> Read More

March 4, 2004
Bioethics or Biopolitics?
CCLE comments to the Government Reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently assessing the treatment of science and scientists by the Bush Administration:
"President Bush's decision to dismiss two scientists from his Council on Bioethics, and replace them with conservatives who will toe the party line, makes plain that the Council is more about biopolitics than bioethics. >> Read More

March 3, 2004
New Bill Seeks to Protect Your Medical Privacy

The CCLE is a member of the Medical Privacy Coalition, which is concerned about the misleadingly titled "Federal Medical Privacy Rule." Rather than protect medical privacy, this law actually eliminates individuals’ freedom to give or withhold consent regarding the release of their personal health information to many persons for many purposes. Fortunately a new bill seeks to protect your medical privacy, and there are simple things you can do. >> Read More

March 1, 2004
Reading the Consumer Mind: The age of neuromarketing has dawned
By Douglas Rushkoff, (c) NyPress.com, Feb. 2004.

By now, most of us in the appropriately concerned corners have heard at least something about Emory University’s neuromarketing research center, the BrightHouse Institute for Thought Sciences. The latest innovation in a never-ending quest to decode consumer behaviors, the institute uses Emory University Hospital’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment to scan the brains of human subjects on behalf of corporate clients such as Coca-Cola, K-mart and Home Depot. >> Read More

February 19, 2004
Brain fingerprints under scrutiny

By Becky McCall (c) BBC Feb. 17, 2004

A controversial technique for identifying a criminal mind using involuntary brainwaves that could reveal guilt or innocence is about to take centre stage in a last-chance court appeal against a death-row conviction in the US.
The technique, called "brain fingerprinting", has already been tested by the FBI and has now become part of the key evidence to overturn the murder conviction of Jimmy Ray Slaughter who is facing execution in Oklahoma. >> Read More

February 11, 2004
Blanks for the memories:

Someday you may be able to take a pill to forget painful recollections
By Scott LaFee,  (c) San Diego Union Tribune  Feb. 11, 2004

There's a scene in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" where the protagonist implores a doctor to treat Lady Macbeth, who is wracked by memories of past bad acts... Lady Macbeth is condemned to live with her bad memories. Recalling our past is a part of the human condition. But what if that reality changed? What if people – 400 years after Shakespeare asked – could take a pill to purposefully dim – perhaps erase – our most painful and unwanted memories? The notion has long been a favorite of fiction writers, from Shakespeare to fantasists like the late Philip K. Dick, but serious people – scientists and scholars – now believe it might be possible. >> Read More

February 3, 2004
Brain fingerprinting' startup moving from Iowa to Seattle
By Luke Timmerman (c) Seattle Times Feb 2, 2004

Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, a startup with a controversial, almost science-fictionlike method of measuring brainwaves to detect lies or hidden thoughts, is moving from Iowa to try to build its business in Seattle. ... Wrye Sententia, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, said her organization is worried that demand is so strong for improved screening of terrorists in airports that brain-scanning technologies could be used against people's will and rushed into the market before being proven accurate. "We're all for it if people can use it to clear their name of a crime, but it should be a voluntary use," Sententia said. "But what a person knows and thinks is private, and this technology really pushes the question of whether thoughts are private." >> Read More

February 2, 2004
Advertisers probe brains, raise fears
By DAVID WAHLBERG, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (c) Feb 1, 2004

When Peter Graser underwent an MRI scan at Emory University, doctors weren't looking for disease. Instead, brain researchers flashed images -- Madonna, broccoli, sushi, a Ford truck, a golden retriever, Bill Clinton, Coca-Cola -- before the 37-year-old Marietta resident's eyes as he lay inside the coffin-like tube of the magnetic resonance imaging machine. The scientists discovered a biological clue to what drives consumers: Whenever Graser and a dozen other study volunteers saw a picture they particularly liked, their brains showed increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex -- an area associated with preference, or sense of self. >> Read More

January 16, 2004
Cognitive Liberty in the Age of Memory-management Drugs
The pills are at least five years away, but the question is here now: Will you have a right to boost or erase your own memory?
If there were a medication that could safely and significantly improve your memory, would you use it? What if you could take a pill that would selectively erase an unwanted memory—perhaps of an early childhood trauma that still haunts your adult life? Memory-management drugs such as these are not a question of if, but of when. >> Read More

January 12, 2004
2004 NBIC Conference: Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Join CCLE's Co-Director Wrye Sententia and CCLE Advisor Zack Lynch in NYC next month!

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is proud to announce that for the second year in a row we will be sponsoring the NBIC Convergence Conference. A remarkable panel of nationally recognized experts, including Wrye Sententia, Zack Lynch, and Nobel prize winner Eric Kandel, will be presenting the latest information about the synergistic combination of four major provinces of science and technology: Nanoscience and nanotechnology; Biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering; Information technology, including computing and communications; Cognitive science, including cognitive neuroscience. >> Read More

January 8, 2004
Mentally ill Inmate Put to Death
after Medical “Treatment” Prepares Execution

Death row inmate Charles Singleton, 44, died by lethal injection at the Cummins Unit Prison near Varner, Arkansas on Tuesday, January 6, but not before prison medical staff injected him with a mind-altering drug intended to improve his understanding of the process. >> Read More

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