Friday, May 27, 2011

MWBOT12 - False Memories

From Wired, via Instapundit, the creation of false memories in advertising. I touched on advertising before, noting that despite the Chicken Little fears we keep hearing about, the ability to manipulate our behavior in this way occurs mostly at the margins.

This article does highlight the way that this ramps up, however. Popcorn adoration is still at the margins of deep cultural change, but the general idea, that untrue ideas can be implanted in the brain and felt to be real, could certainly create large changes for an individual. I don't think our brains are well defended against any of the visual and auditory technology of the last 150 years, actually. Our brains interpret images and sounds as real, and it takes a training override to see through them well. Usually, we do not "see through" the unreality of a technology very well until the next one comes along and supersedes it, making the old look shabby. Daguerreotypes doubtless look frighteningly realistic when they first came out. People listened to Wagner or Bach on 78rpm records and were transported.

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