Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Old Amnesia Standby

This is where I explain where my question for the week came from. But today I've got nothing. It's one of those that I put together through sheer will (and the knowledge that I needed a question for today). It's been done in various forms, so let's look at it from a slightly different angle.

What if there was a reliable way to wipe someone's memory? What if the penal system got a hold of this technology? How might they use it? Would this be more of a punishment or more of a rehabilitation technique?


  1. If this technology was available it wouldn't be only the penal system that would be using it...

  2. I'm not sure how it would be effective in punishment. It might be better for rehabilitation since then people could wipe destructive memories. It might make things worse if people have it done and then watch a video of whatever bad thing happened.

  3. AWESOME question.

    First, you could use it on victims, to avoid some of the worst effects of crime. Plenty of people would probably appreciate that.

    As for punishment or rehabilitation, that's tougher. I agree with J.E. that getting rid of destructive memories (childhood abuse and the like) would probably be the best use of it. Then again, are we talking selectively wiping out SOME memories? Or getting rid of ALL memories? Because if it's the latter, then you could maybe avoid imprisoning someone entirely: imagine if you wipe out all their memories and they are a blank slate, having to re-learn everything. You'd get rid of their old connections, old habits, etc., and could remake them into the person you (hope) they would be. Which is a scary thought, because who would we decide could decide what the ideal person is?

    You've got me thinking!

    1. Since the whole point of these posts is to get you thinking, I consider it a success. As to the questions, consider them all. Whatever road your thoughts take is fine.


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