Now everyone can be like Dumbledore

Harry Potter (and every other person on the planet) envied Professor Albus Dumbledore because of the pensieve that stood in his study. Dumbledore deposited memories in the pensieve, where they were kept intact until they were needed. Up to now this has been fiction, but soon it will become fact.

Neuroscientists have discovered where and how memories exist, which means that we are now able to download and store what goes on in our brains. However, that’s not the end of the story. Besides saving and changing our thoughts, it is now also possible to deconstruct the memory so that you only retain the event and not the traumatic emotion associated with the event.

Dr Michael Goldin, who heads up the virtual team of the Neuro Institute, says that the discovery can be used for good or evil. “Imagine a cyber criminal’s neural connections being rerouted without his consent? We could easily have a new type of humanitarian crisis on our hands!” The Pensieve Program technology (as Goldin refers to it) can be very dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands, and as usual we expect legal and regulatory developments to trail far behind those of science and technology.

Luckily, it’s not all bad. Alzheimer’s sufferers can now be cured and the technology will enable us to re-create healthy and productive citizens who have been emotionally scarred by terror attacks and natural disasters. Goldin and his team are also currently working on ways through which damaged brain tissue can be revived and reconnected. If they succeed, the effects of strokes, head trauma and epilepsy could soon be completely reversed.

Now doesn’t that sound like magic? Take that, Dumbledore!

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.