The future of biotechnology has arrived, and it is terrifying.
The science beat reveals that in the future, technologies could induce a serious sort of mind warp that tricks prisoners into thinking they’ve served an impossible amount of time behind bars. This development has the power to change the landscape of punishment and the justice system forever.
Philosopher Rebecca Roache, who leads a team of scholars, explains two methods to this madness. The first involves psychotic drugs that distort a person’s sense of time.
With a simple pill or injection, prisoners may believe they’ve been incarcerated for much longer than any natural human life could allow.
The second approach Roach explains is a bit more complex. Option number two involves uploading human minds to computers (da f*ck?), and speeding up the rate at which the brain functions. On her blog, Roach writes:
“If the speed-up were a factor of a million, a millennium of thinking would be accomplished in eight and a half hours… Uploading the mind of a convicted criminal and running it a million times faster than normal would enable the uploaded criminal to serve a 1,000 year sentence in eight-and-a-half hours. This would, obviously, be much cheaper for the taxpayer than extending criminals’ lifespans to enable them to serve 1,000 years in real time.”
However frightening this mind trip may appear, it would seem there is valid cause for such a practice. Roach explains:
“Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments – the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future.”
What initially comes across as an unspeakably-cruel practice may just give way to the future of a more humane penal system.
—originally published with Elite Daily.