Friday, October 27, 2023

Book Review - The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology by Nita A. Farahany


The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology by Nita Farahany is a plea for countries to update their laws to protect people against the advancement of neurotechnologies. Imagine a world where someone can determine what you are thinking by your brain waves or figure out your political beliefs by analyzing your thought patterns. Or your thoughts being used as evidence for a crime you didn’t commit but thought about. In the near future, your own thoughts and feelings might be used against you.

On the flip side, a person suffering from epilepsy can receive an alert before a seizure. Students can consume drugs that can help them perform and remember better on exams. A person who is experiencing a traumatizing event can take a pill to help them navigate their circumstances better. Doctors can help people fight their addictions and live a better and fulfilling life. 

Neuroscience has made a lot of these things possible already. Neurotechnology will pave the way for humans to greatly benefit from our interactions with technology.  While it can be beneficial, it can also threaten our personal freedom if safeguards are not put in place. 

The book is a dense and informative read. The author spends time giving a brief description of current technology and how it is being currently used. She then explains why we would need to have safeguards in place for each particular tech. I like that the author also illustrates the impact of not having any laws in place for that tech and how it could adversely impact our lives.

I found the book to be an educational read. I learned a lot about the different tech and the advancements that companies and scientists were making in the field. I thought the author brought up a lot of good points and she made a strong case on why laws protecting our brain activity/thoughts are important. I agree with the majority of her points that these technologies would help advance us but can be detrimental if there is no limit on how the information is used— especially if a person’s information is used against them.

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