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That’s Impossible: Mind Control

mind controlThis series investigates how the impossible is becoming possible, and what it might mean in the future. Reading and controlling a person’s mind is perhaps the one power we don’t want anyone else to have. Imagine a world where you can read your boss’s thoughts, or glean the intentions of your worst enemy. Or what about controlling a person’s mind and turning them into a kind of Manchurian candidate? It’s a power ripped right from the pages of comic books. Perhaps the most famous fictional character with this remarkable skill is Professor X, founder and leader of the X-Men. Using his power of telepathy, he can read, control and influence people’s minds at will.

Hollywood had another take on mind control. The 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate, raised the specter of a remote controlled soldier who’s brainwashed by his communist captors during the Korean War. After returning home, he’s an unwitting assassin, programmed to kill a US presidential candidate. It’s a chilling plot, and one that seems virtually impossible. Can we really take control of this mysterious wrinkled lump of jelly in our skull we call the brain?

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