Is “control of society” possible? | Abhijit Naskar on #teatalks


Hello and “Merhaba arkadaşlar” (Hello friends) “Teşekkür ederim” (thank you)
for having me on the show. The firstquestion that we have is; Is it ethical
to use neuroscience methods in marketing? To understand the ethical aspect of
applying neuroscience and marketing or as we call it neuromarketing which has
already started to replace the traditional marketing models. We must
first understand what neuroscience is. To put it absolutely bluntly neuroscience
is the science of understanding human nature. And when I say “understand” I
actually mean literally. Looking inside the mind of a person to observe his
deepest emotions, beliefs, desires, nags opinions and so on so it is the key to
the secrets of every human mind or not Naturally there comes the ethical
question; If we have the power to observe a person’s emotions and desires, should
we abuse that power to manipulate human behavior in society? And the answer is it
is already happening like it or not. Like in political campaigns, advertising.
advertising firms are now hiring teams of neuroscientists and psychologists you
look inside the mind of the consumer. We call this consumer neuroscience. And this
actually is helping companies to save a great deal of money. For example we can
record the body and brain responses of a bunch of volunteers while showing them
newly developed advertisement of a product and if the results show that the ad has
a positive impact on the viewers mental activities then the company can release
the ad to the public or they can choose to modify it if necessary
this is called consumer neuroscience where we observe the brain activities of
the consumers to predict the impact of a product or an advertisement and the beauty
of it is here we do not need to ask the consumer to tell us how they feel we can
look inside the brain to see how they are feeling
in real time which is much more accurate and economically beneficial for the
company so this is a great power perhaps the greatest of all powers because it
literally enables the scientists to observe and manipulate human behavior in
society if he want that is so in the end it comes down to individual
responsibility the responsibility of individual scientists are the
responsibility of the company hiring those scientists for example I myself
act as a consultant to several companies but I choose to help only those
companies whose products I find to be beneficial for the society it is all
about the responsibility of humans and social cultures and that leads me to
your next question which is are findings on neuroscience research affecting
science of sociology actually they have started to do that for a long time now
today neuroscience is influencing every single field that has to do with humans
in human life with human nature brain scan data from various neuro scientific
experiments are helping researchers in other fields such as social sciences,
political sciences, legal sciences economics and so on to develop more
robust and effective methods to understand and predict
human behavior in society we are not witnessing the rise of various new
interdisciplinary fields such as the neuromarketing, neuro politics, neuro law,
neurotheology and so on and it is bound to get more and more fascinating because
no researcher can ignore the direct access that neuroscience gives us into
the human mind and here comes the next question which is; Can we monitor some
kind of evolution of human brain? The evolution of the brain which means that
evolution of the mind can only be observed if we gather data from your
science and psychology research conducted over the decades so “evet” (yes) yes
we can observe the evolution that is the direction in which the collective psyche
of the society is moving for example research is showing that with the rise
of social media depression and anxiety and other mental health issues are
getting intense especially among the young population so neuroscience gives
us the evidence that this is happening but what to do with the evidence is
completely up to us are we going to keep on using social media recklessly or are
we going to develop a kind of self-regulation and use it with
moderation and that’s where the responsibility of public popular public
figures comes in such as the science comminicators futurists, entertaniners and so
on which reminds me of your next question which is; “What are the
neuroscience methods to work with futurists?” here
futurists alone won’t change anything we need all hands on deck
not just so-called futurists we need every responsible public figure to
advocate for a better and healthier future every insight that be
into the human mind we are sharing it we scientists are sharing it with everybody
through publications discussions collaborations so anybody who feels
responsible for the future of humanity must come forward and walk with us as I
have said in one of my works one doesn’t need to be a scientist or a philosopher
or politician to solve human problems being human is enough “insan olmak yeterli” (being human is enough)
the direction in which we are moving it’s not a healthy one I’m afraid
especially as far as technology is concerned more and more tech companies
only care about financial game will utilize trying to utilize neural
technology to manipulate human behavior in order to make more money and the
result will be a psychologically messed-up species that won’t even have a
minute of peace in their life because their mind will be completely dependent
on their technology it will be like Jam them on earth so you must remember
technology will destroy this planet mentally if responsible individuals do
not come forward to advocate for responsible use of technology and this
is not a possibility anymore it’s actually happening right now
through social media social media has already gained access huge acess to the
psyche of the society which you call “control of society” your next question
which is “Is control of society possible? What if neuroscience methods are used
for manipulation without the risks if methods are used in a bad way?” control of
society it’s already happening right now and most effectively through social
media you think you’re in control right you are in control of your behavior ok
so do this experiment on your own the
next time you hear a notification on your phone remember not to pick up the
phone most people today can’t help but pick up their phone every time there is
a notification because social media algorithms are observing your online
activity to predict and manipulate your behavior as well as your mood so
basically you are under the control of these platforms and the more you use
them recklessly without giving a single thought to their negative implications on
your mental health the more you will lose control of your own emotions of
your own behavioral choices but we still have time the question is what are we
going to do about it start with this turn off all the notifications on your
phone except the most important ones and check your social media only once or
twice a day not every minute if you can do this then perhaps there is a
possibility that society will not completely lose control of itself after
all and now comes the next question which is “As we know more about the human
brain are we figuring out that is simpler than we thought or just the
opposite?” the first and foremost insight that we have gained through research in
neuroscience and psychology is that human behavior is hugely driven by
subconscious instincts so your conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg and
most of your emotional as well as rational capsulation are happening
beneath the surface of your conscious awareness
so it’s a vastly complicated world of electrical impulses and the more we
explore the more fascinating it becomes to us and this leads me to your next and
final question I think which is; “Will everything lose its meaning when we
learn everything about the human brain?” here the opposite is true
the more we learn about the human brain the more we learn about ourselves and
the more we learn about ourselves the more meaning we will have in our life

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