Let the Truth Be Told!

Is deceit an intrinsic part of the human emotional condition?

No doubt, it has become an accepted part of human culture.  From the little white lies we tell our kids everyday , ‘yes Santa Clause is real and you have to be sleeping for the tooth fairy to come’, to the exaggerated facts on our resumes, lying has become a part of human social nature.

TV shows as well as literature from the Bible to Shakespeare are filled with exaggerations, contradictions and sometimes bold face lies.   Lying seems to be a lucrative business.

Has a piece of human nature become public enemy number one?  Well, in a word, yes!  However, we don’t just want to be able to recognize deception, we want to stop it before it even occurs, we want to battle human nature and win.

According to Nature Magazine, the U.S Department of Homeland Security has developed a Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) designed to spot a criminal before they commit a crime.  In essence, to stop deception before it comes to fruition.  We blogged about this technology in its infancy and it was very interesting to say the least.

Similar to a lie detector, which is not admissible in many courts of law throughout the world, FAST measures a series of physiological indicators such as heart rate, steadiness of gaze etc. In effect judging a person’s “state of mind” while they walk down an airport corridor.

There are significant differences from the polygraph and FASTFAST uses non-contact sensors and does not depend on active questioning of the subject.  This new device has undergone preliminary testing in an undisclosed location in the northeast.

However, many researchers point out that the “normal anxieties of travel” are enough to raise the heart rates and stress levels of most people.

What are your thought/opinions on this new “science”?

One response to “Let the Truth Be Told!”

  1. Keith D. says:

    In the hands of government officials who wield the power to destroy lives with their assessments, one need look no further than a plethora of other policies gone horribly wrong throughout history to see the danger in a technology like as this. I’d rather trust a SPOT-trained behavior detection officer at the airport than something like this– it’s too reminiscent of Minority Report.

    I’ll grant that if it can be proven effective, that it does have a lot of positive uses for society, but the dangers are far too great. We’re better off working to educate everyone to recognize warning signs on their own, and funding research to head off malicious behavior before it occurs. But in today’s world, I think most people would rather see something like this used to imprison people who’ve (as yet) committed no crime, if for no other reason that this would be far more cost-effective in the short term, not to mention a lot easier for them. That’s the kind of dangerous thinking that only genuine education can stop.

    I think currently this is much too slippery a slope to try going down.

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