Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today -100: March 20, 1911: Of mental photography


So this white dude beats up a black dude he sees looking at name plates in his apartment building near Central Park. He claims he beat up the black dude because his wife had told him that some black dude “loitering” near their house had “spoken” to her earlier that day. The white dude then chases the black dude through the streets. “In [the black dude’s] flight he fell several times and was kicked by others who had joined the pursuit without knowing who the fleeing man was.” Finally Booker T. Washington – for it was he – was rescued by a passing cop. He pressed charges.

Evidently Japanese scientists claim to have developed some method of photographing thoughts. I have no idea what this means, and I guess neither did the NYT, which asked Dr. Max Baff, Clark College professor of psychology and advanced misogyny, what it might mean. Baff suggests that it could be done by having the film developed in a vacuum tank and placing the people whose thoughts are to be photographed with their heads against the tank. “It is a matter for close investigation and demands a long series of carefully conducted experiments,” said Baff.

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