Why do some people believe everything is a conspiracy?

It help us understand a world we do not live in.

Now sure how I ended up there, but there I was reading a question post at Yahoo Answers.

I’ve heard some really stupid **** over the years and one of the worst things I have ever heard is conspiracy theories. One of the worst ones I’ve heard is the 9/11 “inside job” conspiracy. It seems like some people will believe any amount of **** they are told by anyone. No conspiracy makes ANY sense. The US would never destroy its own buildings and murder its own people because there wouldn’t be any reason what so ever. There is NO hidden agenda.. Why do people believe in any of this? There is never any factual evidence that would ever allow them to say “it all adds up” or “exactly!”. So why do these idiots believe this? I’m sorry if I came off as a bigot. I have this problem where I have a hard time dealing with stupidity…..

Have you ever heard the expression, you can’t fix stupid?

I’m thinking that might apply to you. Look my friend, you might have a high IQ but if you don’t get that 9/11 was an inside job then you’re being obtuse which is a special kind of stupid… it’s the kind of stupid that only smart people get to be…

Wise up. You don’t know what you don’t know… but you damn well ought to know by now that the government lies.

First, all your question is weak.

As the old saying goes, “Never say Never.” And why not? because a intelligent person knows there is an exception to every rule. Before we make a statement we can’t supported, we’d do well to remember two things, A) we don’t know so much, and B) the universe has a sense of humor. In other words, just when we think we know all the answers, they go can change the questions.

Best AnswerAsker’s Choice

Obi Wan Knievel answered
People believe in that stuff for two reasons. 1) It’s fun. 2) Most of them don’t understand how stuff works in the real world, so they make this stuff up.

What’s that? This was chosen as the best answer?

Reading the entire page was painful, but I forced myself to do it anyway.  Based on the server time-stamp I could see the question asked by Toxin and replied to by Obi Wan Knievel were now seven months ago. Scrolling down the page I could see there were three replies, each one making his or her logical and reasonable contribution to their collective group think.

We get it.

Sad that some people don’t get.

“Why are some people so obtuse?” I asked my self in reply. The world conspire means “to breath together,” so the only question is if this conspiracy constitutes a criminal act. Was it a criminal conspiracy when Russia and Cuba plotted to place missils 90 miles of the coast of Florida?

You can’t blame people who believe that stuff, because most of them are very young. Did you know everything that’s involved in running a household (never mind a major government) when you were a teenager? Of course not, and you weren’t expected to. Heck I’m in my 40’s, and I still don’t know how to run a government! To kids, facebook and youtube and MTV aren’t the most important things in the world, they ARE the world. So to them, this illuminati crap makes perfect sense.

Think of it… when you were four and afraid of the monster under your bed, did it help when all those adults assured you it wasn’t real? No! That monster made perfect sense to you, because you were four years old. Same thing with teens and conspiracy theories. The only true idiots are the adults who believe in that crap, because they can be expected to know better.
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Shredder answered 7 months ago
there’s a certain satisfaction people get out of believing they are the special few who are “in the know”, unlike the rest of us, the “sheeple”. It’s an ego thing ultimately.

That’s not to say governments shouldn’t be questioned though, as the government has been proven to have told major lies before (some of which have been excuses to enter wars) but these people are obsessed to the point that they’ll see things that aren’t there. I’m glad these people exist though, because even if they’re wrong most of the time, they make it harder for the people at the top to tell lies.
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Shae answered 7 months ago
I imagine that they’re just bored. Or they have something naturally in them that wants to rebel against government. Or maybe they’re just paranoid. You’d be surprised with what a paranoid person could believe.

I read the question again. “Why do some people believe everything is a conspiracy?”

Look, smart guy, everything is a conspiracy.

Was it a criminal conspiracy when Russia and Cuba plotted to place missiles 90 miles of the coast of Florida?

The Manhattan project was a massive secret, but was it a criminal conspiracy? Those scientist who helped create a nuclear bomb were working for a government that wanted to end the war. This was a massive secret program, but was it criminal? That is an open question and the answer depends on which false authority you happen to be in submission.

On August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45), an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure.

You see, its all becomes a relative question based on your particular point of view. Who you are, or of whom you’re asking the question, or who you imagine yourself to be. Certainly back in 1945 no citizen of the United State America thought building a nuclear bomb was a criminal enterprise.

Of course, that’s because they didn’t know about it.

It was only after the fact–after the crime, that American’s learned “we got the bomb.”

Yeah, we got the bomb and we used it. Perhaps it was a criminal conspiracy against humanity, but at the time no one could see that. The nuclear option to end the war with Japan was sold as necessary to save American lives. It was on this basis we justified the taking of so many human lives.

It was only three days after Hiroshima, and a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb. This time the target was Nagasaki, After American killed another 40,000 people with a bright flash of light, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”

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Everything You Know About Money Is Wrong

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 We Can’t Fix What We Don’t Understand

Bloomberg notes this week that the conventional theory of why money was created is wrong:

There are, broadly speaking, two accounts of the origin and history of money. One is elegant, intuitive and taught in many introductory economics textbooks. The other is true.

The financial economist Charles Goodhart, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, laid out the two views in a 1998 paper, “The Two Concepts of Money: Implications for the Analysis of Optimal Currency Areas.”

The first view, the “M View,” is named after the Austrian 19th century economist and historian Karl Menger, whose 1882 essay “On the Origins of Money” is the canonical statement of an argument that goes back to Aristotle:

As subsistence farming gives way to more complex economies, individuals want to trade. Simple barter (eight bushels of wheat for one barrel of wine) quickly becomes inefficient, because a buyer’s desires won’t always match up with a seller’s inventory. If a merchant comes through the village with wine and all a farmer has to offer is wheat, but the merchant wants nuts, there’s no trade and both parties walk away unfulfilled. Or the farmer has to incur the costs of finding another merchant who will exchange wheat for nuts and then hope that the first merchant hasn’t moved on to the next village.

But if the merchant and the farmer can exchange some other medium, then the trade can happen. This medium of exchange has to be what Menger calls “saleable,” meaning that it’s easily portable, doesn’t spoil over time and can be divided. Denominated coins work, shells and beads also fit the bill. So do cigarettes in POW camps and jails and Tide laundry detergent for drug dealers. This process, Menger argues, happens without the intervention of the state: “Money has not been generated by law. In its origin it is a social, and not a state institution.” [Menger’s view is the commonly-accepted theory of  money.]

Goodhart points out, however, that Menger is just wrong about the actual history of physical money, especially metal coins. Goodhart writes that coins don’t follow Menger’s account at all. Normal people, after all, can’t judge the quality of hunks of metal the same way they can count cigarettes or shells. They can, however, count coins. Coins need to be minted, and governments are the ideal body to do so. Precious metals that become coins are, well, precious, and stores of them need to be protected from theft. Also, a private mint will always have the incentive to say its coins contain more high-value stuff than they actually do. Governments can last a long time and make multi-generational commitments to their currencies that your local blacksmith can’t.

But why oversee money creation in the first place? This brings us to the second theory of money, which Goodhart calls the “C View,” standing for “cartalist” (chartalist is a more common spelling). To simplify radically, it starts with the idea that states minted money to pay soldiers, and then made that money the only acceptable currency for paying taxes. With a standard currency, tax assessment and collection became easier, and the state could make a small profit from seiginorage.

The state-coin connection has far more historical support than Menger’s organic account. As Goodheart points out, strong, state-building rulers (Charlemagne, Edward I of England) tend to be currency innovators, and he could have easily added Franklin D. Roosevelt’s taking the U.S. off the gold standard in 1933 or Abraham Lincoln financing the Civil War with newly issued greenbacks. The inverse is true too: When states collapse, they usually take their currencies with them. When Japan stopped minting coins in 958, the economy reverted to barter within 50 years.  When the Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe, money creation splintered along new political borders.

If money came about independent of states, as according to the M View, one would think it would outlast transient political structures. Historically, however, this tends not to be the case, a strong argument in favor of the C View.

Anthropologist David Graeber – who has extensively studied the history of money and debt – agrees:

There’s a standard story we’re all taught, a ‘once upon a time’ — it’s a fairy tale.

***

Rather than the standard story – first there’s barter, then money, then finally credit comes out of that – if anything its precisely the other way around. Credit and debt comes first, then coinage emerges thousands of years later and then, when you do find “I’ll give you twenty chickens for that cow” type of barter systems, it’s usually when there used to be cash markets, but for some reason – as in Russia, for example, in 1998 – the currency collapses or disappears.

***

Taxes are also key to creating the first markets that operate on cash, since coinage seems to be invented or at least widely popularized to pay soldiers – more or less simultaneously in China, India, and the Mediterranean, where governments find the easiest way to provision the troops is to issue them standard-issue bits of gold or silver and then demand everyone else in the kingdom give them one of those coins back again. Thus we find that the language of debt and the language of morality start to merge.

***

How did this happen? Well, remember I said that the big question in the origins of money is how a sense of obligation – an ‘I owe you one’ – turns into something that can be precisely quantified? Well, the answer seems to be: when there is a potential for violence. If you give someone a pig and they give you a few chickens back you might think they’re a cheapskate, and mock them, but you’re unlikely to come up with a mathematical formula for exactly how cheap you think they are. If someone pokes out your eye in a fight, or kills your brother, that’s when you start saying, “traditional compensation is exactly twenty-seven heifers of the finest quality and if they’re not of the finest quality, this means war!”

Money, in the sense of exact equivalents, seems to emerge from situations like that, but also, war and plunder, the disposal of loot, slavery. In early Medieval Ireland, for example, slave-girls were the highest denomination of currency. And you could specify the exact value of everything in a typical house even though very few of those items were available for sale anywhere because they were used to pay fines or damages if someone broke them. But once you understand that taxes and money largely begin with war it becomes easier to see what really happened.

Graeber provides an example:

We tend to forget that in, say, the Middle Ages, from France to China, … money was … whatever the king was willing to accept in taxes.

Graeber also notes that the first word for “freedom” in any language is the word for “debt-freedom”, and that much of the language of the great religious movements revolved around forgiveness of debts.  And the founders of the Christian and Jewish religions focused on the importance of debt jubilees.

In addition, most Americans don’t realize that our current money system does not serve the public good, but instead continuously sucks the prosperity and vitality out of our economy.  As Henry Ford noted:

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

Some claim that public banking is the answer. Others look to gold or Bitcoin as a saner alternative to fiat currencies.

As we noted in 2011, maybe we should get beyond all systems which keep track of exactly to the penny who owes what to whom … in the manner required for warfare and slavery:

Graeber hints at one possibility [for a way out of the money-debt trap]:

[French anthropologist Marcel Mauss] was one of the first anthropologists to ask: well, all right, if not barter, then what? What do people who don’t use money actually do when things change hands? Anthropologists had documented an endless variety of such economic systems, but hadn’t really worked out common principles. What Mauss noticed was that in almost all of them, everyone pretended as if they were just giving one another gifts and then they fervently denied they expected anything back. But in actual fact everyone understood there were implicit rules and recipients would feel compelled to make some sort of return.

What fascinated Mauss was that this seemed to be universally true, even today. If I take a free-market economist out to dinner he’ll feel like he should return the favor and take me out to dinner later. He might even think that he is something of chump if he doesn’t and this even if his theory tells him he just got something for nothing and should be happy about it. Why is that? What is this force that compels me to want to return a gift?

This is an important argument, and it shows there is always a certain morality underlying what we call economic life.

In other words, in communities or webs of human interaction which are small enough that people can remember who gave what, we might be able to set up alternative systems of money and credit so we can largely “opt out” of the status quo systems of money and debt measurement.

I’m not arguing for becoming Luddites and living in mud huts (but that is fine, if you wish to do so). Nor am I suggesting that we all have to become selfless saints who give away all of their possessions without any reasonable expectation of something in return.

I am arguing that it might be possible to empower ourselves – and create our own systems for keeping track on a local or people-centered basis, and create our own vibrant economies using the resources we have – by moving away from the national and global systems dominated by the biggest banks and oligarchs, and towards a system where we “spend” resources and goodwill into our local communities in a way in which trust is built from the ground-up, and the energy of trade and commerce can be re-started. [Trust is – after all – the basis for all prosperous economies.]

Postscript: Mainstream economists will argue that we need a universal, fungible type of money in order to trade on a global basis. But because currencies are now unpegged from anything in the real world and are traded on the currency markets, their values fluctuate wildly in the modern world. In other words, one of the essential characteristics for money – that they represent a universal, fixed yardstick – has disappeared. And fiat currencies have a very short lifespan. So how valuable are they, really, for anyone but forex speculators?

Until we learn what money, credit and debt really are, we will remain victims … getting poorer and poorer.

Postscript: The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil.  On the other hand, the father of modern economics (Adam Smith), Ronald Reagan, economist Milton Friedman, Wall Street titan Ivan Boesky and students who take economics classes all say that greed is good.

Both are naive.

Money and currency are good to the extent that they help create abundance for ourselves and our communities.  They are bad to the extent that they are used to promote warfare and slavery, and that they suck prosperity out of the system.

Big Banks Are Not Really In the Banking Business

Everyone thinks of banks as holding our deposits safe, and extending loans based upon the amount of deposits they hold in their vaults.

This is no longer true.

The big banks currently do very little traditional banking. Most of their business is from financialspeculation (which, sadly, metastasizes into manipulation and criminal behavior).

For example, less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits.

Time Magazine gave some historical perspective in 1993:

What would happen to the U.S. economy if all its commercial banks suddenly closed their doors? Throughout most of American history, the answer would have been a disaster of epic proportions, akin to the Depression wrought by the chain-reaction bank failures in the early 1930s. But [today] the startling answer is that a shutdown by banks might be far from cataclysmic.

***

Who really needs banks these days? Hardly anyone, it turns out. While banks once dominated business lending, today nearly 80% of all such loans come from nonbank lenders like life insurers, brokerage firms and finance companies. Banks used to be the only source of money in town. Now businesses and individuals can write checks on their insurance companies, get a loan from a pension fund, and deposit paychecks in a money-market account with a brokerage firm. “It is possible for banks to die and still have a vibrant economy,” says Edward Furash, a Washington banks consultant.

Indeed, even though the taxpayers have thrown trillions of dollars at the “too big to fail” banks, they largely stopped loaning to Main street … and it was only the smaller banks that kept making loans.

Benjamin Franklin, William Jennings Bryan on monetary reform

This is part five of an eleven part paper written by Carl Herman.

**********

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a Founding Father of the United States and one of the most accomplished inventors and brilliant minds in human history. Among his achievements was contributing to the discovery of how to fund a government without taxes and its successful implementation in the colony of Pennsylvania.

“There is no Science, the Study of which is more useful and commendable than the Knowledge of the true Interest of one’s Country; and perhaps there is no Kind of Learning more abstruse and intricate, more difficult to acquire in any Degree of Perfection than This, and therefore none more generally neglected. Hence it is, that we every Day find Men in Conversation contending warmly on some Point in Politicks, which, altho’ it may nearly concern them both, neither of them understand any more than they do each other.

Thus much by way of Apology for this present Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency. And if any Thing I shall say, may be a Means of fixing a Subject that is now the chief Concern of my Countrymen, in a clearer Light, I shall have the Satisfaction of thinking my Time and Pains well employed.” – Benjamin Franklin, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of Paper Currency, 1729.

Although Aristotle clearly wrote that money is a function of law [31] and not of commodity value, many people were confused how to manage the creation of money. The American colonies had almost no gold or silver, so were driven to fiat currency by necessity. The colony of Pennsylvania would lend money to land owners at 5% interest. The money would provide the essential government service to facilitate trade. Because only the principal was leant, the government could create and spend the interest on public goods and services without taxing their citizens. For an encyclopedic summary:here and here.

The result was stable prices and economic prosperity without direct taxation.

Contemporary economist, Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations:

“The government of Pennsylvania, without amassing any [gold or silver], invented a method of lending, not money indeed, but what is equivalent to money to its subjects. [It advanced] to private people at interest, upon [land as collateral], paper bills of credit…made transferable from hand to hand like bank notes, and declared by act of assembly to be legal tender in all payments…[the system] went a considerable way toward defraying the annual expense…of that…government [low taxes]. [Pennsylvania’s] paper currency…is said never to have sunk below the value of gold and silver which was current in the colony before the…issue of paper money.”

In agreement are famed Princeton economist Richard Lester in his book, Monetary Experiments: Early American and Recent Scandinavianand Stanford’s Hoover Institute’s Senior Fellow Alvin Rabushkain his paper, Representation without taxationThis prosperity continued until the British government ended the colonies’ power to issue its own currency through the Currency Act of 1764. Peter Cooper, born one year after Franklin’s death and colleague of Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, wrote:

“After Franklin had explained…to the British Government as the real cause of prosperity, they immediately passed laws, forbidding the payment of taxes in that money. This produced such great inconvenience and misery to the people, that it was the principal cause of the Revolution. A far greater reason for a general uprising, than the Tea and Stamp Act, was the taking away of the paper money.”

From Franklin’s memoirs: “The difficulties for want of cash were accordingly very great, the chief part of the trade being carried on by the extremely inconvenient method of barter; when in 1723 paper-money was first made there, which gave new life to business, promoted greatly the settlement of new lands (by lending small sums to beginners at easy interest, to be repaid on installments) whereby the province has so greatly increased in inhabitants, that the export from hence thither is now more than tenfold what it then was; and by their trade with foreign colonies, they have been able to obtain great quantities of gold and silver to remit hither in return for the manufactures of this country. New York and New Jersey have also increased greatly during the same period, with the use of paper-money; so that it does not appear to be of the ruinous nature ascribed to it.”

“Experience, more prevalent than all the logic in the world, has fully convinced us all, that it (paper money issued directly by government) has been, and is now of the greatest advantages to the country.” – Benjamin Franklin, The American Weekly Mercury, March 27, 1729.

“The utility of this currency became by time and experience so evident as never afterwards to be much disputed.” – Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, page 65.

William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) was an attorney, one of the nation’s most popular public speakers, and the Democratic Party’s choice for President in three elections: 1896, 1900, and 1908. He served as Secretary of State in the Wilson administration; he resigned in protest to Wilson’s support of the Allies in WW I which he saw as leading to US involvement in a war where national security was not threatened:

Bryan’s political populism centered on American monetary policy. He supported an expansion of the money supply in response to a national depression in the 1890’s by rejecting the gold standard, a limitation on currency based on a fractional reserve of gold holdings. We discussed Peter Cooper’s presidential ambition with the Greenback Party, who campaigned for “greenbacks” to be created directly by the federal government for public projects and jobs. This policy compromised into the “free silver” movement to include silver with gold as a legal fractional backing for money. His powerful stand for monetary reform is clearly expressed in his “Cross of Gold” speech in accepting the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1896, quoted below (click here to listen to Bryan’s reading of the speech 25 years later).

The Wizard of Oz (oz. for ounces of silver), was a political allegory of this history, with Bryan portrayed as the lion with a loud roar but no power[32]. Author Frank Baum, hopeful for the wisdom of monetary reform becoming the nation’s monetary policy, wrote that the lion eventually beheaded the great spider, representing the overreaching financial monopolies of Wall Street. Ellen Brown’s Web of Debt walks readers through the details of the history and Oz allegories, in one of the most-read books on monetary reform (I highly recommend it to understand this trillion dollar issue). Bill Still’s The Secret of Oz is an excellent documentary.

Bryan’s brilliant and concise statement for monetary reform:

“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe that it is a part of sovereignty, and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than we could afford to delegate to private individuals the power to make penal statutes or levy taxes…Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank, and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of government, and that the banks ought to go out of the governing business… When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other reform will be possible, but until this is done there is no other reform that can be accomplished.”

– William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold Speech, 1896.

———————-

This is part five of an eleven part paper written by Carl Herman for The Center of Process Studies’ conference, Money-Creation in a Finite World:

  1. Monetary and credit reform: full-employment, end of debt slavery
  2. Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson on monetary reform
  3. President Andrew Jackson, Peter Cooper on monetary reform
  4. NYC Mayor John Hylan, House Banking Committee Chairs on monetary reform
  5. Benjamin Franklin, William Jennings Bryan on monetary reform
  6. Charles Lindbergh Sr., 86% of Great Depression economists on monetary reform
  7. What should the average citizen know about US War Crimes?
  8. What should the average citizen know about US war history?
  9. What is the leverage point for Occupy’s victory?
  10. What does monetary and credit freedom look like?
  11. My personal history of the 1% choosing to kill a million children each month

Monetary and credit reform is a policy objective to end transfer of trillions of the “99%’’s wealth to an oligarchic “1%.” The US banking collusion only and always co-exists within a larger oligarchy with government for legal protection, and media for public propaganda. This paper presents histories in monetary reform and US government crimes in war suppressed by today’s US corporate media’s history texts and news journalism. When the oligarchy’s voice is professionally exposed as obviously and egregiously lying in omission and commission in claims of central importance of the past and present, government and corporate media loses credibility in an “emperor has no clothes” transformation. Refutation of the oligarchy’s voice with objective and independently verifiable facts, especially in light of current War Crimes and Constitutional destruction, supports our policy goal for monetary and credit reform because the public will seek alternative voices to build a brighter future. To support our goal of upgraded economic policies, we should be open to synergy with ecological and resource-based economic models, and network with Occupy.

DARPA Is Developing an Implant that Can Read Brain Signals in Real-Time

Image via Flickr

The latest project from the futurists at DARPA takes a detour from the agency’s typical dabblings in autonomous robots and artificially intelligent computers to focus on the health of actual humans. The agency announced its latest moonshot initiative today, a $70 million project to develop a new implantable electronic device that can be used to treat some of the mental disorders plaguing the US military.

The ambitious goal is to create a medical device within five years that can be implanted in the skull to monitor, analyze, and respond to real-time information on the brain, somewhat like a pacemaker for grey matter. That new level of insight into the human mind could lead to more effective treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders, researchers hope.

The Defense Department has good reason to devote such a large chunk of change to advancing neuroscience. Today, the leading cause of soldiers’ hospital stays isn’t physical injuries, but mental conditions like post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, DARPA said in its announcement.

The agency is turning to technology to better understand these problems. The project is part of the White House’s BRAIN initiative to research the mind to uncover new treatments for mental health. President Obama’s budgeted $100 million for the first year, half of which will go to DARPA.

DARPA is hoping to either improve on current “deep brain stimulation” technology, or develop new ways to do it better. Doctors already use deep brain stimulation to treat certain neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease—some 100,000 Parkinson’s patients in the world have chips in their brain today, the agency said. It works by sending electrical impulses to the affected areas of the brain to regulate abnormal impulses caused by the disorder. Researchers are also testing electronic chips to treat a number of other mental conditions, like depression, OCD, Tourette’s, and epilepsy.

But the current technology is limited. The chips can’t monitor how effective the stimulation treatment is; they can’t “read” brain signals. That’s a hurdle for treating complex conditions like depression that’s don’t have obvious biological indicators. And while neurotechnology is advancing quickly, the human mind is still shrouded in mystery. Researchers today rely on a fuzzy understanding of the brain and trial-and-error approach to treat disease. “We’re talking about a whole systems approach to the brain, not a disease-by-disease examination of a single process or a subset of processes,” DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez said in the announcement.

Pulling it off will require generating complex models of the brain systems. Luckily, scientists from the government and private companies have been on a tear in recent years trying to better understand the inner-workings of the mind. The White House’s BRAIN initiative is just one of the big-budget, large-scale attempts to map the brain currently underway, and the military has invested heavily in a wide range of neurotechnology.

Researchers are also collecting unprecedented real-time information on the brain from EEG technology that essentially read the mind and transmit that data back to a computer for analysis. These “brain hacking” headpieces are becoming more advanced, increasingly commercialized and affordable, and are starting to be used to help treat mental conditions, namely ADHD.

DARPA’s collaborating with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation on the project, called Systems-Based Neurotechnology and Understanding for the Treatment of Neuropsychological Illnesses.