Future Sentences Could Last 1K Years —in Prisoners' Minds
Philosophers discuss mind-warping punishments
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2014 5:24 PM CDT
Drugs could be developed to make prisoners believe time is passing slower.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – We could someday see prison sentences radically altered—in the prisoner's own mind, the Telegraph reports. An Oxford philosophers are considering how future technology could, for instance, make a jail sentence feel as though it lasted 1,000 years, they tell Aeon magazine. After all, there are already "a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time," and existing interrogation scenarios tinker with lighting to prevent subjects from knowing the time, says Rebecca Roache.

In a blog post, Roache advances an even more mind-bending idea: Some point to a future in which brain scans allow us to upload the human brain onto a computer (there's even a Wikipedia page about it). If that happens, we could perhaps "speed up" a prisoner's mind. "Uploading the mind of a convicted criminal and running it a million times faster than normal would enable the uploaded criminal to serve a 1,000 year sentence in eight-and-a-half hours," Roache writes. That would, she notes, "be much cheaper for the taxpayer." But, she points out, "the goal isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments—the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future."

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Showing 3 of 128 comments
Lou Bernardo
Mar 18, 2014 2:34 PM CDT
Civilization continues to regress. Why not bring back the Iron Maiden, the Rack and the Wheel?
Herbert Lubitz
Mar 17, 2014 12:06 PM CDT
The first line tells it all, Ok since you people don't get it, I have been posting remarks, but all kidding aside for all you simple minded monkeys, Oxford philosophers are from England, and has such bullshit ever came out of Europe this is it. The European ideas are all Marxist and who do you think send us the luxury of the Federal Reserve, who by the way are controlling everyone n the world already. And now they give us this crap of it would be a better life for all of us if all the bad people are brain dead for 1000 years. They are introducing the idea to be of a good thing but in reality they are sneaking in another form of brainwashing so we accept the whole brainwashing idea. Just like the chip they are trying to introduce, to keep track of all humanity. First it was to protect your pets, then it was to protect your loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia, then it was a good thing to put all your health records on, then they say you can do your financial business easier. Who do you think all of this will protect? Don't be a fool. Your all going down, so slowly that you don't even know your being cooked. It's like that old story from the Outer Limits, To serve man, did you see it. It's an old one but the story is true today. The story starts when aliens from space show us all kinds of good things, and promise that they will reveal the secrets of mankind's solutions to every problem on earth. Now comes the good part, they recruit people to join them to their perfect world where we all can live in harmony, but while people are being loaded into the space ship the leader I holding a book, that says on the front, "TO SERVE MAN", but what we don't see is the index................ The book is a recipe book with different ways to serve man. Isn't that where we're headed? think about it......................... I am not so much of a troll now am I? and if you still slam me here, I feel sorry for you, because you are either a European on the Kool-Aid or you already are being served. Go on now get on that ship to LaLa land, you'll love it! Oh yeah I forgot, I am from a German decent, and born just after the war. But Hitler was the most disgusting piece of shit to roll out of Europe, and I do not take any stance that is against humanities morals, even if nobody practices it anymore. Weather your Jewish or German, we all are human and forgot what it means to be separated from the Animal kingdom. We are the keepers of all things, except mercy.
jamescraig2000
Mar 16, 2014 5:11 PM CDT
OR better yet let's create a time machine to send them back a thousand years sentence them, then bring them back to the future. Makes sense