"Police scientist" in UAE: binaural music is "digital drug", ban it


#1

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#2

So, Police as good with sciencing as with policing. Huzzah!


#3

This happened in 2012 according to here:

I’m pretty certain we could find some asshole who wants to ban any given thing out there.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to being outraged about regular stuff now. It’s election day, so I’m punchy.

Also, Binaural beats are great, and you’ll pry them from my cold, deaf ears.


#4

I expected this kind of development, though not with audio and not from UAE. There are various audiovisual technologies that can manipulate brain states (see “mind machines”, for example).

The emerging virtual reality market, together with music visualisation algorithms and suitable music, has the potential of providing quite interesting experiences. And I did not even started speculating about adding OpenEEG (or the near-infrared “headbands”) for feedback sensing and tDCS devices for direct stimulation into the mix.

And the authorities will have a rather hard time banning this; the stuff can be smuggled about as easily as any other kind of digital data, drug dogs cannot sniff it, even a simple obfuscation makes it unsniffable for computer analysis, and urine testing won’t show usage of “e-drugs” because there are no metabolites.


#5

I’m kind of quietly raging myself. Out of all the terrible things happening right now, why am I giving this PoS so much of my energy?
Maybe a walk in the grey autumn day will relax me.


#6

Framing it that binaural beating “simulates drugs” is fairly bass ackwards, it would be far more straightforward to say that they “stimulate the brain”. But unfortunately, I have read web pages by binaural beat enthusiasts which frame it in the same daft way. The police stance on this doesn’t surprise me considering the “analog acts”, which make a point to completely disregard what chemical analogs are.

The original argument for banning drugs was that they were unsafe to take - along with a lot of suspicious racial/ethnic baggage. As modern drugs have gotten safer, and even entirely “virtual” I am confident that their complaints about policing brain states will become only more hollow over time.


#7

Resident news-of-the-weird guy posted this, carry on accordingly.


#8

I know, this should be another “LOL at x” moment, but maybe my spirits are just low today. Instead, I’m having a “why are some people always trying to control other people” moment. I’m not even sure a log cabin in the woods would satiate me today, knowing that even though I removed myself, assholes still reign over the kingdom.


#9

We can find assholes to point out how boring -anything- is to them, too!


#10

So the problem has moved from a healthcare issue whereby drugs are bad for society because of addiction, overdose, loss of cognitive function etc to drugs are bad because they feel good and make you think in different ways?

Talk about loosing credibility…


#11

Christ what a bozo. Maybe we should ban sugar next since it is so addictive. Or maybe we should ban anything that gives pleasure and just eat broken glass and drink ditch water.


#12

I-Doser carried out a survey that found almost a fifth (17 per cent) of listeners felt no effect from its products.

The obvious next question is, how many of the remaining four-fifths are just having a placebo reaction based on the rather evocative names and the phrasing used in all the information on their website. But, of course, why look at it scientifically when you can charge in and ban everything?


#13

Fair enough, I was reading this post as “could they possibly ban something more obscure?”


#14

Hasn’t feeling good always been the “sin” at which prohibitions have been directed?

BTW, “police scientist” sounds like it’s straight from a Firesign Theatre routine.


#15

Giving this more publicity probably will have the opposite of the ban proposers’ desired effect. I’d never heard of binaural beats at all and now I have. If I was still rebellious drug-experimenting mind tinkering teenager me, I can guarantee that I would be busy listening to them for the first time right now instead of posting this comment.


#16

Within some groups. But hardly anybody comes out and says it, so we get the comedy of repressed people dancing around the issue with their rationalizations. Even within these teachings, IMO this tends to be a misinterpretation of the call for self-discipline.

As something of a Tantrika, I heavily value self-discipline but I prefer to use my capacity for pleasure rather than repress it. Like Crowley said, better to strengthen oneself to bear more joy than commiserate in desperation.


#17

Drinking ditch water can give you Giardia, which can produce hallucinations along with excruciating stomach cramps…so that’s out, I’m afraid. Broken glass, though, is A-OK! (As long as it’s not glass from a bottle that once contained alcoholic ingredients, natch)


#18

I can’t understand the reasoning behind the idea that self-discipline requires abstinence from anything that may be pleasurable or might expand your consciousness and lead you to other, more healthy ways of viewing the world.


#19

I don’t know that there is any, I just suspect that people confuse self-discipline with abstinence. It can be a helpful exercise to control what one does and when so as to not be on auto-pilot. But a dogmatist might be tempted to use this to condition others to do/not do specific things for their own reasons.


#20

Psychoacoustic “beating” is a perception effect. You can create the effect with any string instrument that has strings tunable to the same pitch (like a dulcimer). By slightly detuning one of the two strings and then strumming them, the sustained notes will create a perceptible “wavering” or “tremolo” effect. The closer to unison tuning the strings are, the faster the “beating” and, conversely, the further from unison tuning the two strings are, the slower the “beating” effect. A binaural beat recording uses the fantastic incremental tuning of modern synthesis to create this effect and then spreads it across the stereo spectrum: One pitch in the left ear, the slightly detuned pitch in the right ear (hence the term binaural). It’s way less technical than you think: I could manufacture hundreds of such recordings in a single day with cheap software.

Anyone who has ever tuned an instrument to itself, or to another instrument, has heard this phenomenon. Knowing about this phenomenon is quite literally the basis for anyone properly tuning any instrument.

If you achieved any sort of altered consciousness listening to binaural beats, congratulations. You need not spend money on illicit substances, including binaural beat apps.