Have you ever seen an MRI machine in action without all the coverings around the magnets? It is pretty amazing how fast all the parts are moving to get an image of the human brain. One of my dream products, which would be really cool to have is a portable fMRI machine that one could wear out in public and you could get data sets from actual life versus someone lying still in a tube – motionless.
last night I was jet-lagged, tired, a bit sick in the sinuses and a bit stretched with work, rushed through a nice dinner to take some photos of some talented comedians for a friend that is actively trying to bring comedy to the people in a world that seems to be against laughing at ourselves and too politically correct.
I go in, I start to shoot, and the greys did a hilarious long winded blues song about the systems man has created, and when they sang it all out, without missing a beat, I smiled at the cleverness of it all. The same happened when dee Ann Smith came on stage. Since I am a straight man, it is always interesting to get the lesbian feminist perspective on life, and in her case, you watch years practice and honing the skill working on a stage and making it look simple and easy. She also uses her physical appearance to quickly disarm and charm, yet in the same breath, smackdown with her own unique style.
So as I sat there last night, my brain was watching her work, and I was thinking about all the times I sketched out the possibility of a mobile fMRI machine and what it would entail. You can drive yourself batty in going through the process…I am sure it is possible…yet, I hate to think how much time, money, and testing it would entail getting it to work in a real-world environment and filter out all the noise of humans around it.
I digress…why I like stand-up comedians is that I think that is one of the harder jobs in the world to do well. When I watch the road and way they have to rise up to the few spots at the top – it does not look like fun or easy task. This week I commented that circus clowns tended to be a bit sad and depressed, yet, they always had a smile and the goal to bring smiles to others. I wonder what actual comedians are like. I never really took the time to stop and have a conversation with them, as it always seemed like they were working, and not just “themselves.”
That would be an interesting perspective for me to see and learn about. Are comedians like Hollywood film folks where the person off camera is an entirely different one that the public image? Are the down to earth or simply egomaniacs like some of the performers I have worked with? Are they the same on stage as in public. This idea sends shivers up my spine as there are a few comedians I have heard say, “people think I am a comedian, I am really up here cause it is cheaper than therapy.”
What sort of data would one get while a standup comedian is working? When you see how they are playing a kind of chess game with the audience and shifting gears all the time. it makes a compelling case to make the personal fMIR to get the data
What scares me a bit is that a more straightforward version is and has been developed where people are giving away the data – and we don’t even realize it. It is called the smartphone. While it does not give away the precise view of the fMRI, it gives more than enough data for folks with less than altruistic motives the ability to take that data and dumb you down.