Instant Prison

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  • 3RU7AL
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    "Instant Prison".  Kinda like "Total Recall", but instead of an exciting vacation adventure you get the memories of 20 years in a state penitentiary.

    Just imagine a nice, mild mannered accountant whose been caught embezzling millions of dollars.  "Instant Prison" and send him home to his wife and kiddos.  WTF do you think might happen?  - sounds like a pretty good episode of black mirror to me.

    This is also like "strange days" and that episode of TNG where picard gets zapped and lives a "lifetime" on an alien planet.
  • Greyparrot
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    Cruel and unusual punishment?
  • 3RU7AL
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    Cruel and unusual punishment?
    Well, you would be pretty much guaranteed physical safety.

    Would you rather get an instant 20 years in the can, or would you prefer to actually spend 20 years in an actual can?
  • oromagi
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    Yeah, but if the technology to program and experience years of memory without losing actual life existed, the demand would be so high that the tech would be perceived as wasted on fake jail.  If the tech is expensive, than education, training, therapy, and especially warfare would be prioritized.  If the tech is cheap, then entertainment would absorb demand so entirely that it would be hard to get anybody to do much of anything.  If people wanted to do crime, they could do it in memory without actual harm.
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    If we have the tech to give you prison fix the criminal mind instead.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @oromagi
    Yeah, but if the technology to program and experience years of memory without losing actual life existed, the demand would be so high that the tech would be perceived as wasted on fake jail.
    I'm not sure it would be "wasted" on fake jail.  Let's say a prisoner costs $40,000 per year, 20 years would be, not including inflation, $800,000 - so as long as the "treatment" was less than $800,000 per person (OR) with an estimated 1,506,800 federal inmates that would be $60,272,000,000 dollars per year - so as long as the "treatment" was less expensive than that, in toto, then it would seem to be worth the trouble.  Plus, the land that is currently occupied by prisons could be re-purposed for housing or shopping or offices or any number of other tax revenue boosting schemes.

      If the tech is expensive, than education, training, therapy, and especially warfare would be prioritized.  If the tech is cheap, then entertainment would absorb demand so entirely that it would be hard to get anybody to do much of anything.  If people wanted to do crime, they could do it in memory without actual harm.
    I think you'd like this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DnLmuCcKRk

    There would have to be some constraints on the recording mechanism.

    In "Strange Days" the recordings can only be made while a special rig is worn on your head, while the activity is actually being experienced (AND) the tapes cannot be copied or edited.  These restrictions seem to make the experiences more precious.

    However, in "Total Recall" and "Blade Runner", the memories can be fabricated and seem to be a proprietary technology controlled by a single corporation.

    In "Ghost in the Shell", the government (or a skilled hacker) seems to have the ability to selectively erase and fabricate memories, but they can't restore original memories (without some sort of backup, presumably).

    All of that aside, my main point here is that, if it was easy to give convicted criminals a very authentic 20 year long prison experience instantaneously, would we want to make it "more humane" (splice out all the stabbings) than it currently is, or "more horrific" (splice in extra stabbings) than it currently is?  Would you mix multiple experiences to increase the length of stay (so you wouldn't have to wait 20 years to implement your new system)?  Would you record one year from 20 different people of different races (one for first year and one for second year and one for third year up to year twenty) and then splice them all together?

    I'm sure the psychological impact would be pretty serious, but would it be better or worse than an actual 20 year prison sentence?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Polytheist-Witch
    If we have the tech to give you prison fix the criminal mind instead.
    Do you have any theories about how to do that?
  • oromagi
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    I'm not sure it would be "wasted" on fake jail. 
    I said perceived as wasted. Any tech that can download years of experience will be perceived as essentially life extension: users get to experience more life than non-users.  Whatever the actual cost savings, the electorate seems pretty likely to begrudge prisoners that extra life.  The electorate would be more likely to expect prisoners to lose actual experience, lose some portion of their actual life and therefore require actual jail time.  Extra life would likely be seen as a premium reserved for the lawful.

    I do like those movies.  "Until the End of the World" is one of my favorites- where people can record their dreams and play them back but the effect is incredibly addictive. "Brainstorm" is another good one.

    All of that aside, my main point here is that, if it was easy to give convicted criminals a very authentic 20 year long prison experience instantaneously, would we want to make it "more humane" (splice out all the stabbings) than it currently is, or "more horrific" (splice in extra stabbings) than it currently is?  Would you mix multiple experiences to increase the length of stay (so you wouldn't have to wait 20 years to implement your new system)?  Would you record one year from 20 different people of different races (one for first year and one for second year and one for third year up to year twenty) and then splice them all together?
    I'm thinking you could make the experience both safer and more cruel by making the prisoner relive the same super-dull day over and over again a la Groundhog Day.  I doubt any democratic govt. would allow traumatic programming- stabbing, rape, etc but I can understand how trauma without physical harm might appeal to sadists.  We might also consider  the possibility of forcing convicts to experience the victims perspective relevant to their crime.


    I'm sure the psychological impact would be pretty serious, but would it be better or worse than an actual 20 year prison sentence?
    If you had a choice between Hell and nothingness, what would you choose?  Knowing it is the wrong choice, I would probably choose even eternal torture to the total cessation of experience?  I'm thinking yours is essentially the same question except on a smaller scale
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @3RU7AL
    How about giving them 20 years of memories of living in a stable 2 parent family surrounded by people that love them and push them to better themselves.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @oromagi
    I said perceived as wasted. Any tech that can download years of experience will be perceived as essentially life extension: users get to experience more life than non-users.  Whatever the actual cost savings, the electorate seems pretty likely to begrudge prisoners that extra life.  The electorate would be more likely to expect prisoners to lose actual experience, lose some portion of their actual life and therefore require actual jail time.  Extra life would likely be seen as a premium reserved for the lawful.
    So, can't we just poison them in order to remove some of their "life"?

    I do like those movies.  "Until the End of the World" is one of my favorites- where people can record their dreams and play them back but the effect is incredibly addictive. "Brainstorm" is another good one.
    Good ol, Wim Wenders.  I'll check that out.  Wasn't "Brainstorm", oh wait, I was thinking of "Mindwarp"...  Christopher Walken?  I'll be looking for that as well.  Don't forget about - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpZiNO2CRtw

    I'm thinking you could make the experience both safer and more cruel by making the prisoner relive the same super-dull day over and over again a la Groundhog Day.  I doubt any democratic govt. would allow traumatic programming- stabbing, rape, etc but I can understand how trauma without physical harm might appeal to sadists.  We might also consider  the possibility of forcing convicts to experience the victims perspective relevant to their crime.
    I did think about the same day over and over, but without some sort of progression, I'm pretty sure you're begging for insanity.  Unchanging stimulus is basically sensory deprivation and that's only "safe" for about 72 hours.  Forcing convicts to experience something similar to their victims is interesting but may run into the same problems you mentioned with stabbings and stuff.  I mean, if you purposefully caused a convict to experience the sensations of murder of maiming, doesn't that make you a psychopath?  I mean, what if their "crime" is hacking into someone's VR rig and forcing them to experience a flurry of stabbings?  Is that not a "real" crime?

    If you had a choice between Hell and nothingness, what would you choose?  Knowing it is the wrong choice, I would probably choose even eternal torture to the total cessation of experience?  I'm thinking yours is essentially the same question except on a smaller scale
    Somewhat surprisingly, people will often voluntarily subject themselves to pain when they are lacking stimulus (bored).  I saw one experiment where they left someone alone and told them not to move from their seat in a plain looking room.  Within two minutes they shocked themselves on a small electronic device that they KNEW would shock them and which they told the researchers they absolutely refused to touch a second time.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Greyparrot
    How about giving them 20 years of memories of living in a stable 2 parent family surrounded by people that love them and push them to better themselves.
    Wouldn't that just be a REWARD for crime?
  • oromagi
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    --> @3RU7AL
    If we have the tech to give you prison fix the criminal mind instead.
    Do you have any theories about how to do that?



    My mind instantly goes to recent studies of the relationship between rape and porn, finding that as the availability of porn increases, incidence of  rape decreases.  That makes sense to me.  Rememory technology could certainly be used as a kind of super-porn.  What I don't know is whether satisfying criminal fantasies generally decreases the criminal impulse. 

    Although violent crime is down, I don't think the increase in first person shooter games can take much credit- in fact, mass shootings which more closely resemble first person shooter experience are up.  Would allowing an individual with a mass-shooter impulse to live out a Columbine program decrease that individual tendency towards an actual mass-shooting? I don't know....my gut says probably not: rape has an inherent denouement that mass-shooting lacks.

    Certainly, virtual theft does nothing to increase one's actual fortune but then few enough thefts are the result of urgent need.

    If Rememory were common enough, perhaps the withholding of virtual experience would be a sufficient deterrent.  Imagine we lived in a world where you worked one day IRL and then you went home to your Rememory bed to enjoy another year on your luxury space station with Scarlett Johansson.  Wouldn't you be less likely to endanger the life you value by committing crime on your one real day each year?
  • oromagi
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    --> @3RU7AL
    How about giving them 20 years of memories of living in a stable 2 parent family surrounded by people that love them and push them to better themselves.
    Wouldn't that just be a REWARD for crime?
    Yes, but social science suggests it might significantly improve recidivism.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @3RU7AL
    They made a movie about that right? Clockwork Orange?
  • oromagi
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    --> @3RU7AL
    So, can't we just poison them in order to remove some of their "life"?

    Yep, that is essentially what we do now.

    Good ol, Wim Wenders.  I'll check that out.  Wasn't "Brainstorm", oh wait, I was thinking of "Mindwarp"...  Christopher Walken?  I'll be looking for that as well.  Don't forget about - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpZiNO2CRtw
    Our tastes clearly overlap.

    I did think about the same day over and over, but without some sort of progression, I'm pretty sure you're begging for insanity.  Unchanging stimulus is basically sensory deprivation and that's only "safe" for about 72 hours. 
    I agree and I also think our present penal system often strives to achieve just such an effect.  In the deep routine of high security prisons, the days must seem particularly invariable.  It has been shown that solitary confinement has severe mental and psychological effects on prisoners. 

    Forcing convicts to experience something similar to their victims is interesting but may run into the same problems you mentioned with stabbings and stuff.  I mean, if you purposefully caused a convict to experience the sensations of murder of maiming, doesn't that make you a psychopath?
    Yup, I used the word sadist above, but yup.


      I mean, what if their "crime" is hacking into someone's VR rig and forcing them to experience a flurry of stabbings?  Is that not a "real" crime?
    Yap, for sure.

    Somewhat surprisingly, people will often voluntarily subject themselves to pain when they are lacking stimulus (bored).  I saw one experiment where they left someone alone and told them not to move from their seat in a plain looking room.  Within two minutes they shocked themselves on a small electronic device that they KNEW would shock them and which they told the researchers they absolutely refused to touch a second time.
    exactly

  • Death23
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    Insufficiently severe.
  • 3RU7AL
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    Insufficiently severe.
    Please explain.

    If you could give convicted criminals an experience of 20 years of "whatever you choose", you could make it as severe as you wish.

    If you are only concerned with "missing 20 years of your friends and family", well, a lot of these convicts don't have a lot of "friends and family" to miss in the first place, and even if they did, would you approve of a sentence of 20 real actual years of them in physical isolation, where they had daily access to some sort of virtual reality that allowed them to "live" a "normal life" that would prepare them for their release?  I'm imagining some sort of TNG style "holodeck" where they would be instantly ejected if they performed any anti-social or criminal actions.  Kinda like - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlaNKKHzNKQ
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @oromagi
    I agree and I also think our present penal system often strives to achieve just such an effect.  In the deep routine of high security prisons, the days must seem particularly invariable.  It has been shown that solitary confinement has severe mental and psychological effects on prisoners.  
    Well stated.

    I also wanted to mention the criminally neglected 1993 "Wild Palms" and the 1992 classic "The Lawnmower Man".
  • 3RU7AL
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    They made a movie about that right? Clockwork Orange?
    That is one version of "rehabilitation".

    What did you like about that particular film?

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @oromagi
    My mind instantly goes to recent studies of the relationship between rape and porn, finding that as the availability of porn increases, incidence of  rape decreases.  That makes sense to me.  Rememory technology could certainly be used as a kind of super-porn.  What I don't know is whether satisfying criminal fantasies generally decreases the criminal impulse.  
    I believe a large number of killings are neighborhood skirmishes that are in response to personal insults and or, like in the animal kingdom, rivals competing for reproductive rights.

    I'm not sure if VR would solve this (since we will still need to reproduce and we have the associated competitive instincts), but perhaps, if we gave everyone a nice computer and free food delivered to their doorstep every week, we could reduce their violent expressions if not the underlying tendencies themselves.

    Although violent crime is down, I don't think the increase in first person shooter games can take much credit- in fact, mass shootings which more closely resemble first person shooter experience are up.  Would allowing an individual with a mass-shooter impulse to live out a Columbine program decrease that individual tendency towards an actual mass-shooting? I don't know....my gut says probably not: rape has an inherent denouement that mass-shooting lacks.
    The military seems to believe that VR is an effective tool for training their recruits, so, perhaps not a preventative measure.

    I believe the impetus for the school shootings was (revenge in response to) bullying and or other forms of social rejection.

    Certainly, virtual theft does nothing to increase one's actual fortune but then few enough thefts are the result of urgent need.
    Scarcity of resources does historically lead to a marked increase in violence.

    If Rememory were common enough, perhaps the withholding of virtual experience would be a sufficient deterrent.  Imagine we lived in a world where you worked one day IRL and then you went home to your Rememory bed to enjoy another year on your luxury space station with Scarlett Johansson.  Wouldn't you be less likely to endanger the life you value by committing crime on your one real day each year?
    I think this is the best (and most humane) idea yet.

    You get to live in the 1998 "What Dreams May Come" and then once a week, or one hour a day or something, you would have to do some sort of task.

    And if you miss a shift or screw something up or commit a crime, you suffer some "in game" penalty.

    Also similar to, (from the director of Ghost in the Shell) the 2001 feature "Avalon" where "playing the game" was a full time job.
  • Death23
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Insufficiently severe.
    Please explain.

    If you could give convicted criminals an experience of 20 years of "whatever you choose", you could make it as severe as you wish.

    If you are only concerned with "missing 20 years of your friends and family", well, a lot of these convicts don't have a lot of "friends and family" to miss in the first place, and even if they did, would you approve of a sentence of 20 real actual years of them in physical isolation, where they had daily access to some sort of virtual reality that allowed them to "live" a "normal life" that would prepare them for their release?  I'm imagining some sort of TNG style "holodeck" where they would be instantly ejected if they performed any anti-social or criminal actions.  Kinda like - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlaNKKHzNKQ



    In your OP you said "you get the memories of 20 years in a state penitentiary." Here you say "an experience of 20 years". That's not the same thing. They must actually experience the punishment, not merely have a memory of it.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Death23
    In your OP you said "you get the memories of 20 years in a state penitentiary." Here you say "an experience of 20 years". That's not the same thing. They must actually experience the punishment, not merely have a memory of it. 
    What do you have after 20 years of experience?
  • Death23
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    What do you have after 20 years of experience?
    A memory of an experience of 20 years.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Death23
    What do you have after 20 years of experience?
    A memory of an experience of 20 years.
    Please explain how they are not the same thing.
  • Death23
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Well, it sounds like what you're talking about - In the original post - Is that the memory of an experience is implanted. There's no actual experience that was endured. You then said this:

    If you could give convicted criminals an experience of 20 years of "whatever you choose", you could make it as severe as you wish.
    You know, maybe it was just an oversight and it wasn't what you were trying to communicate, but we wouldn't be giving them the experience if we were applying the original idea from the OP - Memory implants. We would be giving them merely the memory of such an experience. So, an example of this being written more consistent with your OP would be something like this -

    If you could give convicted criminals the memory of an experience of 20 years of "whatever you choose", you could make it as severe as you wish.
    There was an Outer Limits episode - "The Sentence" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sentence_(The_Outer_Limits) https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5cfyoc ) that dealt with something like this in a fashion that I'm more agreeable with. In the episode the mind actually experiences the sentence in a simulation - Something like the matrix. After the simulation is complete the prisoner returns to reality without much time lost from his actual life. Contrast that with the "Total Recall" idea of implanted a memory but where the prisoner's mind never actually goes through the experience.