The Sentinel calls for Viard's new album to be banned before it is even released by Hesh Records. The album is said to employ experimental techniques to alter the listener's thought processes. The newspaper is horrified and calls for the Council to act.
Up-and-coming recording star Viard has produced an experimental album, The Silver City, that Hesh Records claims uses an experimental technology to use input to the auditory nerve to alter consciousness, particularly as pertains to intellect. Viard and his representatives claim that this technology is intended to enhance critical thinking skills, and is intended as listening material during puzzle-solving activity. We at the Sentinel feel the release of this experimental technology in the form of a simple consumer album is both abhorrent and unethical.
It has long been known that music can effect mental focus, but this is the first known attempt to intentionally prime the subconscious for a specific effect. Representatives at Cognivia have indicated that the arena smacks too much of mind control or other strictly unethical disciplines, and that as such, has not been considered an appropriate avenue for research or experimentation in the broader field of cognitive enhancement.
The Sentinel received an advance copy of the album, and found the music to be particularly disturbing. The music operates on several levels simultaneously, and while one may experience some enjoyment on the surface of the music, it is troubling to listen to the music and feel that it is somehow altering your mental state without your explicit permission. How can we really know what layers of suggestion are being set like traps for us to stumble upon in our own brains? How do we know that there will be no harmful results from the release of this album to unsuspecting listeners across the city?
Indeed, anonymous sources inside the recording studio have given us heavily redacted reports on trials of this album and the preliminary research that led to its development. These reports indicate that the technology is by no means universally beneficial -- and there have been dark hints that in some cases, exposure has resulted in "serious and malignant side effects," though their nature has been left for us to speculate. From context, they could range from headaches and ill temper clear through temporary psychosis.
If there is even a grain of truth to to these reports, then Viard and Hesh must stop production of The Silver City at once. If they are using cognitive research in this monumentally irresponsible fashion and will not be dissuaded from their course, it is clearly incumbent on the City Council to put a stop to this release. The minds of our city are our greatest asset, and are no place for any "grand cognitive experiment," no matter how voluntary nor how well-intentioned.