Regarding mind reading

In the news today there’s this major scientific research about mind reading. The scientists behind it believe that in 10 years time, casual mind reading will be possible. In 50 years, you probably won’t be able to lie anymore, to anyone — not just the cops.

What do you think of a society where telepathy is the de facto way to communicate and not your vocal cords? Terrorism, crimes, will be in the minimum. Even drunk drivers would be able to be stopped before even turn on their car engine. Everyone will be able to live a life where the fellow man is not a con-man or a murderer, because the bad apples would be already “taken care of” early on.

Personal achievements will still be yours, because if you were the first to create something, no one can lie about it and claim that it was his/her invention — but the fruits of your labor would be shared with everyone. This would be true for art, literature, science…

On the other hand, you will have no privacy. Every thought of yours, no matter how embarrassing might be (at least as our current social system thinks of it as embarrassing), every memory of yours, will be shared with the whole. You will be like an ant, working for everyone else.

But is this really bad? What if this is the next step for humanity or any other advanced civilization? Political systems, family, religion, social reforms all have FAILED to create a danger-free society. People still rob houses, people still kill others, people still try to cheat the system, people still lie every day, even to their loved ones.

The reason why this piece of news touched me is because of this experience of mine, about 10 years ago. At least for the hour that I was “under”, I experienced this so-called telepathy-based (authoritarian) society, but all I could feel throughout the session was loneliness. So I am a bit in the middle of the pack regarding this matter.

So what do you think? Would you trade your privacy, and the right to own your thoughts, for a safer society? I mean, shitting on a in-house toilet might sound the right thing to you, but up to 100 years ago was a ludicrous idea for many places in the world, and a laughing matter too. So before you start replying like a hot headed redneck, think both sides of the story first.

5 Comments »

Andrew wrote on December 11th, 2008 at 9:35 PM PST:

Having the ability to share thoughts only means one thing: you have the ability to share thoughts. It doesn’t mean you have the inability to horde them. Our computers can talk, they can exchange information, but they don’t have unrestricted access to one another. In such a future you could have the inability to share, but it’d be in addition to, not a consequence of sharing, IMO.

Now, if you’re talking of a future where “telepathic” communication was the norm and people had the inability to hide information, no, I wouldn’t be for such a future where someone could just reach in and grab something. I wouldn’t have a problem with someone being compelled through lawful means to grant access though.

–General rant–
When most people hear talk of brain implants, they think Borg and pretty much only Borg. They’re like people who think anything involving the word nuclear or radioactive is inherently evil, that the only application is the destruction of cities — when it could just as easily power them. At least the general public acknowledges them as insane.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 11th, 2008 at 11:07 PM PST:

>if you’re talking of a future where “telepathic” communication was the norm

That’s what I am talking about. A telepathic society.


Dominique wrote on December 11th, 2008 at 11:47 PM PST:

>> Would you trade your privacy, and the right to own your thoughts, for a safer society?

That’s a false choice. Who says one excludes the other?

We’ll only be safer once everybody understands the nature and role of evil in society. Until then we’re up on shit creek.


mikesum32 wrote on December 12th, 2008 at 12:02 AM PST:

In the future, if someone asks you to try on a large metal hat, just say “no.” It’s a trick to read your thoughts and get your bank info !

Dearest Eugenia,

I am Dr. Lawyer for for the Duke of Nigeria. We are testing a new medicel device that will keep you from disease and slow your’re age. You have ben chosen to where this important medical divice.

Pleese try on metal Happiness Hat. We will send the well-ness signal to you at no cost. Please where it while pointing the antena at the nearest sell-phone tower. You must do it while try to checking your bank statement for best result!

Thank you sir.

-Dr. Layer


Phil wrote on December 12th, 2008 at 3:02 AM PST:

>What do you think of a society where telepathy is the de facto way to communicate and not your vocal cords? Terrorism, crimes, will be in the minimum.

It would depend on how the telepathy would work. It could be the opposite, imagine a world where the most evil crimes, or wars were carried out using telepathy but nobody could be held to account because people were bound by a telepathic code of silence. That doesn’t sound quite so attractive …


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