General Question

Zen's avatar

Would you really like to be able to read people's minds?

Asked by Zen (7748points) April 29th, 2009

If it meant they could read yours, too? People have written on the various super-powers’ questions that they’d like to have esp, or mind-reading capabilities.

Me? Heck no. Don’t read mine: I won’t read yours. Gimme old-fashioned words, tone and facial expressions and leave the mind-reading to Spock, thank you.

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19 Answers

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Yes! I speak my mind pretty freely anyway and am a bad liar, so people reading mine wouldn’t bother me much. I’d LOVE to read minds, hands down, over any other super power.

Zen's avatar

@BBSDTfamily What am I thinking right now, eh? Hint: it has to do with Star Trek and Uhura.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I am sorry! I’ve never seen any Star Trek and don’t know what Uhura is.

I am going to predict you are now thinking that I am seriously missing out!

oratio's avatar

It would be awful if people could do that. I feel somewhat uncomfortable with the mind reading technology in development(the japanese machine interepreting visual data from the brain). I guess it needs to be done, but I am not excited about what it could mean in the future.

tigran's avatar

That would be cool on a game of poker!

i used to walk around observing people, wishing I could see the time people had sex for the first time, that was before I had some… sounds freaking weird now

alive's avatar

I’m going with Yes on this one. Yes i would like it if I could read minds, and so could everyone else. Not to be “captain obvious” here, but we really would be living in an entirely different world. What I mean by that is for example if everyone in the U.N. could tell what the other people really had in mind then there would be a much more direct and fair way to negotiate. No one could say “our position is a ‘moral’ stance” if really they wanted to get some oil and help out haliburton * cough cough *

As for people reading my mind, I don’t think people are honest enough because they think it will cause fights or at least some hurt fgeelings, but if everyone was getting the harsh and bitter truth, our skins would be much thicker and we might just get really good advise, even when we didn’t want to hear it.

I know that this scenario could also be argued to be really horrible (and I’m sure plenty of flutherites will show me the flaws in my point) but… I think that Honesty is the best policy.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I have no guilt about my thoughts.. I’m an open book.. so in that sense I’d be ok with it… but I still wouldn’t want the ability to read minds because humans are a twisted bunch.. and even the purest of humans think things sometimes that should never be shared.. such as husbands when their wife asks “Does this make my butt look big”. Of course we know what they are supposed to say.. but in their heads they are likely thinking: “no.. your big freakin ass makes your butt look big”.. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where the ability to filter thoughts and speech didn’t exist.

asmonet's avatar

I would not do it if it were a two-way street of nonstop communication. If it was more like nonverbal communication, then hell yeah I would. But I think some really weird things.

No one needs to hear my crazy.

Maybe if I could turn the exchange on and off so that even if I read someone’s mind, and they could still read mine, I could turn it off for a few hours of privacy.

shrubbery's avatar

How much of the mind are we talking about here? Are we talking immediate thoughts in the front of our minds, you know, the ones like we are speaking but only to ourselves, eg “wow she’s changed her hair, looks nice” or are we talking random offshoots and snapshots that happen instantaneously when we see something that we have no control over, or are we talking full blown subconscious and memory and absolutely everything? I think my answer might depend on how far the mind reading goes.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think so. Just listening to my own thoughts all the time makes me crazy. Why add to the existing cacophony?

shrubbery's avatar

Oh yeah, and another thing, can we choose to turn the function off and on? Cause if we couldn’t ever turn it off I’d probably have to decline because I’d just get sick of it. I mean it’d be fascinating, but after a while…. go away!

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

It would be awesome but I’d want to be able to control it(:

Triiiple's avatar

Yes, do you not watch Heroes?

You can do so much being 1 step ahead of everyone.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No. What a pain in the butt that would be.

OpryLeigh's avatar

No, I think it would hurt me too much.

aidje's avatar

There’s an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Buffy inadvertently becomes telepathic. She begins to go insane as a result, and her friends have to find a way to turn off her telepathy before she totally loses it (her sanity, that is). I really liked that portrayal of telepathy, so No.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Since I am so shy and socially awkward, reading peoples minds would be a good way to find common ground.

mattbrowne's avatar

There’s already a scientific basis for ‘telepathy’: the co-called mirror neurons in human brains. From Wikipedia: An emotional contagion is the tendency to catch and feel emotions that are similar to and influenced by those of others. A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another animal (especially by another animal of the same species).

Some neurobiologist believe mirror neurons are the reasons people and dogs understand each other. I’m not kidding.

It’s unclear how mirror neurons work between Flutherites over the web, but the use of some emoticons might help ;-)

Zen's avatar

@shrubbery You decide, then answer accordingly. Since you’ve already given it some thought…

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