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wundayatta's avatar

If you could design a telepathy system, how would it work?

Asked by wundayatta (58693points) June 22nd, 2009

Would people have to be in close proximity in order to read other people’s thoughts, or could they do it at any distance? Could they read everyone else’s thoughts, or only certain people’s? If so, what distinguishes those whose thoughts you can read? Can you block out someone else from reading you? If not, what would it feel like to have all these other people’s thoughts bombarding you?

Would it be a selective thing, where two people have to agree? Would it be like the Vulcan mind meld? Would it be like those dementers in Harry Potter, and you could force yourself in and rearrange someone else’s thoughts?

Can you imagine a system where telepathy wouldn’t drive everyone around the bend, and lead to everyone isolating themselves from each other just for a moment of peace?

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13 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

If I designed a telepathy system, yes, everyone would have to agree. And then I would block everyone from reading my mind and from me reading theirs. I don’t want people poking around in my mind and I don’t want to go snooping around in other people’s minds. You never know what you might find. I’d rather not know.

cak's avatar

What a horrible way of life! Really, think about it, not having you mind as your own? Very scary!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

people who poke around in my mind deserve what they get.

cak's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra You could probably sell tickets! ;~)

lillycoyote's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I agree with you on that one, I just don’t want anyone to sue me for a slip and fall in one of the dark, dingy, cluttered corridors of my mind. It’s a mess in there. :)

filmfann's avatar

@daloon That wasn’t dementors, that was wizards who practiced Legilimency. Dementors took away all positive feelings, leaving you feeling desperate, or dead.
yes, I am a Harry Potter geek

Dog's avatar

If I created it- it would only work when both parties locked eyes for over 5 seconds and each had to be willing or it would be blocked. You would show pictures- no language.

rooeytoo's avatar

I would want mine to work like a telephone. I want to be able to call people and if they felt like it they would answer. There would have to be a caller id and call waiting.

When I was a kid I was into sci-fi and read a book where identical twins were taught to focus on a sort of innate ability they possess from birth, refine it and one twin was sent out on a star ship and the other stayed here, that is how they communicated. As I think back on it, there are a lot of problems in this idea, but I can’t remember how they were settled.

Also I have had Akita dogs for years now and the Japanese people believe they possess ESP and I have to say they are the most intuitive dog I have ever met. My first one would be in another room and I would think his name and more often than not he would come and stand in front of me with a What did you want look on his face.

Sorry I got carried away, the concept has always intrigued me.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve lived with identical twins, that was as much telepathy and conjoined mind madness as I could handle at one time.

Lupin's avatar

I’d make mine work only while you were wearing a ballcap shaped transponder. The sensing leads would be distributed inside the cap and the brim would contain a yagi antenna projecting forward. Using Bluetooth-like protocols, both parties would have to agree beforehand and would only receive signals when facing each other.
Eye contact is a whole lot easier.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@lillycoyote there are places in my mind that I don’t like to go to, so I can’t imagine what other people would think if they happened to slip and fall down into one of those pits.

@cak, sure I could sell tickets, but the responsibility of driving the more timid customers/visitors insane would be too much of a burden. can you imagine the insurance premiums?

mattbrowne's avatar

The technology of advanced brain implants will progress rapidly. Including wireless sender and receivers in the chips is very realistic. One challenge will be adding reliable firewall technology. And you’d need an identification system, like emails or phone numbers. So when you’re standing near a person you want to communicate telepathically, you would dial his or her number mentally. Inside the other head it rings and the receiver brain decides whether to take the call or not (we could add a telepath answering system later). Suppose the connection is established how would it work?

Your thoughts consists of words which would normal be connected to the motor regions handling speech. In this case the neurons would have to be connected to the chips. Axons that are normally connected with synapses would send their electrical signal to artificial devices as well. I’m not saying this is an easy thing to do. But in 2030, why not? It might be harder to send astronauts to Titan than making telepathy work. The real question is: Is there a market for it? Would people be interested in the technology or scared of it?

rooeytoo's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra – I know exactly what you mean, love the insurance premium bit, they would have to be exorbitant.

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