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Do you think the world would be a better or worse place if everyone suddenly could read each other’s thoughts?

MustardSeed 7 Apr 7

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38 comments

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1

Brain overload and death, I guess. Imagine being at a rock concert of 10,000 people and having all that crazy info flooding in on you from all those excited minds. I don't really want to know what the Walmart lady is thinking when she is eyeing me. I'd have to run away to a desert island to keep sane!

3

If Facebook , with it's regular TMI personal posts being any indication , it would be far worse.

Good point

3

Worse at first and then better, if we didn't all kill each other before then.

3

Far, far worse. What goes on in the privacy of my mind should never be let loose upon the world.

3

Depends on who I'm with.

2

No ,no,no, you would lose all your friends and suffer many a slapped face !

But then I think I might make new friends too

@MustardSeed Um, I say no way. Far more people would hate and then murder each other. Civilization would burn. What if Kim could read Trump's thoughts? Bad bad bad idea!

Oh I don't doubt that there would be a period of disruption. But I think our better sides would shine through

2

The Belcerebons used to cause great resentment amongst neighbouring races by being one of the most enlightened, accomplished and, above all, quiet civilisations in the Galaxy. As a punishment for this behaviour, which was held to be offensively self-righteous and provocative, a Galactic tribunal inflicted on them that most cruel of all social diseases: telepathy.

2

It’d be a disaster.

People would think I was crazy for sure.

@MustardSeed oh yeah, everyone would freak

Although, I would like to think after they got over the litany of curse words and monologues about everyone's stupidity, they would grow to love me...

@MustardSeed yeah it’d probably be total chaos before people would learn to deal with it. But just as with words, people may learn to live similar to now. No clue, really.

Yeah, this is just a silly thought experiment, but I do think politicians would be dead in the water in this world.

2

Nope. My thoughts are a run of scathing commentary & 4 to 12 letter profanities. I'm pretty sure that I could not stop myself from thinking my son's girlfriend is a selfish, entitled, overly spoiled little cunt when she's yammering on about trivial bullshit. If she could read my mind, i'm sure she'd have an apoplectic, hissy fit.

Yeah, not a good idea. I have enough trouble controling my expressions as is.

But that is just the 1st order, what about when your selfish son's girlfriend is reading everyone's thoughts? Could she be trivial then? Especially if you were thinking of Kant or Nietzsche? Could she be shallow then?

@MustardSeed yes, yes she could.

2

Usually, people think of this question in an “unrestrained telepathy” model. I’d like to think that subtler shades of cognitive sharing needn’t be excluded. What if you could share specific experience and conceptions at your discretion? I think it would be useful to “see through another’s eyes” if one had the faculty to “restrict” the extent of sharing.

2

Much worse. I'd probably get in a fistfight with someone every day.

2

Worse.
And I would have no friends.

Zip.
Zero.
Zilch.

2

I get the feeling it would be worse, and could conceivably inspire more acts of violence in the process. Additionally, I think there would be far more crying taking place as well.

2

It would be worse.

2

Oh but we can read the thoughts of man. If you've read any sort of science fiction, it's likely you've heard about subvocalization, the practice of silently saying words in your head. It's common when we read (though it does slow you down), but it's only recently begun to be used as a way to interact with our computers and mobile devices. To that end, MIT researchers have created a device you wear on your face that can measure neuromuscular signals that get triggered when you subvocalize. Again I refer to the technique applied by Stephen Hawkins.
The idea that internal verbalizations have physical correlates has been around since the 19th century, and it was seriously investigated in the 1950s. One of the goals of the speed-reading movement of the 1960s was to eliminate internal verbalization, or “subvocalization,” as it’s known. But subvocalization as a computer interface is largely unexplored.”

While the white gadget now looks like some weird medical device strapped to your face, it's easy to see future applications getting smaller and less obvious, as well as useful with our mobile lives (including Hey Siri and OK Google situations). The MIT system has electrodes that pick up the signals when you verbalize internally as well as bone-conduction headphones, which use vibrations delivered to the bones of your inner ear without obstructing your ear canal. The signals are sent to a computer that uses neural networks to distinguish words. So far, the system has been used to do fun things like, asking for the time and reporting your opponent's moves in chess in utter silence.

2

Don't know if it would make the world better or worse, but it should by my choice to share my thoughts or not

2

Better. We'd realize how similar we really are, the extent to which we struggle with the same problems. Stereotyping and bigotry would be completely rescripted, overnight.

2

It'd be more honest at least. I'll give it a plus.

2

Worse

1

Better, but the learning curve would be REALLY ugly.

1

Absolutely worse. I prefer that my thoughts remain completely private, unless and until I choose to share them.
We're already entirely too close to the "Thought Police" as it is.

But if everyone could see the Thought Police as they truly were, would they have any power?

@MustardSeed I don't know, but I have no interest in ever finding out. I really hate the idea.

1

Worse off, there would be far too much.... Punishment for Thought Crimes....Now where have I heard that before?

1

You are a lot better off not reading my thoughts, as I am not reading yours.

1

I think it would be terrible. I would probably get fired from my job.

1

I would go live as a hermit. The crap that passes through my head is all I can handle. Can you imagine accidentally reading a really crazy persons' thoughts? Hell no.

Think of the collaboration too

The negatives outweigh the positives on this one for me.

@MustardSeed I'm afraid you are far too optimistic. Humans can't evolve that fast. The dead would be in the billions.

@MustardSeed Why can't you acknowledge this idea has horrible consequences? Collaboration? That would last five minutes...just long enough for you to check out your collaborator's girlfriend.

We have gone from medieval times, through the space age, into the information age in less than 200 years. It would be a rough road like every one of those stages we went through. But I think we are up to the task. As for being called an optimist, I am guilty as charged.
@hemingwaykitten

renaissance, not medieval

1

That would be horrible. Sometimes my thoughts scare me. We would all have fewer friends if any at all. Marriages would last a week maybe two if you could really control your thoughts. Bad, bad idea.

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