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 What if everyone could read each other's mind?

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komalram
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PostSubject: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:55 pm

As if when your mind thought something, it could be heard out loud, so people can tune out and choose not to hear your thoughts, but you're constantly expressing them.
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PostSubject: Re: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:32 pm

There was this show I watched a while ago called Kino no Tabi (Kino's Journey) about a girl that traveled around her (foreign) world, experiencing cultures, many reflecting the positive and deeply disturbing parts of ideas on human nature , and there was an episode about a town, whose scientists invented a machine that was implanted in people, allowing them to communicate their thoughts directly. While there was amazing communication and progress at first, soon the people became aware of each other's darkest, and sometimes involuntary thoughts, and they realized the only way they could live was in ignorance. Each person could only keep sane by living miles away from everyone else, parents and children, couples, (ultimately destroying their sanity anyways) creating a sparse village of lonely and defeated people, whom their memory was their only raison de etre.

Now draw whatever from this you want. Even if you could tune out other's thoughts, even the slightest fancy could completely destroy your life. It seems to me that, being of the form of a thought, it would be completely uncensored, to the point where humanity and reason is discarded. Your mind thinks up strange and frightening things. I don't think well of ignorance in most cases, but this would topple even the most stable of societies. Especially if everyone could read minds, nothing would be private. Maybe it could be like Facebook, except in my mind scarier. I don't know, what do you think?

(By the way, Kino no Tabi is a must see for those interested in philosophy, especially that of society and human nature.)
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PostSubject: Re: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:18 pm

Dude, that would suck. Honesty is a good thing, but it is definitely possible to overdose on it. Our ability to hide what we're thinking might enable lying and cheating, but it also enables us to keep our demons to ourselves and to hide our dark side.
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PostSubject: Re: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:22 pm

@ira and andrew: but would people even have demons and dark sides in a world where there'd be no misunderstandings?

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PostSubject: Re: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:30 pm

I'm finding it really hard to visualize a world with no secrets. There's like so much to a person's personality that they might choose never to manifest I can barely wrap my head around the idea. On the other hand, keeping things bottled up inside can't be too healthy and it might do a lot of people some good to get their thoughts out in the open. But for it to work, people would have to learn to forgive one another for their evil thoughts. Since people's thoughts would be audible, I guess they would be able to talk to each other without having to rely on speech at all and people would be able to converse without any inhibitions or concealment.
I just had a thought about how living in a world with no secrets would affect people's prejudice. People discriminate against one another because they can't see the human being beneath the other person's race, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever, right? Well maybe being able to hear each other's thoughts would allow everyone to see the humanity in others and to find the part inside all of us that feels the same way.
Okay, I've definitely modified my opinion on having a world where thoughts are audible. My first thought was that it would be inconvenient to be unable to hide one's thoughts and I still think that, but then I thought about how we abuse that privacy. People get away with all sorts of fraud just because they're good at concealing their thoughts, and that doesn't include just lying. Hell, to get away with any crime, whether it's theft, arson, or murder, you have to be able to deny it and act like you didn't do it.
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PostSubject: Re: What if everyone could read each other's mind?   Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:23 pm

Hmm.... I read a book about this once, and the thing was, there were so many people around and you could hear all of their thoughts, so it really sounded like a bunch of noise because it was sorta hard to really distinguish what people were thinking unless you really tried. In the book, the people learned to be able to control their thoughts better so others wouldn't know what they were thinking and would still hold A LOT of secrets.

However, if people could hear my thoughts, I'm guessing I would probably have been stuck in a mental institution at one point of my life which would've had a major impact on me and my life....
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