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Monday, December 15, 2014

J. Michael Straczynski on Reading People's Minds Part 1

Gray Dalek says:
Listen. I'm projecting my thoughts to you.
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me now?

Scientists and Science Fiction writers have often speculated on the capabilities of the human mind. They've wondered if abilities like telepathy lay dormant in the brain, just waiting to be unlocked. Wouldn't it be great, they asked, if you knew what people were going to say before they said it? Wouldn't that be a useful skill? 

Most of the time we don't say what we're really thinking. Sometimes, we're just being kind and thoughtful, and repress our reactions because we don't want to hurt our friends. Then again, sometimes "friends" lie to us, and sometimes we don't learn the truth until years later. Wouldn't it be great if you could read other people's minds?

In his TV series Babylon 5, creator J. Michael Straczynski foresees a future in lots of people demonstrate psychic ability. Eventually this number grows so large that Earth's government passes laws to regulate individuals with psychic or telepathic abilities. Anyone identified with such abilities must enlist in a governmental agency called Psi Corps, be properly trained, and agree to abide by a strict code of conduct. These laws protect the privacy of nontelepaths, and prevents those with psychic abilities from preying on "normal" people. But they also help those with psychic or telepathic abilities to perform useful roles in society, and live a somewhat normal existence.

So if you're hearing voices, and you're not sure where they're coming from, you might very well be a telepath. But don't rush down to your government office and join PsiCorps. At least, not until you read tomorrow's post.

Dragon Dave

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John Vornholt's Mars Novel

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