A Deepness of Thought
Pat's Blog

Who Wants to be a Superhero?

"What crime fighting superpower would you choose to have?": a classic question all kids ask each other. Super strength? Flying? Spider dexterity? Invisibility? That one, invisibility, always struck me as lame. So what if you're invisible, as soon as you do anything, you're not invisible anymore.

My answer to this hypothetical question was mind reading. It may have come from reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. In those books, a mutant human can not only read minds, he can control them. That's going a bit too far for me. The idea of having a superpower becomes uninteresting if you become omnipotent. That's why Superman has Kryptonite. But just reading minds, now that's fascinating. You could expose criminals before they commit crimes.

But now that I am a bit older and a bit more experienced, I realize, as is typical, that I had this all backward. What would be really cool is not reading other people's minds but letting other people read my mind. And it's not a super power, it's something everyone could do.

Stay with me for a moment on this.

I am not saying that your freewheeling mind is out there for everyone to knock about. You could choose to make some of your thoughts available for someone else to see directly. And they could do the same. It would be like talking; only more direct, clearer, and, here's the kicker, much more difficult to deceive.

Since most people are good, evil can only exist in the shadows. Evil deceives. Evil creates chaos to hide in. In a world where people read each other's thoughts directly, evil would have a hard time hiding. Anyone who did not share his thoughts would stick out. Everyone else would investigate this person.

Such a world is more that a bit frightening. I identify with my thoughts as a fundamental part of my identity. If I throw them out there, are they still mine or do they belong to everyone. And if my thoughts belong to others, what am I left with that is mine.

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