Telepathy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Right, so I’m not actually telepathic, but I suspect that if i had a super power that us the one that would leave me most happy. If we are just talking useful then teleportation would probably be the most powerful, or possibly invisibility.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that what ever power we are talking about is not crippled with side effects or granted by an evil genie. You don’t have to disrobe to turn invisible, what you are wearing and carrying disappears with you. Teleporting wouldn’t leave you dead in a mountain or all of your possessions behind. Similarly telepathy wouldn’t be always on, or only one way.

There are many uses to which you could put teleportation, both humanitarian and self aggrandizing . Where I able to teleport, setting up a permanent base on the Moon and/or Mars would probably be my top priority. Which of course is excellent because it fits the bill for altruism and greed at the same time… Saving the human race from global catastrophe would certainly qualify as altruistic, and being in three baskets instead of one would certainly be a worthwhile goal, and the opportunities for profiting from such a venture are basically limitless.

Invisibility doesn’t have as obvious uses for good, but certainly could allow you to steal anything and everything you could carry. You could be rich, maybe steal back precious art, save hostages but the altruistic possibilities are a bit limited and contrived.

Telepathy could certainly be used for nefarious or beneficent  purposes, stealing secrets or interrogation good guys or bad guys for fun and profit. That said, altruism nor wealth directly lead to happiness. On the other hand, I feel like being able to directly, and unambiguously communicate with other people could. So often I’ll talk to someone, and maybe, probably, kind of I think I know what they mean. And even if I act in a way that shows I the way I interpreted what they said obviously there is a high probability that either they’ll misunderstand me in return, or they’ll realize I misunderstood them but are too embarrassed to correct my misapprehension. On the third hand (which is an entirely different super power) maybe telepathy would only reveal the awful truth. If the majority of what people say is polite lies, would knowing, really knowing, that lead to happiness or would it instead cause sadness and depression?

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear what you think the most useful super powers would be for Greed, Altruism and Happiness… Which would you pick? Me I’d probably go for Teleportation, even though I doubt it would make me as happy as Telepathy, I would use it for the benefit of mankind, and hopefully find a measure of happiness in so doing. Or maybe I’d just steal everything (though I’m not sure where I’d put it).


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