Mind-reading and the end of the world

I've heard a lot of people complain about cell phone technology that enables total strangers to hear, sometimes very loudly, the intimate, mundane details about people's lives they don't necessarily care to hear about.

I think this is very amusing, and it makes me wonder how we would react to reading each other's minds. Mind reading is a scary idea for many people. Sometimes you think things and you are later glad that you didn't speak them aloud. You can learn a lot about a person sitting next to them on a bus while they are on a cell phone; just imagine what you might learn if you could read minds.

The digital age has also spawned more grief for opponents of mind-reading with the coming of age of "reality TV," blogging, and Myspace. I think there is a fundamental understanding among members of our species that human minds are imperfect, therefore careful filtering and censorship is prudent and necessary.

I worry about how young people are being more 'honest' with what they put on Myspace. I think our culture is reaching a tipping point where we are trying to decide how much privacy & prudence is necessary to maintain a stable society. I believe that is why people look down upon those that talk too much on their cell phones in public (or play weird ring tones), expose too much in magazines or on TV, or showcase half-baked opinions and young ideas on the internet.

I think deep down people are excited and nervous about exposing the human condition for what it is. We are flawed, we are constantly evolving in the sophistication (or stupefication) of our thoughts. Imagine if we all knew exactly what everyone was thinking all of the time…we are getting close!

I think it could possibly lead to either chaos or a complete understanding and acceptance of each other for our imperfections.

No time to ponder the end of the world right now…that will have to wait.