Show of HandsShow of Hands

Show Of Hands July 2nd, 2013 1:50pm

Chaos Tuesday! Which instant and permanent change would cause more global chaos: everyone can now read the minds of anyone within 25 feet of them, or everyone loses the capacity to read any written language?

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Comments: Add Comment

HopefulChaos ohio
07/10/13 5:12 pm

Mind reading would cause a lot more order in that we would find things out quicker. Initially there would be more chaos but if it were permanent it would lead to more order.

jhill303 Right Here
07/06/13 12:38 pm

You'd be surprised how often we already read minds subconsciously through body language or tone of voice. Illiteracy was already an "epidemic" through US history, but resolving it brought us to positive change. Imagine the present with illiteracy...

willthehuman Suburbia
07/06/13 10:44 pm

Agreed, I can get a general idea of what one is thinking about based entirely on expression and where one is looking. I bet we all can.

titan14151 Ohio
07/05/13 6:06 am

It appears people in Maine already can read each others minds and it's not working well.

ZestOfClementine Ye Olde 802
07/04/13 2:26 pm

I would think mind reading would create more order, not chaos

07/04/13 5:49 pm

Think about the voices in your head.

bmooney Louisiana
07/04/13 9:25 am

mind reading would be total chaos. .. just ask Sookie!

hanoada Hyrum, UT
07/04/13 6:29 am

Can you imagine the chaos in big cities with everyone hearing everyone's thoughts as they get within 25 feet of each other?! That would drive me nuts! :P

07/03/13 5:12 pm

No one can read, rather than a select few? The South with rise again!

thutchings7 Florida
07/03/13 3:01 pm

Be more harmful to lose ability to read/write. We would adapt to become an honest species. Now big governments cant lie! Woohoo!!

07/03/13 8:28 pm

Big governments would still get away with lying. Mind reading would only work within 25 feet. When is the last time you got within 25 feet of a politician? It might happen, but rarely.

07/03/13 1:43 pm

I wouldn't survive the day. The rude and disrespectful things I be thinking during the process of one day would get me burned at the stake.

HPNerd Hogwarts
07/03/13 12:49 pm

People survived before the written word. Can you imagine the riots if mind wading were possible? No thank you!

07/03/13 8:31 pm

Of course, people survived then. But, written language has advanced civilization. Business, the Internet, banking ... all would crumble, without writing.

Michael Updating...
07/03/13 9:47 am

This is the hardest question I have ever had to answer on SoH

ladyniner81 people suck
07/03/13 7:31 am

I'd think mind reading. If you encountered someone truly evil, they would take advantage of what you were thinking.

getupbaby South City
07/03/13 6:29 am

Women don't need to know what we're thinking.

louanne Westland
07/03/13 6:17 am

The fear of mind reading makes me think people do not live very honest lives and are afraid of their hateful thoughts. What is it people will hear you think that you are so afraid of?

07/03/13 3:32 am

I can see all the politicians walking around with no one allowed within that 25' mind reading bubble.

johnjb A beautiful place
07/03/13 1:42 am

Lose books, Internet, computers, and all records and maps... Yep. We boned

xandria In a Land of Wonder
07/02/13 11:44 pm

I'd rather lose the ability to write. they invented sign language for a reason. not the same as this, but you get my point. there's a solution. mind reading! we'd lose a lot of personal information quickly.

kaybird007 earth
07/02/13 10:41 pm

We could always send flash drives with our voices on it instead of sending a word document!

skacey best poll is evenly split
07/03/13 7:17 am

Who would program the computer to do that? No one could read the programming language.

07/02/13 8:45 pm

If EVERYBODY could read minds, we'd get used to having no secrets or block out thoughts with white noise. Pink elephant pink elephant bahama mama...
Unable to read means unable to write. Without that kind of communication most business would stall, far worse.

xandria In a Land of Wonder
07/02/13 11:43 pm

The power of Sign Language. easy to learn, easy to use, mostly universal.

FrozenPhoton Behind the Shadows
07/02/13 8:21 pm

Mind reading starts fights, no reading starts prerecorded messages!

Reneezii Exodus 20. 8 to 11
07/02/13 7:53 pm

If everyone could read the minds of everyone else wouldn't they all be thinking the exact same thing?

Rob Be Safe Be Smart
07/02/13 8:11 pm

Not at all.. We'll just all know what yer thinking, and you'll know what I'm thinking. I'll also know that you know..

MissN The Experiment
07/02/13 7:34 pm

Would you do a tradeoff of losing the capacity to read any written language to be able to read anyone's mind within 25 feet of you?

grizzy Kansas
07/02/13 8:33 pm

Yeah, as long as I am the only one

07/02/13 6:03 pm

Apparently Congress has already lost the ability to read anything.

Diogenes Not Biden It
07/02/13 6:07 pm

Danno FTW!

07/04/13 11:35 pm

Thank you nostromo and xandria.

commonman1 Peace
07/02/13 5:31 pm

Man! Look at that body. That's what I call a good looking....SLAP. Yea I think mind reading would be worse.

MPL9 Louisville, Ohio
07/02/13 5:10 pm

Est-ce qu'il vous fait chier que vous ne pouvez pas lire ce que j'ai ?crit ici?

07/02/13 5:04 pm

Hdbsjeisns snenshsbe dkeve sha. Anybody follow?

07/02/13 4:57 pm

The spoken word would still work. The world would go on.
The ability to read minds would, imho, have more drastic effects. It is the ultimate invasion of privacy.

true Home
07/02/13 4:29 pm

Student- " gosh she is such a b****"
Teacher- " note to self fail scotty"

iwrestledabear Over hill and under hill.
07/02/13 4:24 pm

Are the discussions died because of the new iOS update? are we all the leftover android users? :/

susanr Colorado
07/02/13 6:16 pm

Are you on Android? I thought Android users saw the same thing as iOS 2.1 now. (There are actually 156 comments on this thread.) You can also use a web version now, at If you are an iOS user, see Tony's message at the top of the poll list, & a recent blog post.

kaybird007 earth
07/02/13 10:39 pm

I only see 18 comments... I'm with ya here!

susanr Colorado
07/02/13 10:52 pm

kay - If you're on an iOS device with 2.0, you should update to 2.1. Otherwise, try the web version. Link & other tips in my earlier reply.

There are actually 174 messages in this poll. You just can't see most of them from where you are.

07/03/13 7:35 am

Susan, I guess they can't see your response ... or mine, either.

Tony should get the word out again, to people who have not yet upgraded.

susanr Colorado
07/03/13 7:43 am

Grandma - They can see mine because I wrote it using 2.0. Tony *has* posted a message at the top of the poll list,
Visible in 2.0 only, reminding them up the importance of the update. I don't know how many are using a Kindle, which is another...

susanr Colorado
07/03/13 7:46 am

..issue. I'd write a personal reply to *each* of them (there are about 15 in that poll alone) but everyone in 2.1 would see these too & some would be very annoyed at the "spamming" (that already happened on one poll where I posted a couple messages).

07/03/13 7:47 am

That makes sense! How do you post using 2.0? Do you have one device using 2.0 and another using 2.1?

susanr Colorado
07/03/13 7:50 am

Yes, I kept 2.0 on my iPad (with 2.1 on my iPhone) specifically to watch for folks who seemed confused about how to update & communicate with them... Didn't expect to see so many who seemed oblivious to the change. I may switch the iPad to 2.1 soon.

Doopy Remedial Americanism
07/02/13 3:45 pm

Since street markings are arguably a written language, I forsee a lot of car accidents on multi-lane roads, should the latter happen. Also, a LOT of medical mishaps, and probably a few nuclear meltdowns.

kermie gaytopia
07/02/13 2:52 pm

People would kill each other over the first one. But they'd die because of the second.

pinkyusuck The Carribean. I wish.
07/02/13 2:51 pm

The Tower of Babel resulted in a few thousand years of confusion. I'm thinking Babel 2.0 would be about the same.

DavesNotHere where am I
07/02/13 2:48 pm

Cfhbkjb cfsgjn ouvbjj chaff!! Orrtm$?$b.
Irving kink Godfrey okitrf xff!!

DeathSheep Michigan
07/02/13 1:50 pm

In today's technological age where we all communicate through written letters, emails, texts, etc. and our laws are written out, the amount of chaos and confusion that would pursue would be horrible.

Doopy Remedial Americanism
07/02/13 3:46 pm

Dangit! All the sudden laws are illegible, so I can't be prosecuted for it, but I can't read the Internet to order myself a machine gun!

theNobamist straight lives matter
07/02/13 1:40 pm

I hope I could tune out people, instead of getting random blather of everyone near me. Of course the wacko playing with himself on on the bus or BART would be the loudest mind-voice, sigh.

theNobamist straight lives matter
07/02/13 1:38 pm

If people could read minds, that would be their communication.

07/02/13 1:33 pm

Reading minds would only be chaos for politicians and used car salesmen.

07/02/13 1:51 pm

And cheating spouses ;-)

jennamia Pennsylvania
07/02/13 1:08 pm

The written language would devastate us right now. Over time we could probs find some way around it tho

bl4kers Earth
07/02/13 1:06 pm

I'm not use to controlling what I think about... illiterate please.

deathvalley Chicago native
07/02/13 12:56 pm

There's always sign language!

07/02/13 12:58 pm

Or you know... Verbal language

deathvalley Chicago native
07/02/13 1:03 pm

I read the question wrong... That or I assumed if we can't read we can't speak

xandria In a Land of Wonder
07/02/13 11:47 pm

either way there's a solution. sign language!! easy to learn, easy to use!!

07/03/13 7:40 am

Xandria, most written communication is NOT face to face. How would I pay my bills, without writing? Checks would not work. Online payment would not work. I would have to drive to my utility company and hand them cash. But, without written records ...

07/03/13 7:44 am

... how would they know how much I owe?

That's only one example. You are minimizing the importance of writing.
Sign language is a great substitute for talking. It doesn't help for written communication over a distance (mail or Internet) ...

07/03/13 7:45 am

... or for business records.

avianflames Tennessee
07/02/13 12:47 pm

people lived for a very long time with only verbal communication. if we knew what everyone around us was thinking it would take along time to adjust life to fit this new talent.

teaparty Cleveland
07/02/13 12:18 pm

I think not having the ability to go on show of hands would create more chaos than reading minds.

Diogenes Not Biden It
07/02/13 12:09 pm

Reading everyone's mind would most likely result in an information overload for most folks. This would conceivably be enough to shut down independent thought and actions.

MoonFireDancer New Jersey
07/02/13 12:00 pm

If everyone could read everyones elses thoughts...oh shiitake mushrooms there would be absolute Hell.

Liberty 4,032,064
07/02/13 11:42 am

Possible effects on politics:
1) It would be illegal to come within 25 feet of a politician.
2) No effect.

getupbaby South City
07/02/13 12:38 pm

Politicians would have to think about brick walls everywhere they went!

07/02/13 11:33 am

"Holy cow, he really was just speaking his mind the whole time!" -my neighbors

07/02/13 11:29 am

I've worked in customer service a longtime and feel like no one knows how to read VERY clear signs and/or instructions anyway. So I choose mind reading.

JohnnyBraska Nebraska
07/02/13 11:29 am

mind reading would cause some chaos at first but eventually would be like another sense and used as a tool in everyday life. Not being able to read would be complete chaos. Nobody could read road signs or know how fast they are going. Industrial workers wouldn't be able to read guages or take

JohnnyBraska Nebraska
07/02/13 11:30 am

measurements, and computers would be all but worthless.

07/02/13 1:01 pm

They would just make all road signs from pictures, colors and shapes like how most of them are. The only problem there would be the name of streets and cities.

kobebryant Texas
07/02/13 11:09 am

Kwondb Shen shejeoslen vskske.

07/02/13 11:19 am

That's what I've been saying!!!!

SomeDays Atlanta
07/02/13 11:02 am

Most likely, anyone who's gained the skill to read minds would keep it to themselves.

07/02/13 11:20 am

I knew you were going to say that