Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Telepathy and elite cults

An interesting question asked by redstarrobot about my telepathy experiment was whether it was testing if I was telepathic or if other people were. My answer addressed the first bit of that question 'I'm not testing anything' - which is true, but missed out the most interesting point, now I think about it. And this relates quite directly to problems which people may have with the discussion of telepathy.

Almost all human attributes are found among all humans. On the whole, we have the same mental and physical qualities, and exceptions tend to be exceptional damage or exceptionally strong development (eg the disabled and the athletic). Strong development is usually due to hard work as much as innate ability.

However, at the last Redemption conference I was on a panel which discussed Telepathy, and it seemed to me that the people who 'believed in' telepathy had a different model. Perhaps influenced by SF, in particular I felt by Babylon 5, a surprisingly large number had a model that telepaths were a subset of humanity with unique gifts, and they believed themselves to be members of this subgroup. I find this a generally implausible model, and also one that feeds a need for self-separation from other humans which we see in many different false belief systems (for example 'Otherkin' and various religious cults and social elites). In other words, I think it's vanity.

It seems to me that discussion is distorted and hampered by this silly model. But in all honesty, the cult/elite aspect never occurred to me on Saturday. I should have remembered my experience from two years ago. Nevertheless, please be assured that in asking for help with this test I am not endorsing (or referring in any way) to a model that picks out some people as special, or specially stupid.
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