Stochastic Scribbles
Random musings in a variety of subjects, from science to religion.

Psychic powers

Can we move things with our minds? Can we read the thoughts of others?

Yes, we can.


Telepathy is the power to read the thoughts of someone else. It can work this way:

  1. Someone else thinks a thought in their brain.
  2. Their brain makes their voice box create sounds.
  3. Your ears senses the sounds.
  4. Your brain interprets the sounds as their thoughts.

I.e., you read the thoughts of someone else.


Telekinisis is the power to move things with your mind. It can work this way:

  1. Your brain thinks of how it plans to move an object.
  2. Your brain sends signals to the muscles in your arm.
  3. Your arm grabs an object and moves it.

I.e., your mind made the object move.


Precognition is the power to predict what happens in the future. It can work this way:

  1. You observe the same thing happening every day.
  2. Your mind infers that the same thing will happen tomorrow.

I.e., you predict what will happen in the future.


Clairvoyance is the power to see something far away in space or time. It can work this way:

  1. Light from the sun bounces off an object that is far away.
  2. The light enters your eyes and triggers their light cones.
  3. The light cones send signals to your brain.
  4. Your brain interprets the signal as an image of something far away.

I.e., you see something far away.


It’s funny how these are all about things we can already do. The psychic power versions of these would just be doing them magically.

The desire for magic, psychic powers, etc. stems in a large part from a desire to do things we can already do with zero understanding and zero effort. Instead of spending the effort to understand how the world works and trying to figure out how to use this understanding to do things, magical thinking is all about lazily declaring that things should happen because they say so and trying to impose their will on nature instead of working with nature.

By painstakingly learning how nature works and making things that go with the flow of nature instead of against it, we now have even more advanced manifestations of the powers above such as writing, cell phones, telerobotics, weather forecasting, astronomical simulations, television, interplanetary spacecraft, brain-computer interfaces, etc. What has clinging to magical thinking and ignoring what nature tells us beyond all reason given us? Beyond a few nice stories, not much.