important debates

A Surprising Number of People Want to Read Minds

For seemingly no reason at all, Marist decided to poll 1,020 Americans on the superpower they would most desire. It’s a difficult question, as each of the five choices — the ability to fly, invisibility, the ability to teleport, the ability to read people’s minds, and the ability to time travel — come with their own benefits. But America is definitely torn between two of them in particular — mind reading and time travel, which each received 28 percent of the vote. This, in our personal opinion, is odd.

Surely, mind reading could be wielded in many ways, but mostly you would probably use it to figure out what your friends, loved ones, or potential sex partners actually think about you. Sometimes that’s going to be eye-opening, and in the case of potential sex partners, quite fruitful. But sometimes it’s going to be terrible. Hasn’t anyone seen What Women Want? No? Us either. But we’re vaguely aware that Mel Gibson’s mind-reading ability was something of a curse as well as a gift. And should serve as a warning to us all.

Meanwhile, imagine all the things you could do with time travel: go back in time and kill Hitler, bet on sports games and become really rich à la Back to the Future, Part II, see what the world would be like in 100,000 years, tell Abe Lincoln to skip the theater, play with dinosaurs, buy Microsoft stock in 1980, show Ben Franklin an iPad just to see the look on his face, become actual homeboys with Jesus, etc. The list goes on forever.

Or you could find out that your mom kind of hates you. Tough call.

2/8: Holy Super Powers, Batman! Mind Reading and Time Travel Top List [Marist]

A Surprising Number of People Want to Read Minds