Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by 1.21 Gigawatts, Nov 2, 2019.
There mud be. Otherwise there would be no privacy.
The conceit in B5 was that...
Spoiler: B5 spoilers
it was the older races who manipulated the gene pools of younger ones. I don’t think it need be anything as sinister as that.
I think it might be interesting though to have the discussion of how the Betazoids are more evolved than humans and others and how non-telepathic people envy and are suspicious of that, and how that envy and suspicion is used for political reasons.
Maybe also stories about how telepaths are experimented upon or hired as commandos or spies maybe, and how non-telepaths defend against them.
it might be interesting to see societies without privacy, both as goodies and baddies. I’m an ardent believer in privacy but often think it’s necessary mostly because we don’t butt out of each other’s business if we know about it. Maybe Betazoids learned to accept and move on.
Maybe it doesn't have to be as sinister as what the Vorlons did. Maybe in STAR TREK, it could be for more altruistic reasons. Perhaps it could be to help cure serious ailments, but telepathy was an accidental byproduct of the cure.
I am now getting strong urges to watch David Lynch DUNE again for some good voiceovers-while-showing-muted-intensity.
Essay questions. Shielding your thoughts would be a red flag, and cheaters, especially adolescent ones, would have trouble controlling the unconscious psychic tells that they cheated.
I don’t think Betazoids care about privacy the way we do, being around other races that do is a social adjustment for them.
Betazed would probably be quiet, maybe filled with music. As for the high school question, teachers can probably sense the cheating.
Makes me think of X-Men a bit - and a Magneto-style helmet to keep others out! I don't recall there ever being an anti-telepath blocker in Trek (besides having a "disciplined" mind) for species who were readable by telepaths. I'm sure someone here can recall one or several, though.
To the contrary, Quark in "Jem'Hadar" tells us that nobody has invented telepathy blockers yet, which is why reverse-engineering the one on Eris would bring him profit. But even that device is fake...
They don't exist in the Alpha Quadrant. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist elsewhere.
Plus, it was supposed to stop telekinetics from Eris, though it was fake. Telekinesis and telepathy are two different things.
Besides, given she was the only Vorta we saw who had that ability, I have to wonder if it was technology based and a device that was on her, or implanted. If the Foubders could engineer telekinetic people, they wouldn't need the Jem'Hadar's weapons.
Perhaps that was just one of Lwaxana's quirks.
We never met any other Betazoids who insisted on using telepathy, did we?
As for Eris: I've always assumed that her telekenetic powers were engineered for that one specific mission. It was necessary to give her a more convincing cover identity as a prisoner.
A society where everyone can read your mind: politicians and salespeople as we know them wouldn't exist.
And spoilers would be impossible to avoid. An interviewer would sense what a showrunner has in mind, someone else could read the interviewer's mind, and then it would spread from there. Eventually we'd all find out what's going on with a show before it's even released.
Actually, I misremembered here: Quark specifically speaks of the device being a "telepathic suppressor", thus implicitly equating at least these two psi-abilities and probably many more as well - but he says he has seen telepathic suppressors before, only much bulkier than this collar.
The bit about no telepathy blockers is at Memory Alpha implicitly attributed to TNG "Violations", where our heroes are at loss of ways to stop a telepathic criminal from practicing his art:
But there might be Reasons why our Starfleet heroes do no consider applying technology that Quark is familiar with... They also tellingly do not consider assigning a Starfleet telepath to monitor the suspects, say.
The other possibility is that the Vorta all do have this ability - it just sees no use because the Jem'Hadar do have guns, and other Vorta either are surrounded by gunmen (loyal or otherwise; it would do no good to start coughing out these balls of fire if the enemy can then gun you down in seconds), or injured.
The Founders deliberately engineer inferior servant species, that much we already know: for a couple of examples, the Vorta have dull senses even if sharp ones might seem advantageous, and the Jem'Hadar are not just addicts but also incapable of remaining invisible when actually fighting. But the motivation for leaving out the telekinesis gun from the Jem'Hadar could be different, too: it may directly tap into their already limited strength, just like cloaking, while a power clip for a handheld gun doesn't suffer from this.
Indeed, Jem'Hadar invisibility is apparently a "telepathic" skill much like the Vorta telekinesis. It takes concentration and strength. And the way it can flexibly hide from view not just the trooper but his equipment and clothing as well is nicely explained if it's a "Look elsewhere, nothing to see here" telepathic suggestion rather than some sort of a fancy forcefield.
I wonder if Betazoid telepathy
a) is tiring, physically and mentally, beyond the aspect of all that mental chitter-chatter being tiresome to listen to
b) also manifests as other psi-skills such as the ability to become unnoticeable or to open zippers without hands or light up cigarettes
Maybe Betazoids can take a telepathy blocking pill that only works on them, the way we might take an Advil.
Poor Betazoid with a headache...
In Dark Page we get evidence that constant intense telepathy does exhaust Betazoids mental resources.
In Haven we get hints that telepathy is related to the whole “Time space and thought are all one” thing. So from that interpretation, telepathy is just having conscious access to the information thought imprints on spacetime. Much like sound is just ability to finely interpret vibrations in the air. And too loud a noise can make you temporarily deaf (The Loss also supports this interpretation l).
I don’t think Betazed has any concept of privacy. The idea that you would not want to let people hear what you’re thinking if you’re not deceiving them is unusual to them. The same way the nudity taboo is strange to them. Betazed as far as we see has a culture of total openness and respecting privacy of other races is an adjustment to them.
^ it might be interesting to see a bit about the ways in which no privacy (at this level) hurt the Betazoids in the past. Did they have World Wars or Mind Police states over this in the past? ...maybe the telepathy actually helped them forgo the horror of World Wars...maybe they’re more fortunate than us in this regard. But maybe they had whole other horrors we didn’t because of their innate abilities.
Maybe different Betazoid factions still believe in the old ways or are tempted to upon contact with more chaotic non-telepaths like humans or Klingons. Or maybe pity how simple-minded we are about each other’s differences, themselves being able to instantly sense theirs.
I'm sure they made that adjustment long ago.
By the time of TNG, Betazed has presumably been in the Federation for long enough that they've learned not to read offworlders' minds without consent. They may read each other all the time, but visitors would be granted their privacy.
The ones who frequently go off world, sure.
Harry Mudd once robbed a bank on Betazed, so either he's really good at shielding his own thoughts (which I find unlikely) or passersby didn't routinely read his mind.
As I said, Betazed appears to be an open and friendly place, and i doubt a visitor to the planet would be in danger of being scanned. I assume Betazoids would find it at best extremely rude, and worst, a form of assault.
I imagine Betazed learned maybe with their first contact with aliens that not everyone is telepathic. Maybe since then they learned not to intrude on others' minds. Maybe there were disastrous first contacts when they learned that the hard way. Or maybe it's a common parenting practice not to read their own children until they're ready to read back. Maybe that changed over time, like how humans used to spank their children more in the past.
@Timo, I don't think of Betazoids as telekinetic. Other species are though I think I remember. I think these are different evolutionary traits unconnected to each other. Similar Jem'Hadar cloaking -- that wouldn't shield them from photography, or tricorders, or Ferengi and others. Also the cloaking effect is I think the same one they use in the Predator movies in which it's done with tech so I'm inclined to see it similarly. The fact that the Jem'Hadar do it without tech is established, but I've always thought it a result of genetic-engineering. Like the mad DNA scientist from Farscape.
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