Would you rather have telepathy or precognition?

Yeah, the UI is going to be to key to precognition.

You want to win the lottery next Saturday - how do you find a source that shows you the numbers?

You want to save your spouse’s life from a car crash you see (somehow) in 4 days. That you can probably do by convincing them to not drive that day. But how do you stop the President from being assassinated? You’ll just be another crank, unless you’ve exposed your ability to someone who can make a difference - and then you are probably in a black site being forced to do stuff for the FBI/CIA/NSA.

So precognition is perhaps useful for selfish and/or small things - but you’d need to use it to get very rich and then use your wealth (along with precog) to actually have an effect on the world writ large.

But you could see them coming. Always one step ahead of them, you will be.

As defined in the OP, telepathy. Get POTUS to appoint me ambassador to the UN, and then spend time shuttling between DC and NYC.

Sure you can stay ahead of the NSA/FBI/CIA, and maybe even the SEC, but SERN and Stratfor will be much more difficult to outplay.

‘Foundation and Empire’ by Asimov featured a character with the telepathy powers discussed in this thread. He did not use them benevolently.

I’d like to think I’d use it for ‘good’ but as they say absolute power corrupts absolutely.

That would be me too.

I’ll see you at the track.

Imagine cheering on the horse that nails your trifecta, knowing all along you’re good. I never liked gambling, but I can see it being fun when you know the outcome

Knowing the outcome would seem to take the fun out of, but YMMV. On the other hand, if you have a friend who loves the races and you feed him a hot tip, I could see enjoying his enjoyment of the win.

Reminds me of an old parable/fable where an avid fisherman dies and goes to the afterlife.

His guide outfits him, takes him to a trout stream, and he casts out and catches a beautiful fish. Excited, he casts again, catches another one. And again, and again.

He asks the guide if this is going to happen every time he casts his line.




If precognition can be turned off, I could see playing for fun, but when you turn it on, a slot machine becomes as much fun as an ATM.

TBH, online sports gambling would seem the simplest way besides the lottery to monetize that skill. You can play from home, you’re not necessarily trying to hide your winnings from the casino, though it would be smart to lose from time to time. The online sports book isn’t going to take you into the back alley and bust your thumbs. There’s no SEC to throw you in jail for insider trading. In paramutual betting, you’re also just skimming a few bucks from thousands of other winners, no one person is going to be put out.

I think if I can see the future, I don’t really need to gamble for money. That feels akin to stealing, to me. Instead, I’d rather be a venture capitalist and invest in truly useful and profitable companies that otherwise wouldn’t get funding or something along those lines. Harder to do with the 30 day limit though.

Oh, come on, you all know what I’m thinking!

Gypsy Fortune Teller: :Sob!: I’m ruined; oh, why didn’t I see this coming?

Once you’ve acquired a moderate fortune, you can pivot to the forecast business. Become a Stratfor informant, and publish a newsletter. The idea isn’t to make money that way, but to establish your credibility. Use VPNs and practice top-notch operational security and you might even be able to stay anonymous.

Similarly, with enough research and care, you could build a plausible investment cover story to keep the SEC at bay.

The thing about precognition is that you could have a lot of eager allies/clients, who might be persuaded not to kill the golden goose. With mind control the whole world would be your enemy - if they found out.

I’m mostly team precognition, but if someone finds out you have it (and you can’t use your power to constantly evade them), I think you’re going to be at best a bird in a gilded cage, at worst tortured to provide information.

As a powerful telepath with malleable morals, you can put an army of mooks of various talents between you and anyone coming after you (and control people to keep them from coming after you).

If Amazing Randi were still around, it would be fun to collect the $1,000,000 prize. That would blow some minds.

Heck, a powerful telepath could maybe wind up with a precog under their spell without torture…

I think that would attract too much attention for my tastes. I would want keep my abilities hidden from others at all costs.

If so, you would be arrested because of the advantages you can provide to the NSA. That sounds unconstitutional. Mind control doesn’t break any laws, but it threatens everyone. So I would imagine rules could be and would be bent.

Precog defense is also stronger. Once you identify the mind controller’s lair, you take it out from afar with missiles. Sure, if the controller can scan 6 billion minds simultaneously and easily, they would have an ultimate defense. But I figure it’s weaker than that. The true defenses of the mind controller are stealth and misdirection. And minions. Plenty of minions.

Luckily we are basically having a dressed up Cafe Society discussion. Given the vast magnitude of this wholly fictional threat, I conclude that the CIA’s Mind Control Defense Unit is woefully underfunded. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense simply doesn’t take it seriously enough.

Telepathy, definitely. It does leave you more vulnerable, because the precog means you can foresee almost any potential death by accident or death by violence or even injury and avoid it (something that can set up a perfect plan more than 30 days in advance could still get you, I suppose, but the likelihood of that is astronomical), but the telepathy has more power to do both good and evil.

Precognition could, theoretically, be very powerful, but the 30 day limit prevents you from seeing the long-term consequences of your actions very well - while there are some potential tricks, there’s impracticality to that too - the whole ‘take notes and then view your future self taking the notes that he viewed his future self taking from his future self and so on’ has the problem of having a maximum amount of information that can actually be transmitted back, given the limitations on how long you’re going to spend transcribing notes - and to do anything you have to actually be able to affect it, which means that, without knowing long-term consequences, you have to maneuver yourself into a position to even be able to affect things that you care about.

This version of telepathy, on the other hand, means being able to fix things, directly. If a problem is caused by people, or even could be helped by people, then it can be fixed by getting within range of the right people and making them fix it.

Let’s assume you’re the ‘good’ type and want to make the world better, right? Let’s say you want to accomplish a few things, like for starters, get humanity to respond appropriately to global warming. As a precog, you’d have to start by somehow maneuvering into a position of power/authority. So it would take a long while to obtain enough money (since money is probably the easiest way to obtain power/authority) if you didn’t want some serious suspicion dropping your way. Is there even a way to precog yourself into at least a hundred billion or more? I feel it would take that much to even start to chip away at the problem.

The telepath could start affecting the people in positions to do something about it directly. You wouldn’t want to instantly flip a bunch of people’s minds cause that would freak everyone out, but you could adjust them slowly, so that over the course of a year or two, they start to come around. It seems to me that the precog would barely be getting started tackling the problem by the time the telepath has people taking concrete action to stop it.

Also, since you can read minds, telepathy allows you to correlate information that people otherwise might not put together. It depends on how much you really ‘gain’ from reading a mind, but if you actually gain considerable amounts of knowledge from doing so, by reading the minds of many experts in any field, without even controlling anyone, you may well make connections that they would not, simply because all that knowledge had never before been gathered in the same mind.

It seems to me you could simply alter them slightly with the amount of fine control you have according to the OP. If you felt so inclined, as soon as you sense this you could make a tiny, simple change: alter the person so they would never act on that thought - so that they might think it, but that thought never quite gets to the point of being something they act on. This seems like a very minor alteration that is quite literally the minimum possible force to prevent something like that.

Precognition, as defined here, isn’t just weather forecasting. It’s weather control. The one-month window we’re offered is well longer than the butterfly-to-hurricane timeframe. The future I see is what will happen if I don’t do anything about it. If I’m happy with the weather for the next month, well, then I don’t do anything about it. But if I’m unhappy, then if I change literally anything at all about what I do as a result of that unhappiness, then it’ll be a different roll of the weather dice. And it takes such small actions to affect the weather that I’ll be able to make many, many rolls of the dice. It won’t take too long before I end up with an outcome that I’m happy with, and that outcome will then stick. I’d probably even be doing it subconsciously.

Likewise for any other system that’s at least as chaotic as weather, and which has evaluatable results visible within a month.

Tongue in cheek? Because I don’t think that butterfly-to-hurricane thing is real.

And even if it is, how do you which action of yours caused rain 30 days out? Exhaling through your mouth instead of your nose? Plus you don’t have unlimited bites at that apple (you aren’t Nic Cage in Next) - doing jumping jacks for 10 seconds for a clear day 30 days out is 10 seconds you don’t get back. Plus falling asleep at 10:10pm instead of 10:01pm is going to cause snow.

And really forget about trying to wrestle two chaotic systems towards your desired outcome - jumping jacks for sunshine may cause a market crash (I don’t know that the stock market is chaotic (with an upward bias), but I’m guessing over 30 days it may well be).