what percentage of political disagreement would be settled ifwe used telepathy instead of verbal communication

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in other words, how often do you disagree with someone simply because you think certain words/statements mean something different than the person you’re arguing with? (if you had to guess)
seems to me that most (if not all) political arguments consist of little more than ‘semantic noise’ as the great robert anton wilson would call it.

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If we just used the level of telepathy we have now instead of speaking, it would solve all disagreements, since we’d just be sitting around looking constipated trying to broadcast and read thoughts.


For the first question my answer is ten percent.
For the second reconstruction of the question my answer is two percent.


Oh my god- what a horrible thought. The arguments that these insane neocons come up with- I don’t even want to know the sickness inside their heads!!


This would never work because much of our arguments would be interrupted by thoughts like “man, she’s hot… oh, what was my point again?”


You’re missing the bigger picture with your question. If we could communicate telepathically, much of politics as we know it would cease to be, as it would be impossible for someone to say one thing while planning on doing another.
Having said that, people seem to think in terms of symbols when talking politics. For example, someone will argue that universal health care for the United States is bad because it will lead to “socialism”; very few people who make that claim have a clue as to what socialism actually means. They’re using the word as a piece of shorthand for “the end of America as we know it.” A “socialist” to them is someone who eats babies and drowns kittens recreationally. If I, as an advocate for universal health care, were to read the mind of someone like that, I would learn nothing, other than that he considers me a “socialist,” whatever that means.
In short, I’m not sure it would improve political discourse. As a final note, the science fiction writer Robert Silverberg once wrote a novel called “Dying Inside” about a character who actually could read other people’s minds. As the title implies, the character’s experience of this was very depressing. Telepathy would probably bring about the end of civilization.


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