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Mr Fox

Question about Telepathy

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This isn't a rules question but rather a strategy question.  If you had telepathy (including the ability to read minds, alter memories, and mind control people), how could you use that ability to get rich, like billionaire rich?  I'm curious to see what you guys think up.

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Simply find rich people and slowly have them begin signing everything they own over to me.  Implant the suggestion for something atrocious (suicide, shooting up a club, driving their car through a kid's birthday, whatevs...).  One evening while I am surrounded by witnesses doing something completely legal the implanted suggestion kicks in, they go nuts, die in a blaze of gunfire an screaming children and everything they have goes to me.

Rinse, repeat.  Let the law try and figure out why people keep doing dumb shit and leaving all their shit to me.  You can't prove mind control with an autopsy and even then, I'm sitting in court mind controlling the jury that I'm innocent anyway.  And yes.  If I had mind control I would be a terrible person.  My moral compass would nose dive to far lower than it is now and I would use my ability for nothing but evil and destructive ends.

The world would serve me and not even realize they were doing it.

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Hang out around the stock exchange floor, read the trader's minds, learn all the inside secrets, and start buying and selling.

With any kind of decent seed capital, you're a billionaire in weeks.

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And you would have no ties at all to anybody in the market, so no way the to make any sort of insider trading case against you either. If you want to be eve more careful, intentionally lose some money in the market as well.

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Yep!

And yeah, you're right. Best to be smart about it. Sprinkle in some imperfect trades, some deals that go sour, just so it looks like you're another Warren Buffet, not a magic space wizard. But that's the basics.

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11 hours ago, Nina said:

dave you are beginning to scare me...

It should be scary, to be honest.  I mean let's think about it for a second, using the scenario above.  We have Telepathy and the whole cadre of powers mentioned and we decide to get rich.  Now, following Fox's criteria we're already going to assume we've made peace with our decision to use our powers for personal gain.  So, in order to accomplish that task we need to accept that we are prepared to do the following:

Lie.
Cheat.
Manipulate.
Commit Felonies.
Steal.
Rape.

Woah, wait, Dave... where'd that last one come from?

Glad you asked.  See as a man I can't go around all willy nilly sticking my willy-nilly into anything that tickles my fancy... or my fingers, my big toe, my fist, or someone else's fist.  There's a word when any part of me is forced upon another person without their consent and I proceed to take from them what they are not willing to give up.  It's called rape.  Now, this isn't a moral discussion, as we stated, we've already decided that we're okay with all of this in order to get rich.

Think on that for a moment as you slither your menis (mind penis) between the lobes of the traders and take their secrets.  Steal their thoughts, techniques, their intellectual property, it doesn't matter that this is someone else's body you've invaded against their knowledge or consent, but that's okay, what happens on the trading floor stays on the trading floor.  I know, I know... he's been trading well, he has connections... and that suit?  Couple grand for that suit at least... he's practically begging for it.  He's been teasing you all day, making all that cash and you just gotta get you some of that scratch, right?  After all, that's why we're here... to get rich.  You move past the useless shit: who he's cheating on his wife with, what he had for lunch, the pills he's taking for his 'condition'... fuck all that... you want the... there it is.  Oh, yeah, there it is... that sweet, plump, juicy little secret he's got locked away that'll make you thousands, easily.

He's not ready to give it up though!  No!  His mind knows you shouldn't be here!  But what do you care... so you slap his mind around a bit, tear away some of those defenses like a drunk stripper's cocktail dress and you just force your way in there... fuck this guy and his livelihood and his bullshit privacy.  He's weak, he deserves every bit of what he's getting right now.  So you grab him by the lobes and you grunt and you thrust and you take every fucking bit of that information, tearing his mindgina open in ways that just aren't holy, because that's what's gonna make you rich... so fuck this guy.

You got what you came for so you wipe your menis on his reddened lobes, not quite sure if the hand prints will go away anytime soon.  Sure his mind is nothing more than your play thing so you leave his lobes a quivering, pathetic heap and as they curl up into the fetal position in the shower, bleeding from the brainus, you go get rich.

Because that's the sorta person you are now.

We can split hairs at my rather extreme example, sure.  It was meant to be satirical in its foulness, but the bottom line is: you don't belong in their minds and if you willingly go there and take what you want for your own personal gain, you're no better than a man who blows up a bus load of nuns.  You're that guy who suggests people go shoot up a kids birthday.  You are a twisted, evil soul so make sure you come to grips with that reality before you think it would be 'easy' and 'harmless'.

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It is a matter of how the power works and so on, actually.

If your surface thoughts actually radiate from your mind, but people lack the sense need to 'hear' them, until you come along, then you could walk the trading form or brokerage office or whatever, not invading a single mind, and instead just listen to the thoughts people are sending out that they are totally unaware of. That is how reading surface thoughts works in most games and such. No mental invasion, just listening to what people are already putting out mentally.

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I was envisioning it working like Noir describes, surface thoughts are like talking aloud for the telepath, they can't not hear what is said around them.  Of course, Dave's graphic account does have some definite validity.  Anytime the telepath goes deeper than just listening that's a violation every bit as serious as rape.  The telepath would need to wrestle with whether they were ok with that or not. 

What happens when the teep, new to their powers, is just minding their business walking down the street and overhears a rapist  planning to assault some poor woman when he can find the opportunity?   He'll pull her into an alley and then leave her for dead when he's done with her, and what he plans to do is every bit as graphic as Dave's description above.  The teep can't call the police, they couldn't arrest someone for having bad thoughts, and the teep is someone of conscious, they couldn't let the woman be assaulted just so the cops could arrest him; assuming they would even arrive in time.  The teep could take care of it ... they have the power to make sure the creep never hurts anyone again.  But what if it is the guy's first time considering something like this and he's otherwise innocent?  The teep's powers are pretty permanent, wiping his mind will leave him a drooling idiot, but should he teep do it?  So they take that first step down the slippery slope and invade his mind to see if he is really a bad person or not.  He is.  He's a serial rapist and a killer, he's done it before and plans to do it again as often as he thinks he can get away with it.  Ok, now the teep doesn't feel so bad about invading the guy's mind, he was Evil with a capital E.  But what do the teep do?  The teep attacks his mind, ripping his mental landscape apart shredding everything that he was, and oops, that caused an aneurysm and the rapist drops like a stone in the middle of a crowded New York sidewalk.  People scream and call for an ambulance, but it doesn't matter, he was dead before his body hit the ground.  

And that is how even a person of conscious begins that downward slope Dave mentioned, one way at least.

 

 

 

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As for schemes, I was thinking of knocking over drug cartels and criminal organizations as a way to very big money very quickly.  Read a few minds to find out where they stash their cash then get a few of them to load the money and valuables into a truck and drive towards the coast.  Load the cash into a cargo ship and repeat until you have a few billion dollars.  Sail to where you can unload that cash into an offshore bank that doesn't report it to the US.  Have some of the remaining guys go to war with the rest of their organization to cover your tracks.  I read that IRL, one Chinese drug lord in Mexico who was importing pseudophedrine was found with $200 Million cash in his house, and he wasn't even a cartel, just a guy bringing in drugs TO Mexico. 

That would definitely take some mental gymnastics to go from person of conscious, to mind controlling people into killing their companions, even if they are bad people who kill and commit violence on innocent people for a living.  Would probably have to only do it to those who were killers and rapists in order to be able to sleep at night.

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Thoughts aren't meant to be heard, they are a private affair.

Justify it however you like, but to listen in on people's thoughts and then to turn that knowledge over into your own personal gain doesn't exonerate you or somehow make the deeds any less bad.

Sow chaos, wreak havoc upon your enemies and revel in the monster you become.

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If, per the premise of the original post, I'm a telepath with those powers and my goal is to become incredibly wealthy, I'd start with gambling. Specifically, increasingly high-stakes poker.  It would be easy to move up quickly when I could not only know exactly what cards my opponents were holding and what their strategy is, but influence that strategy.  I'd use the money I made there at art and estate auctions, building a collection of legitimate assets and holdings by manipulating the auction house staff, agents, and bidders to my advantage, then re-selling them at inflated prices via suggestion and memory alteration.  I'd work patiently, slowly, and methodically, over several years.  Would it bother me, to use people for my own financial gain?  Initially, yes, but we've already established that we're willing to accept a certain amount of self-justification and moral "flexibility" in order to achieve the stated goal. 

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