Imagine, for a moment, that you could hear the thoughts of others. You would be privy to their motivations, their opinions about themselves and you, their dreams, fantasies and aspirations. All the information about every person you meet, right there at your fingertips.

Imagine that nobody was aware of this incredible ability of yours.

So, you are sitting in your cubicle at work and things drift to you -- "That promotion would have been mine if I'd been prepared to kiss ass the way Jake does" -- "God, my balls itch!" -- "If I add some beans, I can stretch the meat another day and buy the new shoes Aden needs" -- all information, all the petty, mean-minded or pointless concerns that assail us every day. The human race, as a whole is discontented, and I reckon you would find it hard to maintain any faith in the innate goodness of man after about a week.

Then you're sitting drinking with your friends, smiling and laughing, and one glances at you. "Sheesh," you hear on that little receiver, "she really does think she's funnny, doesn't she? And doesn't she know a fat girl should never wear tight skirts?"

And you're in bed, with your lover. The sex is great. You reach the point of climax, and there in your mind flashes the face of Catherine Zeta Jones, or James Marsters, or, gods, I don't know... Kermit the Frog perhaps.

Now, finally, imagine that someone discovers your power. Watch them replay their thoughts, see the dismay on their face.

Is there some kind of information we're better off without? Oh yes, I think so.