Telepathy: Telepathy (or rather, techlepathy) is a somewhat limited faculty, as described under Psychic Powers. Being essentially a way to transmit neural gestalt information over WiFi, it is an excellent messaging system, complete with the ability to transmit images, emotions, information constructs, and other non-verbal information, and communicate broadcast/narrowcast, local/distant, private/conference, etc., etc., and even to synch up well enough to form a conflux (see: Mental Fusion).
It doesn’t, however, let you overhear people’s thoughts (unless they’re sloppy and accidentally broadcasting, which does sometimes happen), go in and pull thoughts out of their heads (you want a SQUID for that, or a mind-state reader of one sort or another), control minds (although you can inject the same memes as you can over any communication channel), or enable the rest of the assorted magical aids and attachments (dream travel, astral projection, and so on and so forth). It’s also, being EM based, limited to the speed of light.
Since it’s harder to fake all the sidebands, a telepath can sometimes be something of a Living Lie Detector, but reliability in this role still isn’t great, and you are almost certainly better off with a regular mechanical alethiometer (which uses a SQUID).
I Am Legion: Any Fusion (permanent hive mind, although Self-Fusions, being copies of the same mind to start with, often stick to the singular) or conflux (temporary ad-hoc group consciousness), for a start…
(Notably, the Transcend as a whole is not known for this: as a collective consciousness of individuals who are only fused at the level of the entelechically-annealing recursively-optimal distributed logos bridge/soul-shard, it’s too loosely organized to have that whole conscious-level We Are Oneness going on, except under rather special circumstances.)
IMPERIAL PATENT #S/1AA882B4 / issued 3092-11-10
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR LIMITED-PARTY TEMPORARY GROUP MIND (“CONFLUX”) CONNECTIVITY
Creator: Essene Steamweaver, <Adagio in Gray>, & Conflux Development Initiative
(sub. Exogenesis, ICC)
Holder: Cognitech, ICC
Previous patents: #S/1AA8247A, #S/1AA85223, #S/1AA86386
Exogenesis internal documents: [redacted]
Primary examiner: Lorith Oricalcios-ith-Oricalcios
The conflux state is one in which many mind-states each incorporating the conflux extensions described herewithin operate temporarily as a single multithreaded mind-state distributed across multiple cogence cores, utilizing the extensions to the gnostic link protocol described in patent #S/1AA86386.
Such extensions permit full sharing of talent functionality, sensory awareness, and narrative thread of consciousness (this latter operating in a similar manner to the “Noetic Whisper” techlepathic system described in patent #S/11A8247A), while not permitting conflux constitutional mind-states unmediated access to each others’ personal memory strings. Additional in this design is sharing of agency via a distributed arbitration protocol based on the open-source cyberdemocratic voting system described in [redacted], suppressing individual ‘shell control (except for the choice to withdraw from the conflux) and operating all ‘shells under the control of constitutional mind-states in accordance with the coherent extrapolated common volition of the conflux entire. In combination, these permit a gestalt intelligence to form.
The pooled cognitive bandwidth of such a gestalt, when stable and functioning optimally, can exceed that of the baseline members by a factor trending towards n^2/n, and its mutual coordination capacity by a factor trending towards n^2. The applications in many fields requiring high cognitive bandwidth and/or coordination should be obvious.
Mental Fusion: See Hive Mind for the permanent version (Fusions and Self-Fusions).
The temporary version, called a conflux, is a standard part of the arsenal for a variety of situations – merged fireteams for greater military efficiency and coordination (and, y’know, battlefield omniscience, when done really right), guard webs that share knowledge and raise the alarm simultaneously, research teams thinking in perfect coordination in which the brainpower of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and so on and so forth. It takes a lot of attention paid to mental discipline and interpersonal relations to build a team that can do it well, but when it works, it really works.