Pstandard Psychic Pstance: The psychokinetic kind exists, as does the one-handed gesture version when using techlepathy. In neither case does it have any actual power-related function whatsoever, and you can use either without doing the gesturing. The former (see: Magical Gesture), is done purely for the sake of flamboyance, or possibly because if you’re – for example – summoning your drink from the other side of the room, you need to hold out your hand to summon it to. The latter is slightly more practical – people do it as a way of indicating the techlepathic equivalent of “hang on a minute, I’m on the ‘phone”.
(So, as we said before – use all the rope and wrestling grips and paralytic drugs you like, your trachea is still gonna be crushed.)
Well, I’m back from my holidays, in the same place as all my source material and, possibly most importantly, my big screens and comfortable writing chair.
Normal service should, therefore, be resumed as soon as possible.
Or tomorrow, anyway.
Power Glows: Technically, it doesn’t have to. Regular vector-control effectors don’t produce light, they just quietly work, and those implanted ones used to create technological psychokinesis could do the same thing.
Of course, on one hand, it can’t be denied that shedding waste energy as photons outside the body is probably significantly more healthy than dumping it directly into the bloodstream as extra heat.
On the other hand, there are other places where it could equally well be dumped.
On the gripping hand, it looks awesome. (And under the right circumstances, intimidating.)
And that’s that pretty much decided.
Mind Over Matter: The eldrae, and various other transsophonts, play this absolutely straight, with the usual laundry list of clever applications for psychokinesis. Of course, being a “firm SF” universe, it’s not any kind of Psychic Power – it’s implanted nanosome vector-control effectors.
On the one hand, this does let you take the psychokinesis up to eleven, uprooting buildings and throwing aircraft. On the other hand, it makes it easy to spot and to deal with the person doing so, because of the city block-sized mass of much bigger effectors and generators they need to have following them, slaved to their personal systems, to pull those tricks off.
Magical Gesture: Sometimes, especially when the mechanical psychokinesis is invoked; for one thing, it’s useful as a concentration-aid in training. But, like we said back in Invocation, it’s entirely unnecessary for the thing to work (the neuron-implanted nanopicosomes are reading your mind directly, so you think things, and they happen). It’s just done to look cool.
(And, okay, maybe to lure some dumb enemies who haven’t read the book to think that they’re necessary, and that binding them hand and foot is enough to prevent you from crushing their trachea with a thought. Maybe. But it’s still mostly about looking cool.)