Among some more substantive questions in the current Vanity Fair’s “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll was this one:
“Suppose you could have THE POWER OF A SUPERHERO. Which power would you choose?”
The choices presented were super strength, flying, invisibility, the ability to read minds, and x-ray vision. When the votes were tallied, the largest group, by far, was made up of those who chose mind-reading.
It is just a silly poll based on fantasy. I still find it alarming that 35% chose the ability to read minds, an unequivocally unethical power. Invading anyone’s private thoughts is per se unethical, although it does beat waterboarding. In a distant second place, with 21% of the votes, was flying, one of the two ethical powers among the options, along with super strength. The unethical powers—mind-reading, invisibility and x-ray vision—attracted 57% of the votes over-all.
There is nothing wrong with having unethical fantasies as long as they stay fantasies. Still, I would feel better about my fellow citizens if I didn’t think so many of them would choose to violate my privacy and learn my confidences if they had the chance. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I could trust Superman.