Can we know what animals are thinking?

A nice article from the economist on animal minds. 
“In 1992, at Tangalooma, off the coast of Queensland, people began to throw fish into the water for the local wild dolphins to eat. In 1998, the Dolphins began to feed the humans, throwing fish up onto the jetty for them. The humans thought they were having a bit of fun feeding the animals. What, if anything, did the Dolphins think?” 
It is astonishing to me how fashion, peer pressure, and group think mentality, inhibit even supposedly critical thinkers. Only slowly are we coming out of this cloud of denial regarding the minds of animals. I am far from being anti-science, but just because subjective mind is currently beyond the realms of what Science can opine on, doesn’t mean it is not real. Denying animal consciousness because we don’t understand human consciousness is just another ravenous bugblatter beast of traal. 

Singularity’s Children, Sci-Fact Behind the Sci-Fiction, Part 9 — Asteroid Capture

With Singularity’s Children, scientific accuracy and technical consistency are the ingredients I rely on most to bake a plausible SciFi world. To ‘keep it real’ and the story grounded in an authentic universe, the Science and Tech—at least in the first two books—is based on established fact, any developments are mostly incremental upgrades to our current capabilities.

Excerpt from Book Two:
“While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower.”
Noah Poponak, Goldman Sachs.
“Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6bn… 
… [this] is only about one-third the amount that has been invested in Uber.”
NASA is taking the idea seriously, fast tracking their mission to a 10,000 Quadrillion USD lump of platinum and gold—perhaps they want to stake a claim before other prospectors turn up?

Brain Scanning will deliver Thought Crime OR Mental Superpowers

“Amazingly, in just a single 13-minute session participants learned to easily [mentally] control the size of the flame and were able to reduce their pain by over 50%”

I am less optimistic than this article is. Not about the technology, which seems solid, but in Singularity’s Children, Spex are ubiquitous and the scanning and insights they deliver are used by governments to sell ideology, rather than by the wearer to elevate consciousness.