what would you choose as your super power?

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entropomorphic
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Postby entropomorphic » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:41 pm UTC

As an alternative to time manipulation, I'd like a super-powerful reality-simulating computer built into my brain. Based on my (and/or its) sensors, it would calculate the possible outcomes of all major time branches in my vicinity during a sliding window into the near future. I would therefore instantly know the short-term consequences of my actions before I did them, avoiding dangerous situations. If the computer had the ability to search the possibility tree for a desired outcome, I would be able to achieve things in ways I wouldn't otherwise know were possible. And depending on the sensitivity of the sensors and the power of the computer, it could allow me to manipulate chaos theory itself, such as knowing exactly where to tap on a locked door to cause it to unlock itself.

I think about this kind of stuff a lot... but coincidentally I just saw a movie trailer the other day for Next in which Nicolas Cage appears to have similar powers. It's based on the story The Golden Man by Philip K. Dick, which I've never read.

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Postby Fernanthonies » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:32 pm UTC

I always have liked the idea of a certain mental based power that works like this:

Basically, you can overwrite the mind of a weak willed person to take over their body creating a sort of hive mind. Like I would start out as just me, but i could go and find 4 people with weak wills, erase their mind and replace it with mine, creating a hive of 5 people sharing one mind. Of course my mind would have to be very powerful to be able to control many bodies at once and have various levels of attention.

When you take over a mind, you can choose to either erase it out right, or absorb the knowledge within.

Eventually it would culminate in having a huge network of drones spanning the entire earth. It would allow you to infiltrate various levels of all the world governments and their armies, as well as crime organizations...allowing you to become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world.

Downsides are that you can't take over a mind of a strong willed person. so infiltrating the highest levels of society would require some strategy and tactics.

Also, no direct telepathic powers. Can't read minds until you actually take them over...then there is no going back.
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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:30 pm UTC

But what if you had unlimited shapeshifting ability?

Tentacle monster sex!

http://echeng.com/journal/images/misc/ericchengsquidsex.gif

So much fun!

Also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSW9kWIRCOQ

Which is even better.
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:12 pm UTC



That might possibly be the most disturbingly disgustingly awesome thing i have ever seen.
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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:20 pm UTC

I know. It's beautiful and disgusting at the same time! I'm so conflicted! They could have edited away a few sounds, though.

Attenborough rocks.
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xooll
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Postby xooll » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:20 am UTC

Shapeshifting. Definitely. Especially since you could use it for other purposes like invisibility, flying, etc.
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Postby Thedon » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:47 pm UTC

I'd go for bug repellant shield, or something in my blood that makes mosquitos explode a couple of seconds after they leave me.


On the topic of useable superpowers, awesome double jointed-ness, with acrobatic leaping skills. Like The Fear, in MGS3.

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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:18 pm UTC

Or quintuple jointedness in quintuple joints, like the Forkrul Assail.
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Postby gmalivuk » Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:05 pm UTC

Omnipotence is always my first choice when it's not prohibited from the outset. Why choose between going really fast, being invisible, and being invulnerable when you could instead choose to be able to do *anything*?

But since that's maybe too overgeneral to be fun, I have wondered what collateral benefits I could get from the ability to make anyone on earth feel sexual pleasure. (Also there's the question: could you get more done by making people suffer if they disobeyed you, or by giving pleasure when they obey you?)
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Postby Vandole » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:18 am UTC

Actually I've been thinking something bizarre and not all that useful would be an amusing thing... something like... subconsciously changing the music on the radio depending on your mood, or having suitable music for whatever you're doing all the time. Even more interesting, being able to montage any part of your life that's boring, slow or long.
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Postby Castaway » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:25 am UTC

the power to NEVER HAVE A HANGOVER!
You've just lost twenty dollars and my self respect.

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Postby OmenPigeon » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:36 am UTC

Vandole wrote:Even more interesting, being able to montage any part of your life that's boring, slow or long.


As long as it doesn't have to be accompanied by 80's power ballads.

It would be kind of nice to be able to do one thing perfectly. A small, inconsequential thing. Like being able to always draw a perfect circle. Or throw frisbee in a perfect forehand. Or peel an orange and have the peel be left in one section.

It wouldn't really matter what else you could do, 'cause you could do something perfectly. Perfect.
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:37 am UTC

That'd be pretty cool.

I'd be able to cook the perfect hamburger, and i'd never go hungry!
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Postby a thing » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:55 am UTC

Carebare Stare!
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Postby Verysillyman » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:57 am UTC

Time control.

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Gilligan
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Postby Gilligan » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:31 am UTC

Complete understanding and local control of space and time.
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Postby hermaj » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:39 am UTC

Intro thread please, Gilligan!

Back in school, I thought I would like to be able to instantly teleport. It would be really handy if I realised I'd left stuff at home and I could just teleport back home and get it and then teleport back to my seat on the bus. (For reals - when I was in high school and wanted this power, I never actually imagined using it to actually get to school or whatever. Only to go back for things!)

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Castaway
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Postby Castaway » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:13 pm UTC

That would be pretty useful, i guess....
You've just lost twenty dollars and my self respect.



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JuliaGlass
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Postby JuliaGlass » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:31 pm UTC

It really would.
Think about it this way: you won't have to complain about gas prices anymore. (Ooh, back to the pet peeve thread.)

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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:14 pm UTC

I never get it when people say "gas" when they're talking about petrol. I always go... "Gas? What the hell, does nobody use electricity for heating and stuff any more?"
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JuliaGlass
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Postby JuliaGlass » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:16 pm UTC

It's just an abbreviation for gasoline. I've never heard anyone call it petrol here.

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Postby Belial » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:20 pm UTC

They're both awful abbreviations. Gas, because it refers to an *entire state of matter* and is therefore so ambiguous it hurts, Petrol because it's imprecise, referring to Petroleum rather than the specific Petroleum product. You'd be just as well calling *plastic* "petrol".

But yeah, "Gas" is the standard word used in the US, "Petrol" appears to be pretty much the standard word in europe.
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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:40 pm UTC

Actually, in Norway, we use Benzine. Or Bensin. And Diesel. No confusion over here. Until the germans come and want propane gas. "I haev to need gas!" Uuhh... Sure, buddy, see that pump? "Nono, need gas". Yes, gas, that fuggin pump! *points* "Nono, gas for camping car"... Are you talking about propane? "Yes, gas!" Right... Well, if you drive straight through the city, then take a left, and just keep going you'll get to a gas station that sells propane gas for cars. "Yes! Thank! Auf viedersehen!" Yes, byebye now... I sure as heck won't be here when you get back from your trip into Sweden...
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Postby simen » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:04 pm UTC

Roffle wrote:Actually, in Norway, we use Benzine. Or Bensin. And Diesel. No confusion over here. Until the germans come and want propane gas. "I haev to need gas!" Uuhh... Sure, buddy, see that pump? "Nono, need gas". Yes, gas, that fuggin pump! *points* "Nono, gas for camping car"... Are you talking about propane? "Yes, gas!" Right... Well, if you drive straight through the city, then take a left, and just keep going you'll get to a gas station that sells propane gas for cars. "Yes! Thank! Auf viedersehen!" Yes, byebye now... I sure as heck won't be here when you get back from your trip into Sweden...

Bensin has no ambiguities? There is at most 5% benzene in gasoline.

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Roffle
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Postby Roffle » Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:11 am UTC

No it doesn't, as nothing else I've come across around here has ever been called benzine.

Of course, nobody else knows what we're talking about, but we also do tend to call it "fuel". Well, the norwegian equivalent.
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Akula
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Postby Akula » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:55 pm UTC

The ability to sacrifice my dignity for cheap laughs.

Oh wait I already do that. I guess I AM a superhero!

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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:06 pm UTC

More limited ones I've thought about:

Complete control over what goes on from the atomic level on up anywhere within a few inches of my body. (The limit makes it more interesting than omnipotence, but still pretty useful, what with allowing for invulnerability, flying, probably invisibility, opening doors, mind reading if I was also able to figure out how the complete neronic profile of a brain translates into thinking, and so on...)

Suspending the collapse of quantum wavefunctions until the result you want happens. Yes, I got this from Greg Egan's Quarantine, but that's just because I think it's pretty badass. Kind of turning everything into a quantum computer with trillions (of trillions of trillions) of qubits and then picking the optimal result out of all the incredibly unlikely outcomes.
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Belial
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Postby Belial » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:14 pm UTC

Suspending the collapse of quantum wavefunctions until the result you want happens. Yes, I got this from Greg Egan's Quarantine, but that's just because I think it's pretty badass. Kind of turning everything into a quantum computer with trillions (of trillions of trillions) of qubits and then picking the optimal result out of all the incredibly unlikely outcomes.


This is kindof how "magic" worked in the Death Gate Cycle....those were some odd, odd fantasy novels.
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Postby Pau! » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:23 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote: (Also there's the question: could you get more done by making people suffer if they disobeyed you, or by giving pleasure when they obey you?)



According to extensive and numerous studies on human and animal psychology, conditioning is more effective when done with reward rather than punishment. As an excellent example, rats are willing to work MUCH harder for pellets (and especially for cocaine) than they are willing to work to avoid a shock, say, because pain and sadness eventually just leads to apathy, while similar resistances to rewards do not seem to build up. The same applies to raising children: Parents who hit their children to punish them do NOT have more obedient children.

In addition, you can always rely on people to seek out a reward on their own time, while you have to seek them out to enforce punishment.

Or, put another way, who are you more likely to work hard to make happy: Someone you love, or someone you fear?
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Postby Puellus Peregrinus » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:32 pm UTC

The use of bad science:
Teleportation via quantum bastardisation: You could forget where you are so that your position is not observed by anyone and then You'd just try to collapse the function in the right place.

A lot of other powers: Radioactive material + comics
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Mighty Jalapeno
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed May 23, 2007 10:10 pm UTC

Total metaphysical invisibility. Permeable to light, but also to matter. :)

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Postby DonChubby » Wed May 23, 2007 10:17 pm UTC

I would want the power of love.

Points for identifying the reference.
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Postby Jesse » Wed May 23, 2007 10:19 pm UTC

I hear you don't need a credit card to ride that train.

And it sounds all too much like the power of Heart from Captain Planet.

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DonChubby
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Postby DonChubby » Wed May 23, 2007 10:19 pm UTC

Go fish.
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Postby scowdich » Wed May 23, 2007 10:21 pm UTC

I could definitely live with teleportation/time bending. Alchemy (Fullmetal style) would also be a useful talent.

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Postby Gordon » Wed May 23, 2007 10:22 pm UTC

Dirty hippies?
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Postby DonChubby » Wed May 23, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

Go. Fish.
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed May 23, 2007 10:28 pm UTC

Any of the three T's: Telepathy, Telekinesis, or Teleportation. I would not want to be omnipotent simply because I get bored very fast, let's say you play the Sims and arrange your house how you want it, but eventually you will run out of things to do. Me being omnipotent would lead to randomly killing off people I didn't like, and then I wouldn't raise them back to life just to be amused or learn something when I already know *EVERYTHING*. It's very boring, and as God I would know everything that would happen and it wouldn't be interesting anymore. Playing Civ gets fun with other people, know when you can win everytime.

On a more scientific matter, I would like to be able to touch items and make them vibrate at a certain frequency by thinking about it. If the research on low frequencies are true, I could make groups of people sad or happy, control animals, destroy objects or sabotage buildings with it.

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Akira
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Postby Akira » Wed May 23, 2007 11:02 pm UTC

Referring back...

Vandole wrote:Actually I've been thinking something bizarre and not all that useful would be an amusing thing... something like... subconsciously changing the music on the radio depending on your mood, or having suitable music for whatever you're doing all the time. Even more interesting, being able to montage any part of your life that's boring, slow or long.


I think that would be an awesome, awesome, awesome power. Like... Driving to school, I'm rollin along, and some seriously good driving song comes on... And coming home... and so forth. I'm out in the drive, and the carwash song comes on... hanging out the wash playing 'dirty laundry'...

I wonder, though, which would be cooler? If the music could only be heard by you, or if everyone else could hear it...

If everyone else could hear it, it'd make life a lot more fun. Spontanious musical numbers all the time!
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Wed May 23, 2007 11:05 pm UTC

If it's heard by you only, I call that a hallucination or illusion. I do that all the time to myself. But otherwise it would be pretty interesting, to subconsciously use quantum mechanics!


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