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which super power do you want? A few alternatives ...

 
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Options include:

   - flight

   - invisibility

   - genius

   - time travel

   - ultimate knowledge

   - the laser eye thing

There's a pretty huge list.  

About ten years ago I read a magnificent book.   In it, there is a monster demon about to kill one of the main characters (Biff).  It is digging through several feet of solid rock to get at him.  And just in the nick of time, the hero shows up and uses his superpowers to save the day.

And now if somebody talks about what super power they wish for, I think this is a pretty excellent superpower.  Maybe the very best.   I think about some of the biggest battles ever laid out in recent super hero movies how they would be done in a blink with this.

The hero (Joshua) lays a hand on the monster and all of the monster's hostility melts away and is replaced with decency and good will.  The monster doesn't want to kill Biff anymore.   Instead he wants to simply go home and have a pleasant day.

I want to add it to the list above, but I'm not sure what to call it.  

Another is something I wrote about a year ago - the monsignor.  A true story about a guy that has somehow traveled a path where people make life choices because they care about what this guy thinks.   They will go years being decent, and if they get a thought about doing something wicked, the thing that stops them is the idea that this guy would be disappointed in them.  

Another:  Martin Luther King Jr.   Not only did he advocate taking the blows without responding in kind, but thousands of people signed up.   The idea is that the person wielding the club would bash a dozen people and then think "wow, this is wrong - I don't wanna do this anymore."   King took the blows and he passed this superpower on to thousands of others.  It wasn't a perfect solution, but it did make a big difference.   It is a way of nurturing the decency within the hostile people.  A bit like the power of Joshua.

I don't know what the fate of the monsignor was, but I do know that King's detractors killed him.   And I know that Joshua's detractors killed him.  So it kinda seems like being a fountain of goodness and decency comes with a bit of an early death sentence.  Death by violence.  Bummer.



I don't have any super powers.   Sometimes I think about having the ability to go back in time and doing something better.   I once read a book where a guy had a ring that could tell him stuff - and I imagine a ring that could tell me what is true.  I read another book where a guy could slow time down to almost a standstill and then he talk through problems with his imaginary friend Admiral Akbar - who could then work robots and stuff.   It made me imagine the wish of being able to think of an imaginary room that had Jeeves in it (still played by Stephen Fry) and Jeeves knew all-the-things.

Well, what do I have?   I have friends.  I have people who like me.   There are people who seem to place value in what I say.   That's pretty cool!    In a way, I have a mild super power.  Neat!   How did I get this?   I guess I shared stuff for free.  I figured something out and gave it away.   The internet seems loaded to the gills with this - so I guess there is nothing special there.  And my group of friends is kinda small compared to real celebrities.  But really big when compared to the average person.  


I read Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  In the book there was a small thermos that has a piece of ice in it.   Special ice called "ice-9".   Apparently, If you added water, the water molecules would arrange to form a solid (ice) with the existing ice.  And repeat until all the water was this special type of ice.   At room temperature.   It would melt and go back to regular water at 104 degrees F.  Water just doesn't naturally want to be ice-9.  But ice-9 has a sort of template that water just "clicks into."  In a way, it sorta teaches the water that it can join in and be ice-9.   And then once it is ice-9 it teaches the next bit of water and so on.  

I feel like nearly I everything I share sounds crazy at first.  And then I explain it and then it seems pretty obvious.   Like getting rid of slugs with a pile of rocks, or plant lots of poisonous plants in animal pastures.  

So I kinda wonder if I keep sharing "bricks" (these tidbits of information) if eventually there will be a global ice-9 effect.  



If you are gonna talk about super heroes, you need to know who the villains are.  And then you need a strategy ...


The problem:  rampant childhood cancer
The villains:   thousands
The people:  use the products of the villains and unwittingly give children cancer
What can I do:  try to eliminate 95% of the carcinogens from my environment.  Natural building.  Polyculture food from rich soil.  Maybe some people with cancer will come here and get better.  And then share video.   Maybe others will do it.   Maybe a hundred years from now there will be 90% less carcinogens globally.  The villains will then be defunded and find something more productive to do with their time.


The problem:  global warming
The villains:   thousands
The people:  use the products of the villains and unwittingly add to global warming
What can I do:  try to eliminate 100% of my carbon footprint and maybe the carbon footprint of a dozen others.   And then share video.   Maybe others will do it.   Maybe a hundred years from now there will be 90% less carbon being put into the air.  The villains will then be defunded and find something more productive to do with their time.


The problem:  hunger and starvation
The villains:   thousands
The people:  use the products of the villains and unwittingly add to their power
What can I do:  try to grow food in a way that is easier and yummier.   Maybe feed myself and many others.  And then share video.   Maybe others will do it.   Maybe a hundred years from now there will be 90% less hunger and starvation.  The villains will then be defunded and find something more productive to do with their time.



We can make a list of more problems needing a super hero.    Or more lists of super powers.   But I made this page because some guy on the internet seems to be on a rampage about me and how everything I do is poison.   So I took a moment and looked at his past posts - including one where he talks about how is trying to break his addiction to heroin.   For reals.    So my work is reaching fewer people because a heroin addict hates me  (well him and the fouches and "47").   And I don't have the power to calm him.  So I make the best of it.   And the silver lining in this is that while my work doesn't have the impact of joshua or king, my detractors also are not gonna kill me.

I'll just keep doing my thing.  Trying hundreds of things to solve global problems.   And as the years pass, my list of detractors will grow.  And I hope for every detractor I will have helped a thousand people.


 
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Paul Wheaton wrote:

The hero (Joshua) lays a hand on the monster and all of the monster's hostility melts away and is replaced with decency and good will.

Sooo.... this guy named Paul sponsores a web-site where members can post on many, many subjects and connect with like-minded people, and be helped by members who might have good ideas and the number one, most important rule is: "Be Nice". Sure, maybe it's not infecting the whole world yet, but at least it's a start?
 
paul wheaton
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So maybe I created a super power?  


I once saw a movie that IMDB did not like, but it was full of teenagers and their newly budding superpowers - and they would learn if they were a "superhero" or a "sidekick".  I enjoyed the movie so much I immediately watched it a second time.   And I've seen it twice more since.   There are heroes that can fly and others have super strength, or super skills ...  and the sidekicks do something smaller - like glow a little when it is really dark.  

So maybe I'm a little above the glow thing?  :)

 
Jay Angler
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I can imagine people who thrive on chaos and violence and "drama" being really frightened of the beginner super-power "Be Nice" and wanting to fight against it by discrediting those who have it or are developing it. The professionals call that type of people "sociopaths". I read recently that a significant percentage of CEO's and Politicians are sociopaths or worse - narcissistic sociopaths - and I can't imagine they'd want to share the people they're counting on to follow them or allow themselves to be exploited by them, to be led towards a different and kinder path.
 
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What permie could resist having the power of The Shoveler from the "Mystery Men" movie?

"I have a gift -- I shovel well!"
 
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Not certain what I would pick today, but as a child I was all about flying—so much so that I eventually got a private pilot certificate.

Single Engine, Airplane, Land

Eric
 
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Actually Paul, I envy your superpower.  I have the ability to take the dreams and visions others have had and to implement.  I have been pretty successful as an administrator doing that. To use my terminology,  I can pull the trigger.  You appear to be able to have the dream and to implement.
 
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