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Who Shall Wield the Power?

28 Apr 2017 06:57 #53820 by shadar
Who Shall Wield the Power? was created by shadar
When it comes time to apply the genetic enhancement machinery we pulled from that crashed alien ship, this is where we plan to draw our raw talent from. Elite athletes. Women who have unusual command over their bodies and superb reflexes and balance, used to pushing the edge of the envelope. Mentally and physically hardened.

Who else would be able to handle suddenly growing a thousand times stronger. These women have trained all their lives with the goal of becoming stronger than anyone else.





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28 Apr 2017 10:24 #53822 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
I'll have to disagree.
"With great power comes great responsibility."
Discipline is what is called for when dealing with enhanced humans.

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28 Apr 2017 20:47 #53830 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

Markiehoe wrote: I'll have to disagree.
"With great power comes great responsibility."
Discipline is what is called for when dealing with enhanced humans.



This could work too, if you think super-soldiers are our future. Personally, I'd rather have a bunch of super-powered athletes running the show than super-powered soldiers.

But in both cases, it's time to allow women that privilege. We men have spent the last few thousand years screwing things up. Simplest solution: give women the power.

No guarantees... but at least we aren't perpetuating a system that has been proven to fail, over and over for all of history.

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29 Apr 2017 11:06 #53839 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
Most athletes I have encountered at the highest level persue their sport and train their bodies to achieve personal glory.
In other words they do it for selfish reasons.

Modern soldiers are a volunteer force who sacrifice personal freedoms for low pay and high danger in order to serve others.

Who would you rather give un checked power to?
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29 Apr 2017 14:48 #53840 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
I wasn't thinking of emotional suitability to the job, but rather the physical training to handle a huge increase in power.

If we're talking mental and emotional preparation, the LAST person I'd want to give those powers to was someone trained to use lethal force.

That's one of the things I like about the Supergirl TV show. Kara is the last person who would ever want to hurt another person. If all those powers had gone to Alex or Maggie, we'd have a different story.

So my choice emotionally would be someone who is horrified at the mere thought of hurting another human being. A grade school teacher. A minister. A nun. Social worker. A Quaker. Maybe a trauma nurse or doc who has seen too much violence in their life. Someone who practises physical restraint as their first impulse and hates weapons or violence of any kind.
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30 Apr 2017 15:01 - 30 Apr 2017 15:04 #53847 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

shadar wrote: I wasn't thinking of emotional suitability to the job, but rather the physical training to handle a huge increase in power.

If we're talking mental and emotional preparation, the LAST person I'd want to give those powers to was someone trained to use lethal force.

That's one of the things I like about the Supergirl TV show. Kara is the last person who would ever want to hurt another person. If all those powers had gone to Alex or Maggie, we'd have a different story.

So my choice emotionally would be someone who is horrified at the mere thought of hurting another human being. A grade school teacher. A minister. A nun. Social worker. A Quaker. Maybe a trauma nurse or doc who has seen too much violence in their life. Someone who practises physical restraint as their first impulse and hates weapons or violence of any kind.


Desmond Doss was every bit a soldier as the men he saved. The willingness to use a weapon isn't what being a soldier is about. Pulling the trigger, at least from the men I knew, was never taken lightly. It's not something you do and walk away the same person. I feel a soldier would be a perfect fit.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.
Last edit: 30 Apr 2017 15:04 by jnw550.
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30 Apr 2017 18:21 #53848 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
But experience weary soldiers (think multiple tours to each of Irag and Afghanistan) necessarily get more callous about it. Anyone exposed to repeated trauma has to play mind tricks to survive.

When I was in Nam in '71, I was in Saigon, and most of the people I hung with were medics (I wasn't). It took only a glance to figure out who'd been in the bush and which ones had been in Saigon since they arrived (like me). The eyes, the attitudes. It wasn't swagger. The opposite. They'd been to hell and miraculously come back damaged.

People who'd never been in the bush were normal Americans living in a very strange place. Medics who'd been in the bush were changed. Everything looked different to them. Grimmer. Harder. That was such an ugly war.

That was what made me think that giving nearly unlimited power to someone who'd been to hell and back might not be the advantage it first seems. While they'd be more effective in projecting those powers, there is a lot to be said for innocence and optimism and lightheartedness when it comes to someone who can nuke you with an angry glance, or turn your entire head into pink mist with a backhanded slap.

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30 Apr 2017 19:34 #53851 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
Okay, the new thread is set and the discussion is getting hot, so go nuts.

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30 Apr 2017 19:57 #53852 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

shadar wrote: But experience weary soldiers (think multiple tours to each of Irag and Afghanistan) necessarily get more callous about it. Anyone exposed to repeated trauma has to play mind tricks to survive.

When I was in Nam in '71, I was in Saigon, and most of the people I hung with were medics (I wasn't). It took only a glance to figure out who'd been in the bush and which ones had been in Saigon since they arrived (like me). The eyes, the attitudes. It wasn't swagger. The opposite. They'd been to hell and miraculously come back damaged.

People who'd never been in the bush were normal Americans living in a very strange place. Medics who'd been in the bush were changed. Everything looked different to them. Grimmer. Harder. That was such an ugly war.

That was what made me think that giving nearly unlimited power to someone who'd been to hell and back might not be the advantage it first seems. While they'd be more effective in projecting those powers, there is a lot to be said for innocence and optimism and lightheartedness when it comes to someone who can nuke you with an angry glance, or turn your entire head into pink mist with a backhanded slap.

Shadar


This is kind of a tricky point. On one hand I agree with you, people who have survived and suffer from PTSD aren't the best bet to gain unlimited powers, especially if they have a very hitchy trigger finger (think of Frank Castle). On the other though, they have experienced first hand the horror of what war and weapons can do and -- unless they're utterly psychotic -- they won't wish that on any other human being, so they might have the restrain needed to decide when to use their abilities, whereas a person who knows death and war only from an intellectual point of view might not be able to.

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30 Apr 2017 20:22 #53853 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
This is one area where WW (and the soon released movie) is interesting. It's been my observation in the comics that she's immune to the kind of mental trauma that we humans are so susceptible to. Yes, she's trained as a warrior, but in a very special environment on Themyscira that didn't involve frequent death and dismemberment. Yet based on the trailers, she has to pick herself up after a bloody battle on Themyscira that killed people she loved.

We'll see how the movie handles this, but I see her as someone who remains unchanged despite the battles she's been in. She's more than willing (and able) to use violence when she has to, but she is someone a good person would never be intimidated around. She's also willing to pretend to be a normal human when she can.

Perhaps she's PTSD-proof. Perhaps she merely comes with a different perspective on our world. She's absolutely incorruptible. Never bitter. Never mean. Never petty. Always optimistic.

But then, she's the daughter of Zeus and the Queen of the Amazons, so she's hardly ordinary.

Which begs the question... what kind of background could a human have to most closely emulate Diana's perspective? Or is that impossible, requiring an alien -- Kryptonian, Amazonian, etc?

Shadar

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01 May 2017 03:15 #53855 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
The people who could use super assistance are the ones that have the least. Pick a region without commercial electric power or indoor plumbing, and on top of that corrupt and violent rulers. These are the weary and down trodden. If some relief workers were to suddenly become superpowered and stay dedicated to building up the community resources to independence, it might just make up for the evil superpowers that would work for destruction and chaos.

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01 May 2017 04:43 #53856 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

slim36 wrote: The people who could use super assistance are the ones that have the least. Pick a region without commercial electric power or indoor plumbing, and on top of that corrupt and violent rulers. These are the weary and down trodden. If some relief workers were to suddenly become superpowered and stay dedicated to building up the community resources to independence, it might just make up for the evil superpowers that would work for destruction and chaos.


Ah, the dream of my idealistic "wanted to join the Peace Corps" days. A lovely dream. That would be a worthy purpose for several supers to dedicate themselves to. Perhaps a man and a woman who had children while working in this far away, remote country, out of sight of the world.

Until their twin daughters decide to move to the first world to tackle a very different set of problems -- and become worldwide obsessions, much to their dismay.

There's a story there.

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01 May 2017 05:46 #53857 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
The military exports death and destruction and they are very good at it. Those that have been in combat are forever changed by it. I would pick a female kindergarten teacher over a male combat veteran. Much less chance of having a 1000 super kids 9 months from now.

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01 May 2017 10:23 #53862 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

slim36 wrote: The people who could use super assistance are the ones that have the least. Pick a region without commercial electric power or indoor plumbing, and on top of that corrupt and violent rulers. These are the weary and down trodden. If some relief workers were to suddenly become superpowered and stay dedicated to building up the community resources to independence, it might just make up for the evil superpowers that would work for destruction and chaos.


In the '85 Marvel Comics published one of my favored limited series ever: the original Squadron Supreme storyline by Mark Gruenwald and Bob Hall. The entire premise of the series was pretty much that: an entire world destroyed by what amounted to World War 3 and the titular team (a massive expy of the Justice League) trying to get it back on its feet by taking over for a year and providing the entire world with supertech and other improvements. In the final issue there was a confrontation between Hyperion (Superman) and Nighthawk (Batman) about the problems of creating a perfect world for an imperfect species -- humanity. The strongest argument against it was that such system would require constant monitoring from being as powerful and good intentioned as those who started it, making the world dependent on superhumans more than ever.

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01 May 2017 15:32 - 01 May 2017 15:34 #53865 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

Woodclaw wrote:

slim36 wrote: The people who could use super assistance are the ones that have the least. Pick a region without commercial electric power or indoor plumbing, and on top of that corrupt and violent rulers. These are the weary and down trodden. If some relief workers were to suddenly become superpowered and stay dedicated to building up the community resources to independence, it might just make up for the evil superpowers that would work for destruction and chaos.


In the '85 Marvel Comics published one of my favored limited series ever: the original Squadron Supreme storyline by Mark Gruenwald and Bob Hall. The entire premise of the series was pretty much that: an entire world destroyed by what amounted to World War 3 and the titular team (a massive expy of the Justice League) trying to get it back on its feet by taking over for a year and providing the entire world with supertech and other improvements. In the final issue there was a confrontation between Hyperion (Superman) and Nighthawk (Batman) about the problems of creating a perfect world for an imperfect species -- humanity. The strongest argument against it was that such system would require constant monitoring from being as powerful and good intentioned as those who started it, making the world dependent on superhumans more than ever.


Interesting... it gets to the heart of whether humans are capable of governing themselves without hatred, greed or exploitation, not to mention tribalism, violence and war. Nothing in the history of the world's civilizations says that we are. There are examples of religious figures who have preached otherwise, but their lessons have been ignored, even by their followers.

So if any outside force that managed to stand humanity on its feet with rules that prohibited exploitation and violence, we'd fall over soon enough. We'd have to be propped up constantly.

Yet humanity has great potential if we just had that outside force to enforce good behavior. Unfortunately, any alien species which was developed enough to come here would study us and then leave quickly after putting up a "wall" to make sure we didn't get out of our solar system, whatever form that would take. Any galactic map would have big red letters over the Sol system:


ISOLATION ZONE. EXTREME DANGER. HUMAN APE-MEN. VIOLENT, EXPANSIONIST, PRIMITIVE. EXTREMELY FERTILE, HIGHLY ADAPTIVE. LEVEL 3 TOOL USERS. PERMANENT CONTAINMENT REQUIRED. NO CONTACT ALLOWED. SPECIES EXTERMINATION AUTHORIZED IN EVENT OF BREAKOUT.
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01 May 2017 19:43 #53870 by cbaby
Replied by cbaby on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
In all honesty I suspect the saying "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" is probably true whether the power is given to a soldier, teacher or athlete.

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01 May 2017 20:50 - 01 May 2017 20:51 #53874 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

shadar wrote: Interesting... it gets to the heart of whether humans are capable of governing themselves without hatred, greed or exploitation, not to mention tribalism, violence and war. Nothing in the history of the world's civilizations says that we are. There are examples of religious figures who have preached otherwise, but their lessons have been ignored, even by their followers.

So if any outside force that managed to stand humanity on its feet with rules that prohibited exploitation and violence, we'd fall over soon enough. We'd have to be propped up constantly.

Yet humanity has great potential if we just had that outside force to enforce good behavior. Unfortunately, any alien species which was developed enough to come here would study us and then leave quickly after putting up a "wall" to make sure we didn't get out of our solar system, whatever form that would take. Any galactic map would have big red letters over the Sol system:


ISOLATION ZONE. EXTREME DANGER. HUMAN APE-MEN. VIOLENT, EXPANSIONIST, PRIMITIVE. EXTREMELY FERTILE, HIGHLY ADAPTIVE. LEVEL 3 TOOL USERS. PERMANENT CONTAINMENT REQUIRED. NO CONTACT ALLOWED. SPECIES EXTERMINATION AUTHORIZED IN EVENT OF BREAKOUT.


That sound like a much darker version of a book by Douglas Adams. Although it also reminds me of Asimov's "Silly Asses".

Isaac Asimov wrote: Silly Asses

Naron of the long-lived Rigellian race was the fourth of his line to keep the galactic records.

He had a large book which contained the list of the numerous races throughout the galaxies that had developed intelligence, and the much smaller book that listed those races that had reached maturity and had qualified for the Galactic Federation. In the first book, a number of those listed were crossed out; those that, for one reason or another, had failed. Misfortune, biochemical or biophysical shortcomings, social maladjustment took their toll. In the smaller book, however, no member listed had yet blanked out.

And now Naron, large and incredibly ancient, looked up as a messenger approached.

“Naron,” said the messenger. “Great One!”

“Well, well, what is it? Less ceremony.”

“Another group of organisms has attained maturity.”

“Excellent. Excellent. They are coming up quickly now. Scarcely a year passes without a new one. And who are these?”

The messenger gave the code number of the galaxy and the coordinates of the world within it.

“Ah, yes,” said Naron. “I know the world.” And in flowing script he noted it in the first book and transferred its name into the second, using, as was customary, the name by which the planet was known to the largest fraction of its populace. He wrote: Earth.

He said, “These new creatures have set a record. No other group has passed from intelligence to maturity so quickly. No mistake, I hope.”

“None, sir,” said the messenger.

“They have attained to thermonuclear power, have they?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, thats the criterion.” Naron chuckled. “And soon their ships will probe out and contact the Federation.”

“Actually, Great One,” said the messenger, reluctantly, “the Observers tell us they have not yet penetrated space.”

Naron was astonished. “Not at all? Not even a space station?”

“Not yet, sir.”

“But if they have thermonuclear power, where do they conduct the tests and detonations?”

“On their own planet, sir.”

Naron rose to his full twenty feet of height and thundered, “On their own planet?”

“Yes, sir.”

Slowly Naron drew out his stylus and passed a line through the latest addition in the small book. It was an unprecedented act, but, then, Naron was very wise and could see the inevitable as well as anyone in the galaxy.

“Silly asses,” he muttered.


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01 May 2017 21:11 #53876 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

cbaby wrote: In all honesty I suspect the saying "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" is probably true whether the power is given to a soldier, teacher or athlete.


Possibly it's that simple, but I hope not. But you're in good company in seeing things that way.

In the first LOTR movie: "Three were given to the Elves: immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf-lords: great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else, desire power." That was pure Jackson, but it was good.

Tolkien tried to show that the best of people will refuse ultimate power, knowing where it would lead. Frodo tried to give the One Ring to both Gandalf and Galadriel, respectively a Maia and a Noldor, and both refused lest they become corrupted.

From the book (not the movie), with Galadriel speaking:

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

“I pass the test”, she said. “I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.”


Tolkien gives more hope with Gandalf saying: “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

This wisdom from a man who suffered through two World Wars.

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02 May 2017 01:54 #53877 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?

shadar wrote:

cbaby wrote: In all honesty I suspect the saying "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" is probably true whether the power is given to a soldier, teacher or athlete.


Possibly it's that simple, but I hope not. But you're in good company in seeing things that way.

In the first LOTR movie: "Three were given to the Elves: immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf-lords: great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else, desire power." That was pure Jackson, but it was good.

Tolkien tried to show that the best of people will refuse ultimate power, knowing where it would lead. Frodo tried to give the One Ring to both Gandalf and Galadriel, respectively a Maia and a Noldor, and both refused lest they become corrupted.

From the book (not the movie), with Galadriel speaking:

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

“I pass the test”, she said. “I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.”


Tolkien gives more hope with Gandalf saying: “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

This wisdom from a man who suffered through two World Wars.


I would Agee with cbaby.

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02 May 2017 13:47 #53882 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic Who Shall Wield the Power?
I think that if a normal girl/woman was given the power of Supergirl, power corrupts might be a possibility. I feel what sets heroes like Kara apart is that they were born with it.

Consider Green Later, however. Particularly John whom was a Marine before wielding the ring. Not all soldiers whom have seen war are scarred in a negative way. One friend of mine came back after a very hard tour and is now studying to be a man of the cloth. One of the kindest, strongest men I know.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.
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