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Super-Intellect

12 Jul 2005 05:08 #1745 by argonaut
Super-Intellect was created by argonaut
Reading the latest batch of workshop stories got me thinking about this aspect of our favorite fantasy: Is a super-intellect part of the total super-woman package?

On the one hand, we see Superwoman (in Ace's story) easily deducing the access code of Superman's computer and deciphering Kryptonese.

On the other hand, Stephanie (in "Accidents Will Happen") and Kim (in Conceptfan's story) remain -- shall we say -- not the sharpest knives in the drawer even after their transformation into super-girls.

Both scenarios open up interesting story possibilities; but IMO super-intelligence gives the woman another intriguing "layer of superiority." Just as thick steel walls offer no resistance to her fists, intricate codes succumb easily to her intellect.

Admittedly, solving a differential equation mentally isn't as dramatic as tossing a tank into orbit; but when something like that can be worked into a story (as Ace did) ... well, it just makes the ubergirl that much more uber -- and therefore that much more appealing.

I'd be interested in hearing other SWManiacs' thoughts on this subject.

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12 Jul 2005 15:33 #1748 by happiest_in_shadows
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For me wether super intelligence adds to the Super fem or takes away from her really depends on the story and what the over all theme of the story is. In a story like Going Super I feel that making Kate Super Intelligent would take away from the story as a whole. Rather I like to say that while Kate’s Brian was enhanced most of her thinking ability goes to just processing all the information her body is constantly taking in and controlling her muscles.

There is also something to seeing a super fem just brute force her way through a situation that would normally taking a great deal of brain power. She doesn’t need to figure out the pass code as she can just tear the door out of the wall or better yet she is powerful to the point that she can tear an opening between dimensions.

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21 Jul 2005 20:14 #1833 by brantley
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Really brainy can be really sexy. Check out Danica McKellar, a math whiz, in the July issue of STUFF.

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22 Jul 2005 06:27 #1840 by marknew742
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I've done it both ways with my Superwomen, but one thing to consider is when you make her super-brainy too, she get so-o-o-o-o unstoppable.

Brains against brawn, when it's the girl who has the brawn, is a nice twist for me.

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31 Jul 2005 16:17 #1967 by brantley
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And imagine having a really brainy conversation with her and then making love; bliss for the mind, bliss for the body!

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13 Aug 2005 02:30 #2100 by WhitePaw
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Sigh. I tire of reading words like "Super Girrrl is super nifty smart" followed by a renactment of various blonde jokes. Truth be told: she's only as smart as her writer-- by definition.

And what about being able to think in super speed? What if she's not really any more creative or intuitive, but can just plain think faster?

Well, I can't write stories about a super girl who's any smarter than me, but I can think all day about what she thinks in a nanosecond. I suppose there's hope :)

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16 Sep 2005 10:59 #2511 by conceptfan
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Does a girl need to be able to compute a ten-digit door access code to be truly "hot" in a power sense? What if she glances at the control box, shrugs and just walks straight through the middle of the steel door?

And, for me, sometimes it can be sexy when the girl is too stupid to see the sign that says "Pull". Instead, she pushes the big, heavy door - with obvious consequences... Yes everyone around her is her intellectual superior, but so great is her physical power, that the brain-gap is irrelevant. She is superior.

And as Mark already mentioned in this thread, there's definitely something in the concept of a cleverer, wiser more imaginative man losing out to a stronger, faster girl...

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16 Sep 2005 20:02 #2524 by argonaut
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Oh, yes -- there are great story possibilities either way.

And of course enhanced cognitive abilities aren't inconsistent with bad judgment, lack of imagination, poor "people skills," etc. I'm enrolled in a graduate program in mathematics, so I know plenty of people who have stratospheric I.Q.s but no common sense.

(My girl-friend chuckled strangely when she read that last sentence ...)

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16 Sep 2005 21:15 #2526 by WhitePaw
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I'm enrolled in a graduate program in mathematics, so I know plenty of people who have stratospheric I.Q.s but no common sense.(My girl-friend chuckled strangely when she read that last sentence ...)


<snicker> That's 'cause math AND common sense is called "engineering"...on a good day. :P

Love,
-White Paw, MSAE.

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17 Sep 2005 03:54 #2538 by Jabbrwock
Replied by Jabbrwock on topic Super-Intellect
Since much of what we call intelligence is more a matter of skill rather than natural endowments, I find many applications of super-intelligence to be rather jarring. Hacking into a computer system involves either specific knowledge or brute-force repetition, and no amount of intelligence will help out with either. If you don't know either a password or the structure of the program itself in such detail that you can find a security flaw, the only way to hack the system is just guessing passwords. Super senses can help you learn a supposedly secret password, or at least find details about the person who made the password that would help you guess it. Super speed and super memory could help you analyze the program's code in a reasonable span of time if you manage to get it and have knowledge of the computer system itself. Super speed can help you randomly guess the password more quickly (within reason, of course - often, there are delays involved in accepting a password specifically to hinder brute-force cracking).

Really, if you have super-powers, the best way to hack into a secure computer system is to threaten extreme violence against somebody who already has access. Or, if you have an aversion to violence, spy on them with super-senses to discover the password. Neither of these is super-intelligence, but deciding to use these methods instead of trying to use super-intelligence to futilely reach a conclusion without any actual information to support it is certainly non-super common-sense intelligence, which may actually be more rare than actual super powers.

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17 Sep 2005 05:02 #2542 by WhitePaw
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<yawns> Super intelligence always involves looking at things from new, unorthodox perspectives. Passwords are just the computer's stubborness, and there's always a person on the other end of the password who's a bit more...pliable.

Who said anything about violence? How droll and uncreative. Sex doesn't just sell.... boys are so cheap when you're super.

And there's always code on the back-side, hard drives that can be read more...directly.

And what's on a computer that she needs anyway? Tsk. Like she has needs.

Well, at least not that sort :twisted:

Love,
-White Paw.

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17 Sep 2005 05:14 #2543 by WhitePaw
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I'll have'ta postya up my new "Urban Legends", my first attempt at investigation using a Kryptonian. I'll keep that one at my site and spare Admin the colored-text headache. The story's so entangled it's nearly unreadable. I spliced the threads together too fast is all. I had to colorize the threads or there'd be zero chance at all of reading it.

I only mention that monsterpiece because it's a much more likely scenario for the application of super inteligence....after all, Lex set it up-- and he's always a fun chess partner (when I'm writing him). Normally I keep "Urban Legends" locked up.

Love,
-White Paw

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17 Sep 2005 05:59 #2545 by WhitePaw
Replied by WhitePaw on topic Super-Intellect
K, "UL1_TankersBall.pdf" is up at my site now. It's only 3000+ words, but good friggin luck w/ it.

Mr. Lather from my "Soap" piece up here also provides a very out-of-the-box problem for our heroine to think through. Would have been more of a challenge were he a she though. <shrugs>

Love,
-White Paw

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09 Oct 2005 03:34 #2978 by Raa
Replied by Raa on topic Super-Intellect
Ok I was thinking the other day about this topic. Now being super Intellect would be nice, but to make it very usefull you also need to be super fast or a super fast to upload data from a source into her brain. What do you guys think?

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09 Oct 2005 23:34 #2981 by WhitePaw
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Intelligence has little to do w/ masses of data. Its all about your level of understanding of and creativity w/ what little data you have.

Love,
-White Paw

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10 Oct 2005 02:05 #2982 by Raa
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Yes but without the data understanding and creativity is not nearly as usefull.

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10 Oct 2005 15:47 #2984 by WhitePaw
Replied by WhitePaw on topic Super-Intellect
Only to the non-genius.

I've seen my old spacecraft thermal engineering supervisor consistantly prognosticate transiet temperature limits and fluxes based on a cocktail napkin's worth of data--and never miss. It would typically take me 3 months of detailed modeling and analysis to eventually prove out his same numbers. The man's stupifyingly brilliant in that field. And no, I'm no easily-impressed newbie there, having worked for him for seven years (spacecraft thermal engineering only takes 5 years to master).

With no hope of ever keeping up w/ my supervisor, I got bored and moved on.

My current supervisor over in the astrodynamics group can pull out the one loose thread in a solid two pages of seemingly flawless systems of dynamics equations in one casual read. I'm usually the one that thought it was flawless. Then again, astrodynamics takes 30 years to master one small corner of it and I've only been there 2 (my supervisor's been there 40).

My long-winded point: intelligence like creativity isn't judged by how fabulous your end product is, but by how minimal your raw materials were.

Kicking assets in the 1000 word story workshop here is a good opportunity. :wink:

Love,
-White Paw

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10 Oct 2005 16:54 #2985 by conceptfan
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:roll:

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11 Oct 2005 01:06 #2986 by Raa
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Lets take a look at this as a computer. On one hand you have an average person. Lets say an average person has a 8MHZ CPU(Close to 20 years ago computer systems). Then a super smart person 5 GHZ CPU(High end systems of now). Now lets say both systems have data transfer rate of 20 years ago. All I'm saying is your as slow as your slowest link. Thats why I'm saying you need a super way to download the data. Be it super reflexs to read or as Shadar does it with a direct DL into thier brains.

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11 Oct 2005 04:35 #2987 by Jabbrwock
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:roll:

Agreed, 100%. Sometimes it's best to just read the stories and ignore the rest. Some arguments just aren't worth the effort.

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