"Time sure flies when you are eating free samples." - Pam Whitson
Question #90727 posted on 12/26/2017 1:50 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Fascinating choices and reasoning! I had no idea that was such a complex question, but I'm really glad I asked!! and Guppy of Doom, very impressed with your poem (which also checks off my bucket list item "be answered with an original poem on the 100 Hour Board without asking/hinting for it" (it's a long bucket list, ok?) and what a poem! Also, I think that's the most writers to have ever weighed in on one of my questions)

So,
If you could have one of these powers, which would it be?
-mind reader
-invisibility
-super strength
-change your appearance at will
-talk to animals
-change the past

-Vector

A:

Dear person,

Super strength. 

-Sheebs

A:

Dear Vector,

I have to go with mind reading, but with one qualification. I don’t want it to be an automatic thing, like I hear everyone’s thoughts all the time. Instead it should be like a muscle that I have to flex and only use in certain situations.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear Vector,

May I just say you have the most wonderful bucket list? I wish you luck in completing it!

I don't think I would ever want to change the past, because I'm a strong supporter of time travel that makes sense (hence my hatred of Disney's Meet the Robinsons. I want to love it, but every time I watch it I just start ranting about how Disney ignores all the time travel rules). So either my attempts to change the past wouldn't appear to work, because I already changed it which would have already influenced my present state, or I would change it and just keep going to alternate dimensions which are impacted by my change, but then I would unwittingly change the future/present into something entirely different which might mean my friends may not know me or I wouldn't get the same opportunities or the world would explode.

Basically, time travel is confusing.

Talking to animals reminds me of Daine...but it only really works if, like her, you can make the animals smarter so they can communicate better. Otherwise you'd be talking to the mental equivalents of three years olds. Probably wouldn't be super interesting.

I think I would want to change my appearance at will. I've always been incredibly frustrated with my parents' (and friends' and society's) admonitions to never run, hike, or walk alone as a woman, especially after dark. I've been even more frustrated with the fact that I have to be careful of running, hiking, and walking alone, especially after dark. I used to love hiking alone, but it loses its appeal when you have to wake up insanely early so you can avoid possible rapists and you spend half the hike looking over your shoulder. There were a few glorious months when I had a pixie cut that I could hike alone. I didn't wear makeup, intentionally wore baggy clothes, was frequently mistaken for a guy, and never felt safer. I would love to change my appearance to look like a man so I would have more freedom to do whatever I want at any time of the day.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear Vector,

time turner.jpg

Time travel 100%. I could really use magical time traveling powers because the time turner I bought on Amazon DOESN'T WORK! DON'T TRUST EVERYTHING YOU SEE ON THE INTERNET!!! I guess now my only option is to make responsible choices so I don't have to deal with the negative consequences in the future. **Sigh**...oh well, my GPA and I will find a way to manage sans time travel.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Banach,

If I ever had a desire to read people's minds, that wish has been cured by social media. Less facetiously, I think it would be really hard to emotionally to hear everyone's thoughts. Cause people are a lot less adept at filtering their thoughts than they are at filtering their words. If people already say things they don't truly mean, and regret speaking for how it hurts others, I imagine they think quite a lot more of those kinds of things; really, being able to read thoughts seems like a great recipe for people to get extremely offended easily. And personally, I know I would feel intensely uncomfortable knowing another stranger could listen in on the most private things going on in my head. To me, it's kind of the like the mental version of being able to peek in on someone as they're showering. 

Invisibility sounds cool, but what would I ever use it for? My life doesn't exactly involve lots of sneaking around (excluding sneaking around in paper bags, of course). 

As far as super strength goes... that could be fun. Particularly now that I just noticed you didn't put a qualifier on what this strength would be in. I'm guessing you meant physical strength, but since you didn't explicitly say so, I'm going to run with super social strength. 

What is super social strength, you ask? I'm going to go ahead and define it thusly: 

  • Reading people's emotions, and knowing the ideal reaction; i.e. if someone is going through a depressive bout, I'd know and be able to help them in the best way possible.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Ability to diffuse high stress/contentious situations.
  • Increased empathy for people's struggles.
  • Connecting easily with others.
  • Determining people's relationships with others, i.e. the ability to discern and characterize groups/communities of people.
  • Discerning what an individual is likely to do, i.e. being able to predict their future actions, and how they would react to specific situations.
  • Ability to know whether someone is lying or telling the truth.

Now, I'm certain you could probably make logical extensions to this list, but this is all I can think of at the moment, so I'm going to leave it as is.

While the other super powers you list are cool, I don't think I'd find them particularly useful (well, except being able to change my appearance for lazy reasons so I never had to get ready in the mornings), and with changing the past, I'd be scared to ever use such a power for fear of unintended side effects I'd send spiraling through the universe.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Vector,

Definitely invisibility; people keep thinking I'm sneaking up on them even when I don't try because I'm so quiet, and I was as close as I could get to invisible for Halloween this year. I have no desire to speak with animals. Changing the past would have too many unintended consequences that I don't want to deal with. Being able to change my appearance at will would force me to deal with deep questions about how far to take it, and I don't want to mess with that. Super strength might be cool, but I've never really dealt with my problems by being stronger than everyone else, so I don't see it being super applicable to me. Mind reading would be my second choice; I have a pretty thick skin (at least I think I do), and I feel like it would help me improve my social skills. 

-The Entomophagist

A:

Dear Vector,

My first impulse was to be able to change my appearance at will because that would make getting ready in the morning so much easier. But then I realized that having super strength would actually be great as a woman, and here's why: shattering people's expectations of what women can and can't do. 

Think about it. Everyone always asks for "some big strong men to come help move this thing," or if they ask people by name, they always ask men. And whenever I'm carrying anything that looks like it may be remotely heavy, people always feel the need to ask if I need help, or tell me that they'll just take over. I get that this is almost always good-intentioned, but if I volunteer to help carry something it's because I'm capable of carrying it. I just really relish the idea of a guy trying to move some big heavy piece of furniture, and he can't, and then I step in and move it all by myself and change his entire perception of women.

I realize that's an incredibly petty reason for wanting a superpower, but my desire for being able to change my appearance at will was basically born out of laziness, so what can we really expect here? 

-Alta

P.S. I would only want super strength if it wasn't accompanied by freakishly huge muscles. I would just want to look like a normal person, partially for aesthetic reasons, and partially for adding to the shock factor when I'm able to accomplish amazing feats of strength.

A:

Dear Vector,

It would have to be super strength for me. One of my life goals is to be Captain America. Super strength would be a key part of unlocking that goal. Plus it would just be totally awesome. 

Speaking of which, anyone know where you could buy a shield made from a fictional metal? Preferably one that can be purchased on a student budget? Asking for a friend.

-Mitty

A:

Vector,

Dear goodness is no one going to mention the ability to talk to animals? I'm assuming that also means they can understand and respond to you? because I already can talk to animals and I do it regularly. Maybe it's because I just woke up from a nap and am feeling very calm and cuddly but talking to animal friends sounds really nice right now. 

Babalugats

A:

Dear Wiktor,

Maybe this is really weird of me, but I really don't like the idea of having any major superpowers, for several reasons. Mostly because I'm convinced I'd become a government project in no time. Seriously, maybe I'm being too realistic about this but if I had superhuman strength I'd be hunted down to be a research project by someone once anyone caught wind of it. These aren't exactly things that I'd really manage to keep quiet for very long. Also, I'd probably feel really responsible to use my powers to do something good and that sounds stressful and exhausting.

So out of this list I'd probably choose talking to animals because:

 - Animals won't sell you out to foreign or domestic governments.
 - Animals are very cute and nice and would probably have nice things to say.
 - Animals will not monetize your powers, and even if they did, most animals would probably let you keep a majority of the profits.
 - I just wanna be able to talk to the deer that are constantly on campus.

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave

A:

Dear you,

Change the past, obvs, because then you could learn very, very fast through trial and error. You'd also gain teleportation skills, because you could change where you'd gone, and you could invest in giant lizard-raising companies once you'd seen they were clearly the world's financial future. You could also do all sorts of fun pranks, like putting 2 dollar bills in people's coat pockets, or infiltrating and toppling corrupt governments by sowing dissent, mistrust, and confusion. Hilarious.

Changing my appearance at will would be superior to invisibility, because I could blend in easily and gain people's trust instantly, say, by becoming a well-groomed baby alpaca. As an alpaca, I'd also claim the Andes-given right of all Alpacas to speak languages fluently with whatever accent I chose (speaking to animals is also a given). An alpaca speaking Punjabi with a French accent could safely gain entry just about anywhere, besides the Thompsons' annual Wiccan Bonfire'n'Sacrifice-stravaganza, for reasons that should be apparent.

If by invisibility you mean total stealth, I'd take that option last so I could do nefarious things like pretend to be the vengeful ghost of a French Punjabi baby alpaca at the Thompsons' shindig. That'll learn 'em good, make 'em regret what they did to lil' Sharukh Remy Balarasingan.

RIP, camelid friend. You were too perfect for this world.

Reminiscently,

--Ardilla Feroz