Superpowers

Facebook’s Likeness application has a Superpowers quiz. It lists the following powers and asks you to rank them in order, from most desired to least desired.

Flying
Mind reading
X-ray vision
Invisibility
Shapeshifting
Invulnerability
Super speed
Telekinesis
Time travel
Super strength

I found this to be pretty intriguing. Here’s my list:

Flying
Time travel
Super strength
Super speed
Invulnerability
Telekinesis
X-ray vision
Invisibility
Shapeshifting
Mind reading

I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. I love being in airplanes. I love the clouds. I love the feeling of wind buffeting all around. But…I hate falling ;)

Time travel would just be cool. But it’s dangerous, and being able to do it would be a huge responsibility. So I ranked it #2.

After that, I ended up ranking by things that bothered me the least, because I really don’t care to have any of the other powers.

Strength seemed fairly innocuous, so I went with that next, then speed. I don’t really want to be invulnerable, because I believe pain is a part of life, but it seemed less terrible than the rest of the list, so it’s next.

Telekinesis, the altering of the physical world through thought…the idea sounds cool until you really start to think about it. Can you imagine what you might do without realizing it? Without meaning to?

The last four were hard to rank, because I have issues with all of them. They’re all severe invasions of privacy. What other purpose would these powers have besides misrepresenting who you are and discovering things you wouldn’t otherwise know?

X-ray vision is probably the least invasive, so I put it first. Invisibility came next because while it does allow you to be a fly on the wall, it doesn’t grant you any particular control. You’re still physical, still constrained by the things around you. A locked door would still be an obstacle.

Shapeshifting is next. With shapeshifting powers you can pretend to be anyone or anything. You can get through those locked doors by changing into someone who’s allowed to open them. You can gain trust by being untrustworthy. You can make every relationship you have a lie.

But the worst super power of all would be mind reading. It’s the ultimate invasion. You’ll know things you don’t want to know, and others will fear and ostracize you. Those are givens. But even worse, it destroys the mystery of life. It requires you to have little imagination. You don’t have to deduce anything because everyone’s an open book. Can you imagine how boring that would be?

I prefer to watch for signs, add up clues, and lever my experience to determine how I think someone’s feeling–or, and I know this is an outlandish idea, simply ask them.

So how would you rank this list of superpowers, and why?

2 replies on “Superpowers”

You know, shapeshifting COULD include shifting into animal forms, right? That might be used not to infiltrate places you shouldn’t be, but so that you could play with your pets, or change into a bird to fly, or, well, all kinds of neat things.

People typically play to their strengths. You wouldn’t catch me being hired to a job like yours ’cause it isn’t my thing. So I imagine if you had super powers, you would (even if not fighting crime) eventually find some kind of job to utilize your talent.

When you look at it like that, X-ray vision would probably be the worst one to get stuck with – you’d find yourself sitting behind a desk at airport security, no doubt. ;)

-AJ

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