Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who knows what evil lurks...

One of the foundational aspects of John Robb's theories is the existence of super-empowered individuals. Today, small groups can declare war on governments, and fight them to a draw. In his book, Robb argues that eventually, technology will be so accessible that an individual can declare war on the world and win.

It occurred to me that this situation has not been unforeseen. In fact, there is a whole genre of literature that discusses the challenges that such individuals would pose to the world. This genre is commonly referred to as comic books, and those who defend humanity are super (empowered) heroes.

In contrast to Robb's theory, in the world of the comic books, the state has not been destroyed, but serves a different role. It provides the rules of the game for the teeming hordes of normal people, settles the small crimes of normal people, and provides the tools of justice for the super heroes. The main battle is between the super heroes and the super villains.

It would seem that this is the only true response to the super-empowered individual. Sure the super heroes of the future may not be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, cloud men's minds, or shoot adamantium claws out of their knuckles (but who knows?), but if you've always wanted to be a super hero, here's your chance.


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