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Lex Luthor was right (or was it?)

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  • Lex Luthor was right (or was it?)

    There's an argument that Lex Luthor uses about the damage superman does to society that I believe it's worth discussing (Yeah, I know that Luthor is a megalomaniac, but I don't want to discuss the reasons why he uses it, just the merits of the argument itself) because I think he has a point.

    Superman is stunting human development, regardless of his good intentions. When you have an all-powerful god saving humanity from itself, then how can they learn from their mistakes? When you have an all-powerful god doing things that humans will never be able to accomplish, then what's the point of even trying to improve? When you have an all-powerful god being the paragon of virtue, how we can even measure ups to him with all our flaws? When you have an all-powerful god being the perfect hero then...well, what's the point of even trying to be a hero?

    If we transfer this argument to the world of aberrant then these questions must be asked: What place is left for humanity in a world of gods? Should humanity try to charter it's own path or follow the novas unquestionably? Should humanity just pull all their resources in becoming gods themselves or maybe there's something worth keeping in baselines humans?

    But here are the most important questions of them all: Can novas prove Luthor wrong and be a force of inspiration instead of apathy? Can they convince people to try and be the best version of themselves whatever form that version takes? Can humanity and Novas share a future without Nova's overwhelming humanity?

    I'm curious about what do you think about this topic. Thank you for your answers.

  • #2
    Should I stop exercising because someone with inborn talent can go much further than I? Should I give up on medicines, vaccines, because they make my life better and longer? Is this a life of less innovation and life because the technologies we inherited from our forefathers make that we don't have to bother with starvation? Nonsense, our better works don't come because we are fighting against death, we do it because we are enabled to live.

    Luthor says Superman cripples us by not allowing us to grow. That his great deeds somehow lead us to inaction. I'd say the opposite. Each life he saves is another opportunity for growth. Each example he makes is another opportunity for our better selves prevailing over our darkest nature.

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    • #3
      Lex Luthor: Superman stifles innovation!
      Also Lex Luthor: *Innovates a shit ton of stuff just to fight superman*


      Less jokey, I don't think so. Like pcontop said, standing on the shoulders of giants is how we grow as a society.

      It isn't like everyone is walking around casually falling off of buildings because Superman will save them. The police and firefighters still get up every morning and go to work, even though Superman is at work too.

      Specific to Aberrant, there are only ~2000 known Novas, while they may be trailblazing, the rest of society still has to follow up to fill the gaps. While a Nova first made Hyperfusion, they aren't the only one making it now, and they aren't the only one coming up with applications for it. While Eufiber enabled the OpNet, it wasn't solely conceived and executed by Novas.

      Either could survive without the other, but only through working together can they achieve the specific success only achievable by an entire human population supported by Novas.

      Teamwork makes the dream work.


      Raksha are my fae-vorite.

      Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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      • #4
        It is indeed hard to imagine (for example) professional baseline athletics remaining a thing. There may not be enough Novas for team sports and such, but the fact is that viewers are unlikely to maintain the same interest in baseline feats of athleticism once Novas dominate the media.
        Last edited by glamourweaver; 08-28-2019, 06:19 PM.


        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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        • #5
          There probably will the professional baseline athletics, in the same way we have the first division in soccer coexisting with the fifth, or masters with the mainstream. The big money will be on the super athletics, but there probably will still be local or specialized interest enough for baseline players in the market.

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          • #6
            It's also worth noting that, as MoroseMorgan said, there are only ~2000 known Novas total. That's really not a lot of people.

            Not all of them - or even most of them - will decide to get into sports, let alone all in the SAME sport. Not all of them who would want to have powers conducive to athleticism.

            I'm not saying there couldn't be Nova sports leagues. I'm saying that if 1% of known Novas can or would get into sports, that's a "league" of 20 people. I don't think Novas displacing baseline athletes will be as big a problem as we suppose. People in high school and university are still going to play football, and some people are still going to want to watch them play (especially since such teams GET to play more often and in more places than the comparatively low number of Nova football teams), and some businesses are going to want to monetize that.

            My real concern is that any world with superheroes is going to see a shift of celebrity endorsement of products to them and from regular athletes. I definitely think Novas - of all stripes - would gobble up all those deals, and leave the athletes out in the cold.


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            • #7
              The real amusing thing is that with only 2000 novas there could be a meeting and all of them could gather together in discussion. Which, when one thinks about it, sounds like a pretty epic introduction and story.

              Honestly, I think we (and I include me in this completey) forget the numbers when we discuss certain industries and such things.

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              • #8
                Given all the hidden Novas, because of China, Divis Mal, Stealth Novas, etc. I’d guess the actual number was closer to 3000, but I’m inclined to agree with the rest of you.

                Hmmm... I wonder if you could set up some kind of publicity stunt style sports game of a professional sports team vs a Nova team and how much of a shot either team would have of winning. I mean, even if you have superhuman strength and/or speed, that doesn’t mean you know how to play baseball properly.

                That said, a Nova playing sports against humans is kind of in a lose/lose situation. If you lose, you get laughed at because you’re so much more capable than them and if you win, well you’re still so much more capable that it was expected. Do we give accolades to professional basketball players when they win against a team of middle schoolers?


                ....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                  The real amusing thing is that with only 2000 novas there could be a meeting and all of them could gather together in discussion. Which, when one thinks about it, sounds like a pretty epic introduction and story.

                  Honestly, I think we (and I include me in this completey) forget the numbers when we discuss certain industries and such things.

                  Oh yeah, all too frequently, might be said. But comic book writers are as much culpable of this as anyone else, if not more so, as shown by Luthor's strawman arguments.

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                  • #10
                    I’m really wondering how the wrestling supplement is going to work given the lower Nova population. My theory right now is it’s a thing a lot of Elites cycle through to make a name for themselves and get bigger work.


                    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                      I’m really wondering how the wrestling supplement is going to work given the lower Nova population. My theory right now is it’s a thing a lot of Elites cycle through to make a name for themselves and get bigger work.
                      May as well, wrestlers IRL can use their careers and name-recognition to transition to the world of big-name acting. Same thing happens to rappers sometimes.

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                      • #12
                        Human progress doesn't work that way.One person discovering something lets other people use it. Then they can build more stuff and so on and so forth. There's a reason why Divis Mal sitting alone gets nowhere.

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                        • #13
                          When you think about it, Luthor is basically looking at this from the perspective of social darwinism. He can't think of any other motivation to progress other than survival and advancing personal ambitions. He can't conceive of someone helping people inspiring others to also help people.

                          He's also a guy who doesn't want aliens to come to earth because they are takin' our jobs, even if he phrases that in a more intellectual manner. And the alien he most hates is an immigrant who combines Moses and Jesus, with the dream of immigrants to come here and make a better life.

                          In short, Luthor is a Nazi metaphor, and no, he's not correct.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lian View Post
                            Human progress doesn't work that way.One person discovering something lets other people use it. Then they can build more stuff and so on and so forth. There's a reason why Divis Mal sitting alone gets nowhere.

                            Atlas shrugs and no one but objectivists gives a damn because the world goes on well enough without them.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Firanai View Post
                              There's an argument that Lex Luthor uses about the damage superman does to society that I believe it's worth discussing (Yeah, I know that Luthor is a megalomaniac, but I don't want to discuss the reasons why he uses it, just the merits of the argument itself) because I think he has a point.

                              Superman is stunting human development, regardless of his good intentions. When you have an all-powerful god saving humanity from itself, then how can they learn from their mistakes? When you have an all-powerful god doing things that humans will never be able to accomplish, then what's the point of even trying to improve? When you have an all-powerful god being the paragon of virtue, how we can even measure ups to him with all our flaws? When you have an all-powerful god being the perfect hero then...well, what's the point of even trying to be a hero?

                              If we transfer this argument to the world of aberrant then these questions must be asked: What place is left for humanity in a world of gods? Should humanity try to charter it's own path or follow the novas unquestionably? Should humanity just pull all their resources in becoming gods themselves or maybe there's something worth keeping in baselines humans?

                              But here are the most important questions of them all: Can novas prove Luthor wrong and be a force of inspiration instead of apathy? Can they convince people to try and be the best version of themselves whatever form that version takes? Can humanity and Novas share a future without Nova's overwhelming humanity?

                              I'm curious about what do you think about this topic. Thank you for your answers.

                              To stick with the Superman analogy for a bit, I think Superman but it best at the end of the All-Star Superman movie once Luthor gets a taste of Superman's unique perspective of the universe... "In all these years, if you truly wanted to save the world, you would have done so." to paraphrase it a bit.

                              Simple put, Lex Luthor, in all his years of boasting about how he was an example of the potential of humanity, all he had ever done had been for his own vanity, not the betterment of the human race as a whole. If he hand wanted, he could have ended world hunger, poverty and worked towards world peace, but all he did was try to make himself look superior to everyone else... and perpetuate an irrational vendetta against a being who not only outclassed him in accomplishments, but also in his moral character. Lex Luthor hated Superman, not because Superman was holding back humanity by his presence (which he wasn't), but because Superman was everything Luthor aspired towards yet fell short of... something his ego and vanity couldn't accept, so he had to show the world that Superman was a monster. Never once did Luthor do anything that benefited humanity unless it benefited him far more (even when he got Superman's powers in the movie, he did nothing but abuse them, lording them over the common man that he so often claimed to champion against monsters like Superman).

                              As for Superman, he never held back humanity, but rather did what he could to inspire them to become more than they were. Yes, he was there to save them when they got in over there heads or there was some danger that they would not be able to overcome, but this wasn't to prevent humanity from learning. Just as a proper parent lets a child explore and sometimes fail, they are usually there to help pick them up and protect them from things they are not yet ready to take on. Is preventing a child from playing with an oven holding the child back? No. So Superman deflecting a comet or asteroid from hitting Earth isn't preventing humanity from defending itself... but rather allowing humanity the time it needs to develop at its own pace... to show them what can be accomplished, even when it seems impossible. Superman never put himself above humanity... and was always willing to make personal sacrifices for it, even when it seemed like no one cared to notice the sacrifice.

                              Now, how does this apply to Novas and Baseline humanity? Surprisingly, it translates quite well. There will be many Baseline humans who will view Novas as monsters regardless of how benign the are. Their very existence and the fact that their powers clearly operate on a level that baselines will never be able to compete upon will make some question why they should even bother doing anything when they will never be able to measure up. This is a very common mind frame, even in the real world where you have people who work their entire lives to try and get ahead in life, but never succeed (though instead of blaming god-like superhumans for their problems, they blame mundane reasons such as lazy workers, welfare and immigrants holding them back). The problem with this mindset is that it sets one up for failure, because they see someone else succeeding at something they can never achieve, and feel that they won't stand a chance if they try... so they don't and fail without ever trying. The thing is that no one really expects them to be able to compete against a Nova... and they don't need to do so to change the world for the better. True, they can't save the world in the same way that Novas can, but that doesn't mean their efforts are for naught. While a Nova has the power to turn a desert into a jungle to combat deforestation, a single person can still plant trees in an area that will one day grow into a forest. True, the effort may take years, even decades to show any result (compared to the days or weeks that Novas can accomplish the same), but it is still a positive

                              If anyone truly wants to save the world, they will do so regardless of whether or not they get any credit for their efforts. The vast majority of humanity does so without asking for anything in return... they just do their small part and never seek any glory for their efforts. The problem however is that there is a very vocal minority who are either too lazy to actually put in any effort to do so, or have unrealistic expectations of what they can accomplish (and an even more unrealistic expectation of their actions being glorified for it).

                              In short, Lex Luthor wanted to be seen as the God that raised humanity out of the darkness by his sole efforts, while Superman was the God that showed humanity that it didn't need him to lead them out of the darkness... that one day they could stand on their own. In Aberrant, there will be be both kinds of people... among the Novas and Baselines alike. Those who do what they do for glory while others do it because it is the right thing to do. Some will try to hold humanity back, make it dependent on their own benevolence... while others will strive to uplift as many as they can... to show that whether they have powers or not, they are still connected by their humanity.
                              Last edited by Shadowstripe; 09-24-2019, 12:58 AM.


                              There are three types of people in the world... those who can count and those who can't.
                              I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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