Ran across this blog which has occasional entires where the blogger systematically tests if he has various Super Powers:
22nd of August, Reading Minds: Today I tried to read minds, _numerous_ times. I had no success at all…
26th of August, Seeing through Walls: Today I tried to see through walls. J-Box stood on the other side of an eight-inch cinder block wall and made hand signals and I tried to see what the signals were…
28th of September: Walking Through Walls: I tried walking through walls and had no luck.
1st of October, Controlling or Creating Wind: Today I tried to create or control wind. No luck at all actually.
2nd of October, Transforming into a Cat: Today I tried to morph into a cat. No luck! I think I need one of those cubes that they had in the Animorphs…
On June 10th, I propose Dark Phoenix Day, an international day of observance in which everyone should go about their business dressed as the evil, sexy versions of themselves.
Q: Why June 10?
A: June 10, 1980 was the publication date of X-Men #134, the first appearance of Dark Phoenix.
A: Dark Phoenix, the evil version of the character Jean Grey. After being seduced to the side of evil by Mastermind and the Hellfire Club, the release of her inhibitions transformed Jean into a genocidal psychopath with the power of a god.
The color scheme of her costume was nicer, though.
Q: What does that have to do with anything?
A: It demonstrates an important principle that is at the root of Dark Phoenix Day: the bad guys have the best clothes.
Q: Why do comics keep linking sex and evil? Sex isn’t evil / evil isn’t sexy!
A: Don’t underestimate the power of transgression on the erotic imagination. Also, hell hath no fury like an unrepressed superhero.
Q: I am already the sexy, evil version of myself.
A: You can either (i) turn it up to 11 or (ii) use your evil sexiness to seduce and corrupt others to the cause of Dark Phoenix Day.
Q: What’s the difference between this and the Rocky Horror Picture Show / any other masquerade event?
A: Subtlety. Dark Phoenix Day isn’t about parties (although you’re welcome to organize them!), it’s about going out and about on your every day business dressed as a sexy, evil version of yourself. Go to work in that identity, run errands, hang out with your friends. Feel the unease as people notice something… different about you.
[link above should go the the Facebook event page.]
Memory editing! It’s around the corner! the NYT says so! (haven’t read it, but it seems to be the primary source cited by this Wired story, where Anders Sandberg discusses the ramifications).
But, throw in this, and the Science Fiction story writes itself. Heck, the Science Fiction story is redundant:
To understand how the many-worlds scenario could allow a future disaster to be avoided, says Mitra, consider a hypothetical machine intelligence that regularly backs up its memory. If it encountered a glitch, for example, it could reset its memory to, say, the previous day’s state.
Imagine that on learning of an impending disaster – perhaps a catastrophic asteroid strike on its planet – the machine resets its memory. Now, an observer sat next to the machine can verify that the “same machine” will still face disaster after the reset. But from the perspective of the machine’s reset memory, the state of the universe in the many-worlds scenario becomes “undetermined”.