There’s a classic personality question related to this. Don’t try and over think it. Go with your first reaction. If you had to choose between the two, would you rather have the power of flight or the power of invisibility?
Flight for sure.
Flight means no more walking/driving. ANYWHERE.
Flight, even though invisibility would mean you would be able to commit all sorts of evil deeds. Flight is just so much more practical, unless you only fly at like 10 MPH.
is it perminent invisibility? or is it invisibility whenever you want it? either way i’d love to be invisible and just walk around destroying stuff and atacking people i hate.
flight. why pretend to fly in video games when you can do it in real life?
plus, no more air fare
I choose C–psychic powers! With good enough psychic powers, everyone treats you like your invisible. And you can get someone else to fly you!
That depends on if i have to flap my arms or not.
invisibility. i’m the guy who played way too much Deus Ex some time ago and now my natural reaction to anything is to sneak around lest I be shot to super death by a squad of troopers and their pet giant robot.
Definitely flight and I’ll remember to not wear anything that trails behind me in case a jet comes by…
Invisibility! There’s a lot of fun and useful things you can do by sneaking around 😛
Invisibility is too limited; I want an SEP field generator.
Or Death Glare.
Invisibility, though I would trade for Intangibility (like Shadowcat)
That’s a good personality question. I’d go with invisibility, because you know with the power of flight people would ask for lifts all the time!
And have people stare at me as I fly by? No thank you, I’ll take invisibility.
If you would be able to fly at high speeds I’d go with flight.
Deff. invisibility…I’m afraid of heights lmao
i mean with invisibility, you could do what ever you wanted and not be caught.
I want to say flight, but I don’t know that the weather would let me use it that often.
With the invisibility, would it be the ability to project fields, have a personal field, or just turn your body invisible? I’d take the first over flight.
Being invisible means you have to keep your head on a swivel ALL the time, to avoid getting stomped upon or run over. Too much like work for me.
Flight, fast flight
Also, I think this is the first comic where biff isn’t pictured
Both. The I’d be like an invisible bird, I’d go flying into peoples’ windows, auddenly BAM and they’d go what was that and they’d go look for a bird that flew into the window, and what, no bird. Imagine their faces.
I’d go with flight. even though you could have a lot of fun with invisibility. i just think invisibility would get boring after a while
and im guessing its magic week?
i change my answer. i would choose the power to stop or slow down time
Be careful what you wish for.
“But it comes with a free frogurt.”
“The frogurt is also cursed.”
You can’t choose other powers or both, the real point is to see whether you are essentially and introvert (invisibility) or an extrovert (flight).
Power of flight, easy. I love flying, I love it, and I can’t be a fighter pilot (nor any other military pilot for that matter) so this is the next best thing (besides a non-military license I suppose xD)
invisibility ftw. i get to sneak around, sam fisher style. not really.
Flight for me. I dream about being able to fly all the time, and it’s a wonderful feeling. I’d love to be able to do it for real.
Strangely enough, I’m actually quite introverted 🙂
probably invisibility….i’d love to be able to disappear sometimes. however, flight has it’s merits as well. you wouldn’t need a car!
invisibility for sure.
That way I can sneak onto a plane and go fly anytime 😀
invisibility, cuz i could just walk right up to my worst enemy, chase, sock him in the face run and turn visible when nobody’s looking then ask him “What happened?” lol
I’m terrified of heights, but I’d still pick flight. The only use that seems to come with invisibility seems to be the “freedom” to commit various immoral acts.
Also it would mean I wouldn’t *have* to be scared of tall buildings anymore.
Oh and also I’m really right on the line of intro/extro. I’d hate hate hate the attention I’d get from flying.
Flight. I’m already good at being invisible. 😀
Flight for me. I’m not much of a “do evil unto others and get away with it” kind of person. Besides, flight would be useful even when you run out of enemies. And, it would be so cool. And I hate driving. I’d rather fly.
Oddly, im kinda introverted. Ah well.
Flight for sure. I’d only pick invisibility if I flew really slow.
I forgot. WHOA A BIFF COMIC WITHOUT BIFF!
I’d love flight. <3 That’s one of those things I can always do for a little while in my dreams. It has a tendency to fizz out on me, though. But man, taking hover-steps is awesome, because when people finally notice that I’m an inch off the ground when I take a step, they’re like WTF? x3
It also means that my feet don’t have to hurt, because I can just kinda hover whenever I want to. :3
Flight for me! I always thought it would be awesome to be standing outside on a beautiful day with a gentle breeze and clear skies and just take off soaring. It would also eventually get rid of my fear of heights. ^^
Also, my art teacher in high school asked us that question a couple years ago. He was dead set that if you were invisible, things you wore and ate wouldn’t turn invisible. So if you ate an apple and then went to rob a bank, everyone would go “Ahhh, it’s the notorious floating half-digested apple burglar!”
Invisibility, it makes surprise parties WAY more fun.
Oh my god, I am a collosal dork, my first thought was “Invisibility for sure! Then I could sit and read wherever I wanted and I wouldn’t have to freak out about people looking at me!”
Because believe it or not, I am so much of a dork that ‘people looking at me while I’m reading in public’ is pretty much my number one concern. Laaaaaaaaaame.
Good point indeed, Chris. And the comic’s humor is excellent in its simplicity.
Both powers represent a way to escape, no?
I’d take flight, definitely. Assuming I can take to really fast speeds (faster than anything man-made…able to maneuver deftly at such speeds…as in, the proper reflexes for my brain to handle it).
Faster, easier, cheaper transportation. Getting to places no one’s been to. Escaping any and all threats as long as you’re not totally cornered.
I could also help people a lot more. Be my own personal rescue squad.
For that, it’d be really hepful if I can add things/people I’m touching to my “levitation field.” That is, not need simple muscle power (and find myself encumbered) by trying to drag 1+ people or a ton of goods.
I’m assuming the power is self-sustaining…nothing like jet propulsion or the like…
Invisibility, even if things like UV and infrared vision don’t ruin it, is still pretty limited. A lot of high-security places have motion, pressure detectors…and you still need doors and windows to get through… Plus you’re not perfectly silent, and I’m guessing you’d leave trails and evidence (footprints, fingerprints) like anyone else.
Remember too…flight can get you to a lot of places, just like invisibility. Most people won’t care to check the ceiling, especially if you’re camouflaged. You can just levitate against the roof.
On that…the one good use to invisibility, would be in becoming the ultimate fly on the wall. You could get to hear and see what the powers that be are doing in their palaces and offices. You could tag criminals and thus get to find evidence that the authorities would never discover. With enough wits and planning, you could bring down hundreds, thousands of criminal, corrupt people.
I guess it all boils down to the specifics. I’m assuming the power somehow feeds off your own energy, and is sustainable over long periods, with minimal effort. As in, you can keep it up even while sleeping. It’d be the best way to hide…to be invisible (or floating miles above a solitary spot in the middle of the ocean…away from any plane routes, please)…while sleeping.
The best power of all, probably…would be to control either space in its entirety…or motion itself. You could move things, yourself included. Stop them. Create “nothing crosses this space” barriers for your protection or that of others…teleport (or go so fast it’s almost as if). With enough finesse, you could toy with light, and make yourself Predator-like invisible.
But that is just getting a bit too almighty for comfort. Power corrupts, and all that.
What’s the personality test?
the personality test is if you’re an extrovert or an introvert. Apparently, you’re an extrovert.
Easy. Flight because then incace anyone wanted to cause me harm than I can just fly out of reach than tackel them.
Dwarg, you sounded like Dwight Schrute just then.
Invisibilty, if someone else had flight they’d most likely decide that ignorance is the only thing that exists and try to knock you down.
Ahh, but you’re assuming that it is true that the desired super power is associated with intorversion / extroversion. You can’t just say “it makes sense that introverts want to be invisible.” You have to perform an extensive double-blind test to see whether the two are correlated. And then you’re only certain of someone’s personality t the extent of the correlation (no psychological correlation is 100%.)
Secondly, I think you’re confusing “introvert” with “shy.” “Shy” means you are afraid of social interaction. “Introvert” means it’s just not a priority.
I’m tremendously introverted, but not at all shy. When forced to socialize, I’m perfectly comfortable and capable of it. But left to my own devices, I’ll just wander around and think deep thoughts about black holes and how to keep pink fuzzy bunnies from taking control of the world governments
Flight, I am already invisible…
Flight, unless I was some special operative, then I’d take the sneaky-sneak power of invisibilty. Flight is more practical.
I’m an introvert, but I’d go for flight.
Actually, I should say I’m a strongly antisocial borderline sociopath. Flying is an awesome way to get the hell away from other people, and go bother the few people I actually /like/.
Flight. As many heads it may turn, you can always just wear a brown paper bag if you’re so worried about attention. Besides, as a few have pointed out, flight has so, so many practical uses…
Invisibility. Imagine all the bank jobs you could pull while invisible. You rob the bank and oh my lord all the cameras see is a floating gun and some floating clothes. Can’t exactly identify that now can ya? Also you could work as a hitman really easily. I’d be in with the mob making so much money. I’d have a personal f**king jet. Who needs flight bah hum bug.
I don’t even know what i’d choose, (which makes sense since I tested equally for introvert and extrovert on all the tests i did in careers class…) flip a coin for it.
Also… mistake week is my guess.
Flight for me, thanks.
Invisibility? I just can’t see it…
Haha bad pun.
Flight, no doubt.
I notice that some of the “introverted” guys dream of robbing a bank or hitting people, BTW. Invisibility would make them extroverted, and they’d end up wanting the power of flight 😀
Being able to fly would probably make me want to do it without being stared at, though. Uhmmm.
Oh, and I’m finally done reading all the archives. Yay!
Bravo Chris, Biff is awesome; often surprising, often inspiring, always able to make me smile (most of the time I’m actually laughing out loud). A shiny new bookmark for my webcomics folder.
Time to go and order those books 😉
@MadDavid – I’m not assuming anything… I didn’t design the question, just thought it was interesting. 🙂
I’ve thought about this before and Flight is somewhat practical, but invisibility is too much of a hassle.
First the power to fly, not be Superman. So flying at high speeds would shred your clothing or pull it off of you. Ever wonder why sky divers wear those special jump suits? Also flying at high altitudes, you would get pretty cold. If you took anything with you, your arms would get tired carrying it if it was a long distance, so you’d be limited to backpack of some sort. People would see you and this would cause a lot of problems for you. Not to mention you’d need to bring a GPS with you or shadow major highways (which would mean brining a map), just picking up and say flying from NY to LA wouldn’t be that easy, without a GPS you’d get lost, you’d be flying probably around 50mph maybe you could get away with 60mph (flying at super high speeds? your body wouldn’t be able to handle the force of the wind hitting you, you’d have to fly at a low speed, clothing, a helmet would get ripped off of your body at high speeds) so it would take you a very long time. Your neck would get tired of always looking up (assuming you are flying in a prone position, like super heroes do), and your shoulders would get tired of extending your arms, likewise your buttocks and lowerback would get sore always trying to keep your legs straight, you’d have to land frequently to rest. You’d probably end up having to fly in sort of a crawling or dog-paddling position, and that would look rather stupid.
Invisibility sounds cool, but if you commit a crime, you’d still leave fingerprints. But let’s say you wore gloves and took precautions, a lot of crimes are committed where there is no direct evidence, and these people still get caught most of the time. Weather you get away or not doesn’t have anything to do with special powers. Suddenly buying a boat or a house or trying to deposit $10k in your bank account would get you investigated by the IRS, if you couldn’t normally afford such a thing. But being able to sneak around, you’d constantly have to be moving out of people’s way, cars wouldn’t stop for you either. You would get cold because your clothing isn’t invisible so to take advantage of being invisible you’d have to be naked. Your bare feet would get sore from walking on pavement and you’d have to avoid surfaces that might injure your feet. You’d either have to hide clothing so you could turn visible and not draw attention to yourself, so you’d have to carefully plan out any trips you took.
Really both abilities have too many downsides, but flying is at least cool and it doesn’t require getting naked. There is a much cooler power that trumps the two, but it wasn’t an option which is a bummer. I guess I’d pick being able to fly and win some gold medals at the next Olympics for the high jump and pole vault.
Dude, I’d want telekinesis and telepathy, like Jean Grey. Because then not ONLY could I fly, I could control the minds of others so I wouldn’t even need to be invisible in the first place.
I’d choose flight over invisibility though. So what if you’re invisible? You’re still not intangible. Flying allows for speedy getaways. 😀
…and there I go over thinking it. But seriously, first reaction would be to choose flight.
invisability, how awesome would it be to just dissapear right in front of people
flight. Ive drempt of flying, it was pretty cool.
I also hate driving.
landing w/o being noticed might be troublesome though… but maybe not, people tend not to look up.
@ the argument that power currupts: what fun is power if you’re not going to have fun with it?
id like half of each, to be kinda transparent and being able to kinda hover or float around…
basically kinda being a ghost
I was asked that very question once by a therapist. It was among a barrage of other questions which gave me the choice between two powers. This was something like 15 years ago now.
As with anything relating to psychology, it is 100% accurate*.
*Unless the person has some other equally good explanation as to why they would give an answer that does not hinge on the original assumption that the question was based around.**
** Unless the explanation is actually the person’s way of subverting the question and giving a misleading answer that is based on their attempt to rationalize away the real reason they feel that way.***
*** Unless pie.
If I could turn invisible robbers, gangsters, and Nazis would have a hard time killing me. If I could fly, Dick Cheney would be the only one with a hard time shooting me. I’ll have to go with invisibility.
Invisibility sounds like you wanna hide from the world, aka introvert/shy/what-have-you, apparently. But it’s also a means to satisfy a morbid curiosity…sounds more like a fitting thing for peeping toms and the like…unless it takes away too much of the thrill for them, I dunno 😛
And flight is the ultimate “I wanna run away” thing. That’s not an extrovert. That’s just an active introvert instead of a passive one.
It all depends on how you look at it, I guess…
Now, the only limit about flight, is in your speed and maneuverability (did I spell it right?)…and how careful you’re to keep your escape routes open.
If your power is something that operates on fundamental forces of the universe (such as limited psychokinesis, or some sort of interaction with gravity/electromagnetics/whatever), your maneuverability could easily become higher than that of anything man-made. You could outmaneuvers missiles, planes…anything they throw at you. Even if don’t beat them on the speed.
With invisibility…we’ve all talked about it already. Sound. Not intangible. Your clothes and items perhaps won’t turn invisible as well. Trails. Fingerprints, hair and such evidence. UV and infrared vision. Heat vision. Motion detectors….etc, etc.
The difference between being corrupted, and having fun, is notoriously large. At least, that’s what I believe. I personally don’t like “having fun” and “doing evil/bad” being so closely associated. It’s a cultural confusion, more than a reality. I could have fun helping people, myself. And doing all other sorts of things that aren’t quite evil/bad.
So, to me, saying that not letting power corrupt you, is not having fun, is a misinterpretation.
On that…granted, invisibility is much more useful if you’re gonna work outside the law. Which is not necessarily doing evil/bad.
Again, I’d love to see an invisible guy/girl come out with a massive pile of undeniable evidence on those among the powers that be, that are always stealing, abusing and destroying their fellow people. So we can properly and rightfully put them all in jail.
We seem to converge on the same analysis, except you went further and made less assumptions. I just assumed the power of flight would bring in a load of related goodies, such as a severely heightened sense of orientation. Actually, it doesn’t take being super, to have that. People used to navigate long distances via planes and/or ships, often have an acute sense of location, despite constant reliance on maps and the like.
I also assumed your body would be adapted to the postures, and that you would be able to physically withstand the hardships of whatever flight speeds you can achieve…in the same way that most of us really cannot run faster than our bodies can handle. We can get exhausted, cramped or hurt, but that’s just a detail. It’s a big difference between “I pulled a muscle” and “my body couldn’t handle the speed so now I have bruises from the wind, my head is spinning, my bloodflow is a mess, and I ended up slamming against a tree ‘cos I got disoriented.”
In short, I sort of picked up the kind of flight power I’d want, with all prerequisite capabilities to make it safely and efficiently.
I’d probably also want something smoother than the actual physical impact of my body crossing the air at high speeds…sonic booms are quite destructive…anything man-sized will break fragile stuff (such as glass) and cause all manners of trouble when passing even relatively close to it, at speeds that could be supersonic or way worse.
I’d wanna go at like Mach 15…anyone knows how fast is the fastest device created? Missile, spacecraft, whatever?
Oh, and last but not last. Inertia. I’d like to forbid inertia from entering the picture. Slowing down from supersonic to an halt before making a hole/splatter in the asphalt is gonna be a b!tch, otherwise.
@ Chris: You surely anticipated that an open question to your readers would cause this apparent record in comments, no?
@Izual Shima – It will be hard to break the number of comments on this comic:
Yikes… Emphasis on “apparent.” To me anyways.
I got to read all your comics soon after I found your site through an ad @ PvP, about 4-5 months ago. But I only got to mind the comments later on. No wonder I missed that, since I’ve been reading them/participating for a much shorter while.
The connection between your strips, your comment, and the peoples’ replies, is achieved with smooth success in this layout.
Btw, ever made material with an ongoing story?
@ Chris – another April Fool’s Day might do it.
@ Izual Shima – I think there was a week in Biff when there was a story about hime flying to outer space… ah, yes, #510-514
Definatly flight. Seriously, the invisible man is destined to be a peeping tom, nothing more, but the guy who can fly gets all the girls.
If tit’s fast flight, then flight. With flight, I can probably make myself invisible. And only being able to do invisibility might be a little repetitive.
I’m short. Flight is my choice, even if flight required effort. If it required more effort than walking somewhere, it would still be worth it just for getting things off of high shelves.
If you’re invisible, people will run into you. That’s why I’d never drive an invisible car.
Flight for sure. I’d even settle for the money to get a pilot license (which I do plan on getting when I can afford it).
i think that was the wrong question to ask since we all have theories of our own and are prone to argue as humans want to do sometimes
i would choose invisibility so i could just go on planes to get free flights
Hmm…what would happen if you used your flight abilty underwater?
Flight. Forever flight.
Flight. For one, I’d no longer be afraid of heights….cause if I fell, I could fly.
also, I can just see it now
“Hey, Fop, it’s your boss. I have a contract that you might be interested in. Can you get to [normally unreachable part of the city]?”
“Well, I don’t have a car, but I can FLY. “
Invisibility… Because then I could easily travel using other peoples’ vehicles…
Why do so many people associate flying with flight *from* something. In my dreams, flight is most always a means to excell for the sake of acceleration. And I rarely fly prone. It’s usually a long jump. The trick is in settling into the glide phase.
A few people have noted that clothing would be a dead giveaway to invisibility. Is there is an inherent paradox here? If getting naked would be required to achieve true invisibility, then this choice would surely appeal to an exhibitionist. Would [so called] science concede the possibility of a person who profiled as an introvert also self-proclaiming to be an exhibitionist?
@ MadDavid, 13:48: “fluffy pink bunnies?” Might I assume that you are not referring to the sort of hapless figureheads [stuffing for brains] like our CIC George “The Dubby” Junior, but rather the more sinister powers that never die?
I was in Nevada in the spring of ’92 where I saw a video of a very entertaining demonstration. A group had come to protest nuclear testing at the DOE building there. They brought about a dozen big marching bass drums (and bunny suits? I don’t remember if they wore bunny suits) with them and just walked around in circles, pounding the drums. They also had a banner that read: “They keep testing, and testing, and testing…”
@ Izui Shima, 19:40: I was going to say the fastest objects would be directed photons, (the lasers themselves don’t move) but then I remembered reading that they had actually demonstrated a workable device which instantaneously transported data across a very narrow gap. I don’t know if it was acual photons that were transported, or some sort of wave form. Or whatever. Regardless, don’t beam me up yet, Scotty. I’m not ready to return to my late sixties frame of mind.
Sorry. What was the question? Oh, yeah: Flight.
…but only if ‘none of the above’ is not an option.
Flight definitely! How cool would it be to be able to be all “Oh geez! Look at the time, I gotta go!” and b-line right to your destination without having to sit in traffic or pay for gas/oil/a vehicle to put gas or oil into. Plus I bet it would help you pick up a lot of chicks, especially if you wore a superman costume on a regular basis. Bonus points if you also wear a suit and glasses over the superman suit and tear off the suit whenever you had to fly anywhere, regardless of whether there’s anyone there to see it. 🙂
Invisibility without question, as long as I could control it.
I pick invisibility, I’m already good at flying… 🙂
I’d choose flight as it is more practical and I’d be able to go to England without too much hassle.
Wizard is right SEP field would do me nicely
I’d choose invisibility if I knew why I was invisible and weather or not I could control it.
If I was invisible because my skin caused “rays” (any and all rays from the electomagnetic spectrum, not just the light rays from the visible spectrum) I may be “invisible” to both the naked eye, infared scanners, x-rays, ect…
I may also be partially immune to different kinds of radation. I could also walk though lasers without breaking them and possible take minimal damage from the ray/laser/phaser/emo guns of the future too.
That and I wouldn’t have to worry about somebody seeing me if I was taking a shower either.
It would probably still be fairly dificult to break the law when your invisible as you’d either need to be stark naked to take full advantage of it. Lulz…
I’m introvert, but I still want to fly. I just wouldn’t let anyone see me. 😛
Something I’ve always wanted. I would chase the rain around the world and the sun would eternally be setting in my world. I’d sleep in the clouds and dance in the lightning, and I wouldn’t share it with anyone.
See, I’m a bit messed up mentally.
I did as you said and immediately got flight but then quicker than a blink it switched right to invisibility and back to flight.
My reasoning for this is that I was naturally an extrovert but became an introvert early in life. After all, I did have a really horrible time in school up until high school and was quite introverted.
Around late high school I began to unravel that and I’d say I’m now about 60/40 in favor of extrovert. Though in some situations I’m still really introverted.
Eh, or maybe I’m over analyzing it.
invisibility. then i could make invisible flying platforms like Invisible Woman.
the other uses?
all the guys here know what i’m talkin bout.
MAYHEM IN THE GIRLS LOCKER ROOM!!!! BRA FIGHT! BRA FIGHT! YEAHHHHHHHHHHH!
if you cant tell, im an extrovert.
invisibility. Not sure why, it just seems cooler 🙂
i would say flight, cause invisibility has some nasty side effects. however, does flight assume you have the ability to land? (reference to a later comic). <_<
Flight. It was decided by my fellow sanctumites that I would fly. At supersonic speeds. Later of course I fleshed it out and was fused with a gaseous alien entity. Or I could run on the absence of light. Sometimes my thought processes frighten me.
Also, Almost through the backlog. Three days. Three days. Three days….
I want wings too though
Invisibility to the max. I would be most interested in sneaking around and finding things out. However, I’d have to strip naked, and with my luck, I’d lose focus and become visible in the middle of a crowded room.
Flight, because you didn’t specify your flight speed, you could also fly fast enough to be invisible to a human eye.
If an object travels 500 times it’s length in a second, it would be impossible to detect. For a 185 cm (6 foot person) that translates to 2069 mph flight speed.
For an F-15 to fly that fast, it would have to travel at 21,743 mph.
Invisibility. That way I could hide from my stalkers.
PLEASE. Have Biff crush them with his many rocket ships! D:
Hmm… I guess flight. I really,would not enjoy having to walk around naked. And then what if you needed to be visible? (Think invisible man… the man is invisible, but that doesn’t mean the clothes are too!!!)
I guess I’ll be the first one to mention on how funny the comic is.. 😛
I’d choose flight. Convenient form of transportation. With invisibility, it’s just, “Oh hey! No one can see me! I can get away with stuff!” Big whoop.
And another thing, either I’m weird or this test is wrong, because I’m an introvert without a doubt.
I’m on the fence on that particular subject.
On the one hand, being invisible could give me a chance to do whatever the hell I wanna do and freak people out with the floating objects.
On the other hand, being able to fly means I wouldn’t have to rely on my parents or the public transportation system and I could go anywhere I’ve been dying to visit, especially if the power of flight allows for flights faster than a jet.
I’m having a hard time choosing.
Flight. Not much need/use for invisibility. Same for most people, introverts included. (Most, not all.)
The test is wrong. Standardized clap-trap. Social myth. It’s the equivalent of asking “Would you prefer $5 in dollar bills or quarters?” in a world where things are expensive and change is easily acquirable for the rare situations that require it, and thinking the answer always directly relates to weather patterns.
If it was Susan Storm Richards version, I’d pick invisibility. Otherwise, flight. Flight is just more useful, even if you can make your clothes invisible and be invisible to the entire EM spectrum.
My favorite power set to pick up would be a Green Lantern ring. Power limited only by imagination and will coupled with a super computer with access to the complete records of the oldest and most anal ocd species in the universe. Imagine what you could learn from that.
Flight, without a doubt, as long as it came with wings and a tail to rudder.
Invisibility is just. . . eh. I mean, to be undetectable you’d have to be naked AND (insert word for “cannot be touched” here) AND undetectable by lasers and other things. In the place of the naked-dreams, I have dreams of falling sensations, falling backward. If I could fly, and knew how, then I probably wouldn’t have those dreams. Oh, and I’m a bit of both an intro- and extro- vert, in that if I know someone well I’ll talk to them more often than if I don’t know someone. Off-topic sentence is off-topic.
. . . But, then again, in my opinion the perfect being is a blue and red dragon. . .
I know this is way after the fact, but I’m going backward through the logs and thought it was worth a pause to discuss.
First off, a disclaimer: sixth year of university, in Engineering.
My first instinct, really, was invisibility. The work I enjoy doing, is not the kind that people see, but the kind that people use to *do* the jobs that people see. I was the lighting guy for our stage productions in high school, so the audience never acknowledged me unless I screwed up, but if I wasn’t there the show would not exist. In college I filmed things for people, or fixed computers, or built stuff that people needed, but always took a backseat while they went up front and used what I had made to do their public jobs. So my first instinct was invisibility, because it would make it easier for me to hide and do the essential background work that nobody sees.
Of course, I quickly dismissed this idea, for various concerns both practical and intangible.
In the first, I enjoy construction. This means heavy lifting and occasionally standing upon rather high, rather precarious locations. Assume the ability to fly brings only slightly more force than was required to cancel my weight, but the energy my body expends is much less than what is required for my muscles to lift my own weight. I could use the ability to negate most of my weight and make lifting work much easier (as, a 200lb man deadlifting a 200lb beam is lifting 400lb, where the same man, weighing only 5lbs, could lift 395lb of beam with the same effort, or the same 200lb beam with half the effort). Additionally, were I to slip while climbing rafters, I could decellerate myself during the fall so as to prevent injury.
Many folks here discussed the ability to fly at very high speeds or altitudes; without protection, this is impossible. The SR-71 Blackbird, flying near 100,000 feet where there is so little air you can see stars at noonday, still encouters enough friction at Mach 3.5 that the surface of the plane may reach temperatures of over 400 degrees. Were a person to attempt high-speed flight at lower altitudes (where there is enough oxygen to breathe; recall, Everest is only 27,000 feet above sea level and many die trying to summit it without supplemental O2), air is dense enough to shred a person’s flesh. The highest windspeed recorded in the US was I believe 319MPH, at the center of an F-5 tornado; that’s about as fast as a commercial airliner, but a human would be obliterated in those conditions. Flying at high altitudes, at low enough speeds that a person would not be destroyed by airborne objects (rain, hail, insects, sand) or even the wind itself, is dangerous due to the lack of oxygen and low air temperatures; additionally, there are problems associated with rapid decompression and recompression. The total change in air pressure from sea-level to space is about the same as 30 feet of water, so there isn’t much risk of “the bends”, but eardrums can easily be destroyed. So even assuming high-speed, high-altitude flight is somehow an attainable power, it is well beyond the ability of a human body to survive.
Considering invisibility as a potential power, a few complications of its own arise. Assuming invisibility results from a bending of light around the body, some light must be allowed to travel straight through to the eyes in order to see where one is going. This results in only partial invisibility; you could allow only some light to pass to the eyes, but then your vision would be quite dim. And as vision isn’t limited to a single line from the eyes but is a cone, and for that matter an ever-moving cone, the area of light-penetration must be variable. Along the same lines, if invisibility resulted from the body itself becoming invisible, the lens could not focus (as refraction is a boundary condition, and an invisible lens has no boundaries), and the retina could not absorb, so one would be completely blind; additionally, all foreign matter within the body (surgical implants, partially digested food, etc.) would likely not be invisible as well.
Were invisibility resulting from the bending of light, and communications were to be set up such that direction came from an outside source (perhaps through a radio link) and no direct vision of the outside was necessary, one would have to consider the effect of the bending field on the radio waves (as both radio and light are electromagnetic radiation, and both subject, to different extents depending on frequency, to the same refractive effects). Additionally, could one not see one’s surroundings without an external camera, the point of invisibility is defeated.
So from a practical standpoint, invisibility is all but useless as a power, except perhaps to hide in a stationary location where visual knowledge of the surroundings wasn’t important for the duration of your stay. Flight, as many would use it, is dangerous and would, without substantial protection, result in immediate death. However, used safely and appropriately, the power of flight could be harnessed to perform many practical flight- and nonflight-based tasks.
I know the note said not to overthink it, but I’m an engineer. Most of these considerations occurred to me within the first ten seconds of pondering the question.
Conclusion: I choose flight.
Flight for sure. I see no real use in invisibility, because I have no need to hide my doings/I have no intention to do anything bad. BUT I have wanted to fly as long as I remember. I think Id find some kind of freedom in it, no need to be so close to other people, shortcuts…
And I don’t think that introvert/extrovert thing really works, because always before I have been considered an introvert. Even by a real psychologist. I have a slight problem with social situations…
You can’t fly into the girl’s locker room.
I literally couldn’t choose. I want both.
Nope, still can’t choose.
Reading minds, now that would be useful.
Flight means unlimited transportation.
Invisibility means the same(with a little more discomfort but whatever) plus so many more cool uses, it’s not even close. Invisibility by far.
Flight. Most definitely flight. I’ve had dreams of flying. They were awesome.
even though i’m already a ninja, i’d still go with invisibility. i just think that it would be cool to confuse the crap outta people with unseen antics
Invisibility, so i can steal stuff, cos im scared of heights, and would NOT like flying, even though the NON-vicious vegetarian voices that HAVE NOT eaten my brain say that it’s not dangerous to drop from a large height.
I have already said my thoughts on flying in another comment (cold up there, avoid birds and airplanes, gov’t and FFA hassle). Invisibility would be awesome as long as you could still see yourself. I wouldn’t want to end up getting hurt just because I don’t know where my feet are.
hmmm…hard to choose…I would want both, as being able to become invisible at will would come in handy, and flying away from danger is also good…hmmm…yeah, both.
@sidehack: Excellent post, and were I to attempt flight, I would never fly very high or fast, already having read lots about the dangers which speed and altitude would bring with them.
My absolute dearest wish would be control of the weather, though.
Honestly, if I could fly, I don’t think you’d ever see me on the ground by choice.
i would NOT want to read minds. *Shudder* my first thought was flight which is odd bc i always figured id like invisiblity. but it depends. would flight mean i’d get wings? cause thats a serious wardrobe issue. would i be invisible ALL the time? cause that would suck. so on so forth. now TIME TRAVEL would be fun and very useful.
I still remember that nerdy remark about invisible => blind
A wise man once said; “Can’t we do both?”
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