A Curious Superpower

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be to make people irresistibly curious.

Anyone within my vicinity would have their minds forced wide open, the doors of perception blown to smithereens by psychic dynamite. All the fears and doubts, prejudices and habits would disappear. They would be filled with a sense of wonder and awe. They would viscerally know their own ignorance and hunger for knowledge, an infinite and endless hunger.

They would look at the world as a place of immense possibility and potential. All the things that could be learned. All the places to be explored. An immensity of paths and directions, some well-trodden while others not yet taken. A restlessness would overtake them. All of the universe would be vast compelling mystery, like a lover beckoning them. Anything could be around the next bend, over the next hill, through the next door. Adventure!

Anyone who met me would be overwhelmed with heart-bursting wonderment and their minds would be lost in the infinity of existence, ideas and questions simultaneously spinning off in a million directions. They would be absorbed, pulled into the flow. Their imaginations would be unleashed, no longer constrained by what they’ve known or thought was true. Knowledge would be made ignorance and the familiar alien. A joyous uncertainty, as if anything could happen.

The cup of their mind would be emptied. Then filled to overflowing. It would feel like trying to get a drink of water by standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls, the water crashing down on you until you’re beaten senseless.

For some, this would be an awe-inspiring experience. For others, it would be terrifying. My superpower would open their minds, but it wouldn’t control what spilled out. It would simply reveal what was hidden away in their psyche, their secret longings and hungers, the thoughts they never before dared to entertain.

This superpower would defeat all supervillains. They would be so absorbed in curiosity that they’d forget about trying to defeat me, taking over the world, or whatever evil scheme they had in mind. And the more they sought to resist it the more powerful would its hold take on their psyche, an ache and compulsion that if not embraced would drive them beyond the bounds of sanity, like a full blown psychedelic trip. Their sense of self would dissolve in maniacal laughter.

I would be the anti-Borg: Resistance is futile. You will be disassimilated!

Of course, to all the stable-minded folk of the world, to all those defending the social order, to those contentedly dwelling in their collective reality tunnels, my superpower would be the ultimate threat. They would see me as the supervillain, even though I would harm no one. As I passed along, the people I left behind would eventually return to their humdrum existences, fondly remembering that strange man or else futilely trying to forget the whole thing happened, although the ache of discontentment would never fully leave them.

My end would probably come like the Midwich Cuckoos. The governments of the world would quickly realize the threat I posed, once they understood my superpowers couldn’t be used for their nefarious purposes. One way or another, they would find a way to eliminate me, even if it meant dropping a nuclear bomb.

Yet the world would never quite be the same again. The wake of my passing would ripple for generations. Wild new innovations and brilliant art would be produced by those who had come into contact with me. It would take time for the surge of creativity to be bottled again and order re-established, although some almost imperceptible shift would never be undone.

Seeds of my superpower of curiosity would be planted. Then these seeds would sprout with new generations, an evolutionary contagion, a mind virus. A new age would begin, curiosity spreading across the global populations. Centuries ago began the Age of Paine, an age of revolutions. What followed now would be the Age of Wonder, a new revolution of the mind.

I’d like to think this is what would finally inspire humanity to new heights. And the world that came to be would the vision of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Humanity, freed from all the ancient restraints, would become explorers of the universe.

And it all would have began with mere curiosity.

25 thoughts on “A Curious Superpower

  1. ah, let’s see . . . bitten by a radioactive librarian and turned to a life of vigilante adult education when the evil of ignorance so corrupted his hometown that his grandfather, who raised him, died of sepsis in the E.R. waiting room, the infection caused simple, everyday splinter that he just never thought to remove . . .

    • Sounds like a good story. Nice idea with the radioactive librarian. Just as long as he or she isn’t a biting zombie librarian. And now I’m try to imagine what would be specifically involved in the life of vigilante adult education. I suspect that isn’t a high paying gig. Probably would need a day job.

  2. It is not ignorance as much as it is anti knowledge.

    Ignorance is merely the absence of knowledge.

    Anti knowledge is the suppression of truth to push an ideology.

  3. I think that the political right lives in constant fear.

    They know what they’ve done and they fear the implications. The only options are to live up to it or deny it aggressively, which they have done.

    • The political right lives in permanent fear mode. And when those on the political left experience too much fear their minds are taken over by the worldview of the political right. Almost no one, left or right, is capable of thinking rationally while under an extreme and/or continuous state of fear. The only way to promote rationality is to lessen the hold of fear.

  4. Yeah I think that this whole thing is a distraction to allow the rich to get in.

    Anti knowledge is meant to keep people dumb and obedient so that the rich can take over.

    You can see the ugliness behind the curtains every now and then. Here is an example:

    Could this have anything to do with her views on fracking?

    • Unless I see a total transformation of the party into a functioning democratic institution, I won’t support the Democratic Party for the rest of my life. I suspect I’m not the only person the party has lost. They are turning a whole youth generation toward being Independents, many of them likely will become third party voters.

      It’s not as if I ever liked the party. I’ve only ever voted for one Democratic presidential candidate and that was only as a ‘fuck you’ vote to the Republicans because of their anti-democratic tactics. But now I no longer even see the Democrats as worth my support in voting against Republicans.

      I refuse to be complicit in the destruction of the last remnants of American democracy. If nothing else, I’ll maintain my own sense of dignity.

  5. There are other reasons why.

    We can be sure that Clinton will vastly escalate the drone war. Remember that 90 minute documentary I linked “Dirty Wars”? He and several others founded a news group, the Intercept.

    Anyways, he’s written a series about it:

    His colleague too has noted that most people who are killed are not known.

    The dirty secret (or not so secret) is that they are almost certainly innocent.

    Here is an analysis if you are interested:

    • Clinton won’t just escalate the drone war. She’ll also likely escalate military actions, CIA covert operations, paramilitary funding/training, and diverse political interventions in many regions of the world. Human rights catastrophes like in Honduras will continue and maybe worsen.

      Clinton is a hardcore neocon. Her opinion about non-whites elsewhere in the world is related to her opinion about non-whites in the US. All dark-skinned people are potential terrorists and superpredators or else simply weak and inferior—hence easy targets who can’t fight back or make themselves heard.

      She is an old school classical liberal who believes in White Man’s Burden or, in her case, White Woman’s Burden. She also essentially believes in Manifest Destiny with her imperialistic attitude, such as supporting both the toppling democratic governments and starting wars of aggression. I’m sure she has been fully on board with the neocon vision of violently spreading ‘democracy’, enforcing ‘free’ trade agreements, and nation-building.

      I doubt she actually has any principles, besides that of accumulating wealth and power. But I’m sure she is a faux-meritocratic Social Darwinian in believing she deserves all that she has gained in this corrupt rigged system. And I’m sure she still believes that the poor, oppressed, and incarcerated get everything they deserve—even if she’ll never admit it in public.

  6. She probably doesn’t.

    But the thing is, she’s fooled enough people into thinking that she does. Combine that with a corporate owned mainstream media and it’s the same trajectory.

    WE often talk about working class conservatives voting against their interests. Apparently we need to talk about Democrats who do the same. Unless you are part of the 1%, you are voting against your interests by voting for Clinton … and if inequality is bad for the rich too, then even then.

    • All Americans end up being made uninformed and disinformed, manipulated and deceived. We are talking about rich and powerful forces that have generations of scientific research and other data that helps them manage public perception and public opinion.

      Some of this involves outright propaganda or else the propaganda model of news reporting. But there is also even more subtle methods such as astroturf. A recent example is a pro-Clinton Super Pac illegally working closely with the Clinton Campaign by hiring paid trolls to operate in social media.

      Few people understand any of this. It rarely will get reported in the MSM, of course. Old school investigative journalism has unsurprisingly become rare at the same time that most of the media has been bought up by a handful of media conglomerates, many of them transnational (or maybe all of them at this point).

      I discuss it in this comment:


      Here is the actual link to the article:


  7. There are other scandals of course. This one might be worth a look at:

    Although as the article notes, many right wing types are hyping this out of bad faith, it doesn’t mean that Bill Clinton may not have done something quite wrong (to say the least) nor that Hilary may not have had a role in trying to cover it up.

    Still the fact that this is even happening is quite alarming for Clinton, especially considering her credentials as a feminist.

    • What alarms me is that I didn’t even know about this. This should be getting a lot more media coverage. It requires serious investigative journalism. Even if the cases turn out to be false, that deserves serious reporting.

    • I’m not sure we’re quite ready for a serious third party challenge. But we are getting closer.

      Third parties used to be more powerful in the past. They often had major influence at the local level, sometimes a third party dominating much of the government in particular states. The main parties were forced to work more closely with these third parties.

      This allowed for greater debate and democratic participation. It also made possible for a third party like the then radical Republicans to break into mainstream national politics.

  8. I don’t see any viable alternative. Another Sanders candidate would face similar barriers that Sanders faced and would likely be destroyed by the Establishment.

    • It would require national grassroots organizing. A third party system would have to be created that was as powerful as the two party system. This would require systems for raising large amounts of money, if we aren’t able to overturn Citizens United. And it would require a strong network of alternative media to push candidates to mainstream attention and host political debates. The first step would be to help third parties to take over politics at the local level in order to create the foundation for challenging and bypassing establishment politics.

  9. There might not be a choice. The Democratic Party is likely beyond redemption.

    Luckily we have:
    1. Enough discontent and growing public awareness (especially amongst Generation Y)
    2. The Internet allows an alternative media
    3. Perhaps enough funding to mount a challenge too

    Most of the requirements are there.

    • When more Boomers retire and die, I bet we’ll see many changes.

      The younger generations don’t just have different beliefs, values, and ideological worldview. They also have a different way of doing things, different sources for different kinds of info and different ways of organizing to achieve different ends.

      Plus, the younger generations don’t have the luxury to ignore the economic and environmental problems they’ve inherited. They have choice other than to take seriously these problems, as if their lives depended on it because they do.

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