marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

superpowers and technology

What would superpowers do to technological progress?   Assuming, of course, that the Mad Scientists can't make their gizmos reliably or in mass quantities, where it's obvious what the impact would be. Works like magic in a reasonable world

Depends on the powers.  And how common they are.  If there are rare people with super healing powers, the rich are obviously not going to need medical technology to advance so quickly.  (How rich depends on how rare.)  Less need for a fax if you can teleport the letter.  Less for a phone if you can have a telepath send messages.  And the rich have long been the driving force of technological innovation, because they are the ones who can afford to shell out the thousands for something that will cost twenty bucks once the research and development really are complete.

On the other hand, necessity is the mother of invention. Not to mention envy. You see someone have what you want, and you want it all the more. People who imitate the superpower will make out like bandits. Leaving aside the health, if you don't find the equivalent of telepathy, your rival has a great advantage.

And the market would be large if less concentrated.
Tags: mad scientists, superpowers, world-building: technology

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