Julie one more time for the CSFF blog tour (reviewing The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead).
I was a bit surprised to see the a near-universal positive reaction to the book's Zetetic Society! Shannon McDermott's post pretty much explains why I found them worrisome (yet I was able to see them through rose-coloured glasses, so to speak, and loved the idea of them...the same reason I fell in love with the film Captain EO.)
Onward. This week I was just struck by the amazing powers we have in the year 2012. Can we time-travel? Well, OK, only forwards, and at the rate of one minute a minute at that. (Though there are some re-enactments and such that are pretty cool, never mind movies that at least try to transport us backwards or forwards in time.)
Can we teleport? Well, no, but again with the airplanes (and Internet technologies allowing you to virtually visit people and places everywhere). Never mind that superpowers often come with a cost...right now the cost to physically transport is several hours of discomfort and also some money to go almost anywhere in the world.
Can we communicate telepathically? Well, no, though the more I think about it, the more horrifying mind-speaking seems. How do you block someone from reading your mind, or from talking into yours? Do you really want to hear what those drivers are thinking about you on the freeway? What if they're all thinking at you at the same time?
Even a casual viewing of a commercial for NBC's "Revolution" reminds us that people today have amazing superpowers compared to people throughout pretty much any other point in history to date. It used to take at least a couple weeks to get a letter across the US and even longer to get one across the ocean. Now if my mom texts me and doesn't hear back for 2 hours, she's as likely as not to think I'm dead in a gutter. If I want to read a newspaper from Arizona in 1910, I don't even have to get up off the couch.
What do we do with these superpowers? If you're like me, you hang out on Facebook and read everything that catches your eye. Do I consciously use these superpowers for good? Well, not so much.
Squandering one's life on the Internet is bad enough. But even worse than playing games, reading messageboards, and watching videos...well, let's ignore the most carnal vices on the Internet and stick to harm individuals do to others. Many ordinary people use the Internet--often anonymously--to be mean to people they know, or even strangers. You can hardly look at any popular video on YouTube without seeing a senselessly mean comment. Not reasoned-out or constructive criticism (I know my reviews are not the kindest, but I try to be fair). But people post the equivalent of drive-by verbal assaults. How sad is that? I guess superpowers sometimes breed supervillains. I hope and pray I don't do anything like that.
So...how can a would-be superhero use the Internet to fight against those who cut down and destroy others? That's a big question and I don't actually have the answer.
Thanks for the tour, everyone!