Trope-a-Day: Muggle Power

Muggle Power: In option one, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”, played straight.  Noötropics, synnoetics, and immortagens especially, but enhancement technologies of all kinds are very widely used for exactly this; and in places where they aren’t available on the open market (usually because this sort of thing is acutely corrosive to the present institutions), they tend to be among the top smuggled items.

In option two, “If you can’t join ’em, kill ’em!”, brutally subverted where the actual Powers and Potentialities are concerned, mostly because while it’s not theoretically and categorically impossible – the exception being that noted under Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? – there is a very definite limit on how far pluck and spirit can get you against superior intelligence, and when I say superior intelligence, here, I am not meaning any sort of intellectual superiority even measurable on the human scale of things.  You can’t beat something whose, for example, casual thoughts themselves are conscious entities of greater-than-human complexity – any more than one of your colonic bacteria can successfully plot and execute a coup against you.

Even going up against the merely postsophont is almost certainly a losing proposition, short of becoming one by grafting a couple of singularities’ worth of synnoetics, vasteners and cognitive accelerators onto yourself first, which may well lead to some epiphanies regarding the worthiness of your cause even if it doesn’t Go Against Everything You Are Fighting For, which latter tends to be the case among the more vocal factions offended by the notion that their species’ baseline model is not the bright, shining exemplar of creation their self-regard tells them it ought to be.

(Which, incidentally, is exactly why this sort of thing is acutely corrosive to institutions, and why they so often try to ban the synnoetics, vasteners, and cognitive accelerators mentioned.)

Dear Baselines: It’s not your universe any more.  Cope.  Really.