Thursday, July 13, 2006

I think I've confused myself.

See how superheroes can go super-fast? I'm specifically thinking about the Superman films where he runs and goes all blurry and zoomy, and that bit in the first Spiderman film (the new ones with that odd-lookin' kid in them) where he is dodging the bully's fists.

Now, when they go all fast, and everything seems to go in slow motion, it seems to me that there's two choices.
1) Everything else seems to be in slow motion to them, and they are running normally.
or
2) Everything else is going at normal speed to them, and they are going zoomy.

So... wouldn't that mean that either:
1) everything's all slow to them all the time (as it's not that their reflexes speed up when they run or are punched at or anything) or
2) they should run into stuff a lot more (as there appears to be nothing (in Peter Parker's case, at least) to say that their brain functions have sped up).

Gah! This made sense to me before I started typing.
Have some reading about fallacies.

11 Comments:

At 3:30 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...

I see it more like with Jedi, where they can use to the Force to speed up their perceptions and reactions so that everything else seems to be going slower for them. It's not a constant thing, or they'd get terribly bored waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

On the other hand, in the Heechee books by Frederik Pohl the protagonist dies and only lives on as a computer program. At a virtual party containing both real people and computer programs the programs perceive events moving much faster than the flesh and bloods. This leads the protagonist to engage in conversations with several 'people' at once, switching back and forth between them and giving orders to his avatars to be carried out while he switches to the next person. He can only speak in real time to other programs. He has to keep checking up on his conversations with the real people to see how they develope, much like how we chat on the forum.

 
At 5:26 pm, Blogger LaMa said...

According to the Relativity Theory when you speed up, time goes slower for you. So Superman should experience a shorter span of time than the mortal people he deals with when he goes superfast. I.e., in his own perception he should go even faster still than the speed with which people observe him to move.

Sorry for confusing you even more, if that's the case...

 
At 8:42 pm, Blogger oppiejoe said...

!?!?!?

 
At 10:07 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...

Ah, but Superman can fly faster than the speed of light, so he must have an internal time-dilation-dampening system.

I wonder if he can turn it on and off at will? I would assume so.

 
At 12:34 am, Anonymous smerk said...

Methinks some people are thinking about strange things too much...

 
At 8:42 pm, Blogger Dave S said...

The zoomy experience is something we all can do and it's called "pel mel" and "willy nilly". It just means that we getting ahead of ourselves, and it wouldn't be a form of superhero skill.

The sped up perception works better. It would have to go along with stronger muscles (to propel body parts more quickly), which makes perfect sense.

Experiments with LSD show that people's perception of time is altered by the drug. I believe the alteration can happen in either direction and probably depends on some seemingly unrelated things like the amount of stimulation, blood sugar, etc. Since I got my new laptop which displays information using much smaller letters, I've noticed that time seems to go by a lot more slowly for me. (Very nice, but hard on the eyes).

About relativity theory: If you speed up enough, you'll notice that the length of things along the direction of your travel has decreased. It decreases asymptotically to zero so that when you think your own speed is that of light, the length of the entire universe in the direction of your travel would be zero (so there'd be nowhere for you to go anyway). For those watching you approach the speed of light, you will appear to shrink along the direction of your travel, also asymptotically to zero, so if superman really did reach the speed of light relative to us, he'd be infinitely thin. Oh, and infinitely massive too.

 
At 9:38 pm, Blogger Hieronymus Anonymous said...

*whimpers pathetically*

And I thought I had confused me. You gentlemen win.
*bows*

 
At 11:30 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...

We're aware of all that, Dave. We're arguing comics damnit, not science. :P

 
At 5:22 am, Blogger oppiejoe said...

Hold me Boo... These guys frighten me greatly

 
At 5:21 pm, Blogger thunderstruck said...

uhm, I think I need to get out of here...

 
At 6:04 am, Anonymous superaccipiterman said...

I'd tell you how it all works, Boo, but it's a trade secret and I'd be cast out of the Guild of Superheroes if I divulged the information. Sorry.

I can tell you this much, though: it involves soft cheeses. . .

 

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