History Main / MisappliedPhlebotinum

24th Aug '16 5:08:47 PM DarkHunter
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** SCP-261. A vending machine capable of producing ''any'' liquid that exists in this universe, as well as a few that don't. The Foundation uses it as... well, a vending machine for the facility it's stored in (albeit with some armed guards who make sure nobody tries anything stupid and/or dangerous with it).

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** SCP-261.SCP-294. A vending machine capable of producing ''any'' liquid that exists in this universe, as well as a few that don't. The Foundation uses it as... well, a vending machine for the facility it's stored in (albeit with some armed guards who make sure nobody tries anything stupid and/or dangerous with it).
24th Aug '16 5:06:06 PM DarkHunter
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* While many of the artifacts contained by the Wiki/SCPFoundation are dangerous, a number of them are quite useful.
** SCP 914. A large clockwork device covering 18 square meters. Items put into a slot are altered according to one of five parameters set. Rough, Course, 1:1, Fine and Very Fine. The Rough and Course settings tend to destroy items, the 1:1 returns a different object of equivalent worth and purpose, but the Fine and Very Fine return significantly better items of greater quality or complexity. A gun put into the machine, with the fine or very fine setting, would return an even better gun, possibly even stuff beyond SCP's current tech level. Even the 1:1 setting is fairly useful, as it could potentially provide translations of writings in an unknown language.

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* While many of the artifacts contained by the Wiki/SCPFoundation are dangerous, a number of them are quite useful. The Foundation is aware of this, and those objects safe enough to be used without harm they ''do'' put to use in various capacities. They haven't released these things to the public largely because they want to be sure they understand the underlying mechanisms of how exactly they work first.
** SCP 914.SCP-914. A large clockwork device covering 18 square meters. Items put into a slot are altered according to one of five parameters set. Rough, Course, 1:1, Fine and Very Fine. The Rough and Course settings tend to destroy items, the 1:1 returns a different object of equivalent worth and purpose, but the Fine and Very Fine return significantly better items of greater quality or complexity. A gun put into the machine, with the fine or very fine setting, would return an even better gun, possibly even stuff beyond SCP's current tech level. Even the 1:1 setting is fairly useful, as it could potentially provide translations of writings in an unknown language.language.
** SCP-261. A vending machine capable of producing ''any'' liquid that exists in this universe, as well as a few that don't. The Foundation uses it as... well, a vending machine for the facility it's stored in (albeit with some armed guards who make sure nobody tries anything stupid and/or dangerous with it).
3rd Aug '16 11:58:44 AM DarkHunter
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* Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' uses his ultrapowerful transformation gun to throw a party for his girlfriend and switch genders so that he can cook.
** Considering that Tedd's dad is the head of the local MIB, he can't really sell or distribute the technology without getting grounded for, say, ten thousand years or so.
*** The origin story for the gun reveals Tedd only has it because one of his Dad's alien buddies needed some simple work done on it, and his culture has religious objections to object-oriented programming. For the setting it's such basic tech to anyone not limited to human-made stuff that it isn't even worth being careful with; magic can do the same thing (if less reliably) and several races have it as an in-built ability. The main characters were not aware of this part until quite a ways into the story, though.

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* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
**
Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' uses his ultrapowerful transformation gun to throw a party for his girlfriend and switch genders so that he can cook.
** Considering
cook. Though, considering that Tedd's dad is the head of the local MIB, he can't really sell or distribute the technology without getting grounded for, say, ten thousand years or so.
***
so. The origin story for the gun reveals Tedd only has it because one of his Dad's alien buddies needed some simple work done on it, and his their culture has religious objections to object-oriented programming. For the setting it's such basic tech to anyone not limited to human-made stuff that it isn't even worth being careful with; magic can do the same thing (if less reliably) and several races have it as an in-built ability. The main characters were not aware of this part until quite a ways into the story, though. Tedd and his friends occasionally do break out the transformation equipment for more practical purposes, like to turn Elliot into a WereCat for getting places faster.



** Tedd and his friends occasionally do break out the transformation equipment for more practical purposes, like to turn Elliot into a WereCat for getting places faster.

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** Tedd Later {{Justified}} in the case of magic: magic itself is a [[SentientCosmicForce self-aware force]] and his friends occasionally do break out the transformation equipment for doesn't like more practical purposes, like than a fraction of society knowing about it. Should someone reveal the existence and accessibility of magic to turn Elliot into a WereCat for getting places faster.the world, magic would rewrite its own rules so that nobody knew how it worked anymore. It ''can't'' be used to solve widespread world problems because it would stop working if someone tried to do that.
3rd Aug '16 11:45:25 AM DarkHunter
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* A ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'' TNG novel focused on a planet which was being massively polluted from seemingly nowhere because its alternate universe counterpart had stumbled upon a device that made things ''vanish''. It wasn't until much later that they realized they'd created an interdimensional transporter. This novel also showed ''why'' using such a device as a planetary-scale garbage disposal might not be a good idea: they eventually discovered that the "garbage" and pollution they were getting rid of included important trace elements of their atmosphere. And since they'd also unknowingly destroyed all of their planet's [[AppliedPhlebotinum dilithium crystals]] long ago, before realizing their importance, they didn't have the means to evacuate more than a small fraction of their population

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* A ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'' TNG novel focused on a planet which was being massively polluted from seemingly nowhere because its alternate universe counterpart had stumbled upon a device that made things ''vanish''. It wasn't until much later that they realized they'd created an interdimensional transporter. This novel also showed ''why'' using such a device as a planetary-scale garbage disposal might not be a good idea: they eventually discovered that the "garbage" and pollution they were getting rid of included important trace elements of their atmosphere. And since they'd also unknowingly destroyed all of their planet's [[AppliedPhlebotinum dilithium crystals]] long ago, before realizing their importance, they didn't have the means to evacuate more than a small fraction of their populationpopulation.
* ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'': Pretty much the moment the human-Mrdini alliance realized they could use human psychics to teleport nukes into Hiver ships, the war was effectively over and the previously dangerous Hivers ceased to be a serious threat. The conflict of the story moves from "How can we defend ourselves?" to "How can we pacify the Hivers without committing genocide on them?"
4th Jul '16 2:05:33 PM billybobfred
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*** Using ''traps'' as perpetual magic engines is not an AppliedPhlebotinum - it belongs to the realm of [[AscendedGlitch Bug Exploiting]].
*** Actually, Boon Traps (traps that do something helpful) are mentioned in the sourcebook Dungeonscape as a way to feed monsters in dungeons, and other useful things. So, no, it's not a bug, it's a feature. Besides, you can do all the exact same things with wondrous items, they are just more expensive.
** Reusable magic traps can be made for 100 times the cost of a single-use trap. Or around 500 times just casting the spell. You could presumably reuse it every round (six seconds). Used for anything else it could pay for itself in under an hour. Used for traps, it's a waste of money.
4th Jul '16 11:02:20 AM billybobfred
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** Even one ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' video stated that the heroes could go back to the past and kill Voldemort as an infant, but there's a problem with doing that. Said time machines demand that the user return to the exact place where he activated the machine at the exact time (which would be difficult if you travel several decades into the past). And it's implied NeverTheSelvesShallMeet and it cannot create {{Time Paradox}}es. Yes, it will blow your mind when you try to figure out how Harry could save himself in the past and thus enable himself to live up to going back to the past... but this may be kind of an explanation: if the heroes killed Voldemort in the past they would not need to go to the past and therefore they would not kill Voldemort in the past. Seems like no one in Potterverse uses time travel for actual stuff exactly because its temporal mechanics is so fucked up.
*** WordOfGod is that the Time Turners (the aforementioned time machines) can only bring you five hours into the past. They do not allow the user to change the past, because there is only one timeline. Also, the part about them demanding the user return to the place where they activated the machine is not true -- in the third book, Hermione uses it while stressed and does not appear at the same place she disappeared from.
** The Room of Requirement is even guiltier since you can't even give the "it's too dangerous" excuse. A room that can respond to your request by changing itself, providing all the necessary equipment and information. Even if it cannot create things that don't already exist (like a map that marks all V's [[SoulJar Horcruxes]]), the possibilities are still staggering. You could probably request a room full of gold, or lost artifacts, or weapons, or hell, maybe the cures to cancer and AIDS, while you're at it (one could argue that it does exist, we just haven't been able to put it together)! Naturally, none of these options is ever explored by the characters, and they end up using it as a gym, a supply closet or a storeroom.

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** Even one ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' video stated that the heroes could go back to the past and kill Voldemort as an infant, but there's a problem with doing that. Said time machines demand This one, at least, has an explanation -- WordOfGod is that the user return to the exact place where he activated the machine at the exact time (which would be difficult if Time Turners can only bring you travel several decades five hours into the past). And it's implied NeverTheSelvesShallMeet past, and it cannot create {{Time Paradox}}es. Yes, it will blow your mind when you try to figure out how Harry could save himself in the past and thus enable himself to live up to going back to the past... but this may be kind of an explanation: if the heroes killed Voldemort in the past they would do not need to go to allow the past and therefore they would not kill Voldemort in user to change the past. Seems like no one in Potterverse uses time travel for actual stuff exactly past, because its temporal mechanics [[StableTimeLoop there is so fucked up.only one timeline]].
*** WordOfGod is that the Time Turners (the aforementioned time machines) can only bring you five hours into the past. They do not allow the user to change the past, because there is only one timeline. Also, the part about them demanding the user return to the place where they activated the machine is not true -- in the third book, Hermione uses it while stressed and does not appear at the same place she disappeared from.
** The Room of Requirement is even guiltier since you can't even give the "it's too dangerous" excuse. A room that can respond to your request by changing itself, providing all the necessary equipment and information. Even if it cannot create things that don't already exist (like a map that marks all V's [[SoulJar Horcruxes]]), the possibilities are still staggering. You could probably request a room full of gold, or lost artifacts, or weapons, or hell, maybe the cures to cancer and AIDS, while you're at it (one could argue that it does exist, we just haven't been able to put it together)! Naturally, none The characters spend most of these options is ever explored by the characters, and they end up series using it as a gym, a supply closet or a storeroom.storeroom, only even ''beginning'' to explore its true potential in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', when LaResistance in Hogwarts is using it as their base.
30th Jun '16 1:52:56 PM margdean56
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* In Creator/MichaelCrichton's ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'' there is an immensely powerful quantum computer capable of recording the exact quantum state of every particle in human body, and then sending the data to another universe where it can somehow be recreated into a perfect copy of the person (though the original is technically speaking destroyed - the protagonists are much less disturbed by this than you'd think). It is used to study history by sending people and recorders to universes identical to our own except their position in time, when they could use it among other things for consulting dead people with important opinions, for duplicating rare and useful materials, for ''immortality'', or ''for bringing just about any technology that's ever going to be invented in any possible future to the present you morons!''

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* In Creator/MichaelCrichton's ''Literature/{{Timeline}}'' there is an immensely powerful quantum computer capable of recording the exact quantum state of every particle in human body, and then sending the data to another universe where it can somehow be recreated into a perfect copy of the person (though the original is technically speaking destroyed - -- the protagonists are much less disturbed by this than you'd think). It is used to study history by sending people and recorders to universes identical to our own except their position in time, when they could use it among other things for consulting dead people with important opinions, for duplicating rare and useful materials, for ''immortality'', or ''for bringing just about any technology that's ever going to be invented in any possible future to the present you morons!''



** "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me if I can pick up that piece of paper ..."

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** "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me if I can pick up that piece of paper ...paper..."



** Even one ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' video stated that the heroes could go back to the past and kill Voldemort as an infant, but there's a problem with doing that. Said time machines demand that the user returns to the exact place where he activated the machine at the exact time (which would be difficult if you travel several decades into the past). And it's implied NeverTheSelvesShallMeet and it cannot create {{Time Paradox}}es. Yes, it will blow your mind when you try to figure out how Harry could save himself in the past and thus enabled himself to live up to going back to the past... but this may be kind of explanation: if the heroes killed Voldemort in the past they would not need to go to the past and therefore they would not kill Voldemort in the past. Seems like no one in Potterverse uses time travel for actual stuff exactly because its temporal mechanics is so fucked up.
*** WordOfGod is that the Time Turners (the aforementioned time machines) can only bring you five hours into the past. They do not allow the user to change the past, because there is only one timeline. Also, the part about them demanding the user returns to the place where they activated the machine is not true - in the third book, Hermione uses it while stressed and does not appear at the same place she disappeared from.
** The Room of Requirements is even guiltier since you can't even give the "it's too dangerous" excuse. A room that can response to your request by changing itself, providing all the necessary equipment and information. Even if it cannot create things that don't already exist (like a map that marks all V's [[SoulJar Horcruxes]]), the possibilities are still staggering. You could probably request a room full of gold, or lost artifacts, or weapons, or hell, maybe the cures to cancer and AIDS, while you're at it (one could argue that it does exist, we just haven't been able to put it together)! Naturally, none of these options is ever explored by the characters, and they end up using it as a gym, a supply closet or a storeroom.

to:

** Even one ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' video stated that the heroes could go back to the past and kill Voldemort as an infant, but there's a problem with doing that. Said time machines demand that the user returns return to the exact place where he activated the machine at the exact time (which would be difficult if you travel several decades into the past). And it's implied NeverTheSelvesShallMeet and it cannot create {{Time Paradox}}es. Yes, it will blow your mind when you try to figure out how Harry could save himself in the past and thus enabled enable himself to live up to going back to the past... but this may be kind of an explanation: if the heroes killed Voldemort in the past they would not need to go to the past and therefore they would not kill Voldemort in the past. Seems like no one in Potterverse uses time travel for actual stuff exactly because its temporal mechanics is so fucked up.
*** WordOfGod is that the Time Turners (the aforementioned time machines) can only bring you five hours into the past. They do not allow the user to change the past, because there is only one timeline. Also, the part about them demanding the user returns return to the place where they activated the machine is not true - -- in the third book, Hermione uses it while stressed and does not appear at the same place she disappeared from.
** The Room of Requirements Requirement is even guiltier since you can't even give the "it's too dangerous" excuse. A room that can response respond to your request by changing itself, providing all the necessary equipment and information. Even if it cannot create things that don't already exist (like a map that marks all V's [[SoulJar Horcruxes]]), the possibilities are still staggering. You could probably request a room full of gold, or lost artifacts, or weapons, or hell, maybe the cures to cancer and AIDS, while you're at it (one could argue that it does exist, we just haven't been able to put it together)! Naturally, none of these options is ever explored by the characters, and they end up using it as a gym, a supply closet or a storeroom.
30th Jun '16 1:35:35 PM margdean56
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* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the protagonist, Ward, learns early on, that he has a slave (AWizardDidIt. It MakesSenseInContext) who is a powerful mage, and could do, well, lots of things. Oreg (said slave) does some things of his own accord, like providing nice clothes for Ward and Ciarra, re-heating Ward's bath water, and such. He can see what is going on everywhere in castle Hurog. What does Ward ask him to do? Continue protecting Ciarra (which Oreg has been doing anyway). Some time later, Ward is told that Oreg is trained as assassin. Ward does have political enemies, but he never once thinks of sending Oreg (who can make himself invisible and teleport) to take care of them. True, Oreg cannot be too far away from Ward, but far enough so no one would suspect ''Ward''. Justified in that Ward is very different from the ancestors who had Oreg trained as assassin, and while Ward is a good fighter, killing people just is not his favourite way of solving problems - he suffered years and years under his abusive father, who he suspected would kill him one day, and still never got the idea to kill his father, first. Even though his father told him that he murdered Ward's grandfather for a KlingonPromotion. The idea of killing people in something other than self-defense is something Ward just doesn't seem able to wrap his mind around.
* In the ''Literature/HyperionCantos'''s last 2 books, the protagonist and narrator, Raul Endymion, is trapped in a deathtrap modelled after SchrodingersCat because nobody wants to kill him. So, with his connection to the Void Which Binds, he starts writing, and uses the connection to look back in time to ensure his story is accurate. He actually peers into minds all over the known universe. He also knows that the Void Which Bind, which he's connected to, was used in the past as a teleporter, and Aenea, his girlfriend/the messiah can use it. Never mind. It doesn't occur to him throughout the books that he can break out and continue writing without the threat of death by cyanide poisoning.
** Later, he realizes this and teleports off. Turns out he was kinda slow (and also was at the time greatly affected by the [[spoiler: horrific martyrdom of Aenea]]). Practically the whole universe had learnt to do that, and has dubbed it "freecasting", a homage to the older term "farcasting". Starships are still used by the people still loyal to the Pax, and refuse to take Communion and learn freecasting. In fact, the whole point of him writing the two book is to come to this realization.
* None of the characters in the series ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' ever considered that the [[AppliedPhlebotinum morphing technology]] handed to them in the very first book, if given to the series big bad, might solve the species-wide problem that drove them to AlienInvasion in the first place? Even after [[spoiler:they offered it to the ExtremeOmnivore Taxxons in a bid to get them to switch sides]]? When you consider that they're constantly up against Visser Three, though, no wonder it took them ages to think of it.

to:

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the protagonist, Ward, learns early on, on that he has a slave (AWizardDidIt. It MakesSenseInContext) who is a powerful mage, and could do, well, lots of things. Oreg (said slave) does some things of his own accord, like providing nice clothes for Ward and Ciarra, re-heating Ward's bath water, and such. He can see what is going on everywhere in castle Hurog. What does Ward ask him to do? Continue protecting Ciarra (which Oreg has been doing anyway). Some time later, Ward is told that Oreg is trained as an assassin. Ward does have political enemies, but he never once thinks of sending Oreg (who can make himself invisible and teleport) to take care of them. True, Oreg cannot be too far away from Ward, but far enough so no one would suspect ''Ward''. Justified in that Ward is very different from the ancestors who had Oreg trained as an assassin, and while Ward is a good fighter, killing people just is not his favourite way of solving problems - -- he suffered years and years under his abusive father, who he suspected would kill him one day, and still never got the idea to kill his father, father first. Even though his father told him that he murdered Ward's grandfather for a KlingonPromotion. The idea of killing people in something other than self-defense is something Ward just doesn't seem able to wrap his mind around.
* In the ''Literature/HyperionCantos'''s last 2 books, the protagonist and narrator, Raul Endymion, is trapped in a deathtrap modelled after SchrodingersCat because nobody wants to kill him. So, with his connection to the Void Which Binds, he starts writing, and uses the connection to look back in time to ensure his story is accurate. He actually peers into minds all over the known universe. He also knows that the Void Which Bind, Binds, which he's connected to, was used in the past as a teleporter, and Aenea, his girlfriend/the messiah can use it. Never mind. It doesn't occur to him throughout the books that he can break out and continue writing without the threat of death by cyanide poisoning.
** Later, he realizes this and teleports off. Turns out he was kinda slow (and also was at the time greatly affected by the [[spoiler: horrific martyrdom of Aenea]]). Practically the whole universe had learnt to do that, and has dubbed it "freecasting", a homage to the older term "farcasting". Starships are still used by the people still loyal to the Pax, and who refuse to take Communion and learn freecasting. In fact, the whole point of him writing the two book books is to come to this realization.
* None of the characters in the series ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' ever considered that the [[AppliedPhlebotinum morphing technology]] handed to them in the very first book, if given to the series big bad, BigBad, might solve the species-wide problem that drove them to AlienInvasion in the first place? Even after [[spoiler:they offered it to the ExtremeOmnivore Taxxons in a bid to get them to switch sides]]? When you consider that they're constantly up against Visser Three, though, no wonder it took them ages to think of it.
30th Jun '16 1:26:38 PM margdean56
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** An issue of ''ComicBook/HeroesForHire'' (which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, so at least these guys are getting paid for their work) has one of the "heroes" in a government warehouse where various captured supervillain equipment is stored. Upon seeing one piece of equipment, he notes the idiocy of inventing a gun that turns stuff into gold, then using it to rob banks. It takes him very little time to realize that he ought to steal the gun himself and use it in more intelligent ways. Unfortunately, it's broken shortly afterward in a super-brawl. He presumably was unaware of the fact that any object transmuted by the alchemy gun turns into dust after exposure to heat or after a certain amount of time. (However,mining and construction companies would pay a fortune for a device that could easily reduce solid material into dust regardless of what it became in the interim!)

to:

** An issue of ''ComicBook/HeroesForHire'' (which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, so at least these guys are getting paid for their work) has one of the "heroes" in a government warehouse where various captured supervillain equipment is stored. Upon seeing one piece of equipment, he notes the idiocy of inventing a gun that turns stuff into gold, then using it to rob banks. It takes him very little time to realize that he ought to steal the gun himself and use it in more intelligent ways. Unfortunately, it's broken shortly afterward in a super-brawl. He presumably was unaware of the fact that any object transmuted by the alchemy gun turns into dust after exposure to heat or after a certain amount of time. (However,mining (However, mining and construction companies would pay a fortune for a device that could easily reduce solid material into dust regardless of what it became in the interim!)



*** Another issue of Flash has Mirror Master being introspective about how him and many of his fellow villains are perceived as examples of this trope. He is perfectly aware of the fact that he and most of his compatriots could make more money selling their various technology (Freeze Rays, Teleportation, Weather Control, etc.) legitimately then they could ever hope to make robbing banks even if there were no super heroes. He does the supervilliany instead because he's an immensely disturbed individual, but is aware of the fact.

to:

*** Another issue of Flash has Mirror Master being introspective about how him he and many of his fellow villains are perceived as examples of this trope. He is perfectly aware of the fact that he and most of his compatriots could make more money selling their various technology (Freeze Rays, Teleportation, Weather Control, etc.) legitimately then they could ever hope to make robbing banks even if there were no super heroes. He does the supervilliany supervillainy instead because he's an immensely disturbed individual, but is aware of the fact.



** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the first issue of the Mark Shaw incarnation of ''Manhunter''. Over a series of panels of Dr. Alchemy using this powers to perform a robbery, Manhunter points out that he could probably make more money a dozen different ways using a stone that would allow him to transform an object into something else, even if it was temporary.

to:

** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the first issue of the Mark Shaw incarnation of ''Manhunter''. Over a series of panels of Dr. Alchemy using this his powers to perform a robbery, Manhunter points out that he could probably make more money a dozen different ways using a stone that would allow him to transform an object into something else, even if it was temporary.



*** ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} International Super Teams'' incorporated ''[=SuperTemps=]'' into its setting, and expanded upon it. And the ''I.S.T''. chapter of ''GURPS [=Y2K=]'' had detailed passages on supers using their powers for construction and other mundane occupations. And not-so-mundane UN-sponsored occupations, like weather control (to divert destructive hurricanes, alleviate drought, and so forth) and famine relief ("you can make plants grow? come with me!").

to:

*** ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} International Super Teams'' incorporated ''[=SuperTemps=]'' into its setting, and expanded upon it. And the ''I.S.T''. chapter of ''GURPS [=Y2K=]'' had detailed passages on supers using their powers for construction and other mundane occupations. And not-so-mundane UN-sponsored occupations, like weather control (to divert destructive hurricanes, alleviate drought, and so forth) and famine relief ("you ("You can make plants grow? come Come with me!").
30th Jun '16 1:18:22 PM margdean56
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** It's actually harder to conceive an FTL system that '''can't''' also double as a WeaponOfMassDestruction than it is to conceive one that can. And that's not even getting into the fact that, because of the way relativity works, FTL travel is logically equivalent to TimeTravel...

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** It's actually harder to conceive of an FTL system that '''can't''' also double as a WeaponOfMassDestruction than it is to conceive of one that can. And that's not even getting into the fact that, because of the way relativity works, FTL travel is logically equivalent to TimeTravel...
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