Jan 5th 2010 By: Laura Hudson
If you've ever completed a Google profile, you may have noticed that the system asks you an unusual question before completing your registration: What superpower would you want the most?
Apparently, this is something that the Google engineers have been trying to hash out amongst themselves
, and like any good nerds, they have taken a silly, theoretical question and analyzed it in quantifiable, serious, empirical ways.
A traditionally short conversation ("Would you rather have the power of invisibility or the power of flight?") rapidly spins off new and philosophical threads enumerating hidden caveats and analyzing cost-benefit scenarios. Under the black-markered "The power to move you," someone uses a blue marker to replace "you" with "anyone." "What do you mean by move?" asks a red marker. "You made this no fun anymore," complains a blue marker, underscoring that point with a frowning face.
So what power emerged triumphant at Google? Both flight and teleportation won out over invisibility, and ultimately the power of teleportation took the blue ribbon. "Isn't this redundant?" One engineer wrote next to the final flight/teleportation faceoff. "Only for people who think the end is more important than the means," replied another. Wow, nerds zinging each other over the relative superiority of imaginary powers? You might be engineers, but now you're speaking my