Semi-Dorky Poll: Super Meeting!

I have to go to the Happy Fun Meeting this afternoon, which will be both Happy! and Fun! To keep things lively while I’m there, here’s a question that is dorky, but not in the usual way for this blog: What superpower would you most like to have to help you deal with annoying meetings?

Bonus essay question: How does the Justice League/ Legion of Doom function when all the attendees at their regular meetings have superpowers? Wouldn’t that get out of hand in a hurry?


  1. #1 John Dupuis
    January 28, 2010

    Mind control. So I could get everyone to agree on my preferred ideas and wrap up the meeting in just a couple of minutes.

  2. #2 Steve
    January 28, 2010

    Wouldn’t super speed make the meeting seem longer?

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    January 28, 2010

    Darth Vader’s Force chokehold, which would cut off people who get too long winded about whatever point they were trying to make, and has the advantage over pyrokinesis that there is no mess to clean up (as well as not interrupting the meeting to put out the fire). It would also be a useful power to have as session chair at a conference, to make sure speakers keep within the allotted time.

    Alas, it would be too tempting to overuse whatever superpower I had (“I find your lack of faith disturbing, Dr. Windbag”).

  4. #4 k8
    January 28, 2010

    I love how (at this point) the voting tends toward violence. That says something about the pure hatred of time suckers.

  5. #5 Becca Stareyes
    January 28, 2010

    Machine empathy, or whatever power lets me log into my computer remotely, manipulate the keys/mouse and see what’s on the screen projected into my visual cortex. That way, you can’t tell when I get bored and start slacking off or surfing the net. Or maybe even getting work done.

    Plus, it allows me to fact-check before I stick my foot in my mouth.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    January 28, 2010

    The ability to be in multiple places at once, allowing me to actually get useful work done during the meeting. Alternately, I could attend multiple interesting sessions at once — but that’s really straining suspension of disbelief.

  7. #7 Brian Postow
    January 28, 2010

    What D.C. said. Or even just the ability to spawn off a dumb(er) clone of myself to go to the meeting and not say anything, while the real me goes out and … is useful surfing the internet and filling out polls?

  8. #8 PamK
    January 28, 2010

    Super-persuasion, so that I could make everybody agree with me, and quickly.

  9. #9 Chad Orzel
    January 28, 2010

    Wouldn’t super speed make the meeting seem longer?

    Not if you’re running the meeting…


  10. #10 JT
    January 28, 2010

    Illusion, so I could create a simulacrum of myself to sit there and look bored.

  11. #11 Anonymous Coward
    January 28, 2010

    The ability to sleep on command while appearing awake. In the magical world where meeting=nap, meetings are a win. This fantasy is so appealing at the moment that I’m thinking I should buy a couch for my office just for regular napping.

  12. #12 cicely
    January 28, 2010

    I like telepathy; first, you use it to quickly get any actually useful information to be presented, then you fog the minds of the other attendees and split.

  13. #13 Zack
    January 28, 2010

    I’d like to second D.C.’s suggestion of being able to be in two places at once. Since almost all the meetings I must attend are either on the phone, or nobody minds me having my laptop open, I’d settle for being able to multitask well enough within my own brain to listen and absorb what is being said while still getting stuff done.

    Teleportation is very high on my list of desirable-in-general superpowers, but I don’t think it helps so much with meetings.

  14. #14 Alex R
    January 28, 2010

    Following the AC above, I would go for the only-mildly-super power of complete control over my own sleep, so that I could manage to stay awake for a meeting that I actually want to pay attention to — even if it is right after lunch in a stuffy conference room, and so that I could sleep soundly for a meeting that offers little of interest. (I wouldn’t even insist on the ability to appear awake — no one is likely to be paying any attention at meetings I would want to sleep through…)

  15. #15 MadGastronomer
    January 28, 2010

    Having found myself In Charge, I’d actually use the telepathy to just beam my instructions into everyone else’s head, read what they’d say back, and get it all over with in much less time.

  16. #16 wolf
    January 28, 2010

    A superpower that forces everyone to lay bare their own motives and agendas in an honest and direct fashion.

    Then, if we’re lucky, this leads to a massacre and we’ll never have any meetings again.

  17. #17 dr dave
    January 29, 2010

    The power to banish kneejerk-naysayers to the spinning space-mirror phantom-zone thing with General Zod.

  18. #18 Lab Lemming
    January 29, 2010

    Dude, if you don’t like meetings, stay back in your department, teach everyone else’s courses while they attend, and save your school the airfare and registration fees.

  19. #19 Chad Orzel
    January 29, 2010

    This is “meetings” as in “committee meetings on campus,” not “meetings” as in “national or international research conferences.” I like the latter, but could happily do without the former.

  20. #20 Simple Country Physicist
    January 29, 2010

    The difficulty with meetings is twofold. First, Getting to and from the meeting is several tens of dB worse than actually attending the meeting. So any means of avoiding the travel between home and hotel, and reverse, is wonderful. Second, if one does not engage a room in the conference hotel, any of the meeting is excruciating.

  21. #21 Scott Raun
    January 29, 2010

    I’d go for either mind control, or a mental pain attack. Something that could be used to keep the meeting on track, and keep people from droning on-and-on.

    I agree that super-speed would be the worst power – that speeds me up! It would make meetings longer!

  22. #22 Scott Spiegelberg
    January 29, 2010

    Creating multiples is good, but I’d stick with Truth Telling, so I know when I can ignore someone’s lies and excuses, and know whether I should actually pay attention to the administration’s information. Though to be honest, most of the committee meetings here are pretty good, except when someone starts loving the sound of their own voice. Maybe that should be the super power, Ego Squasher.

  23. #23 Tom
    February 1, 2010

    A cybernetic hookup, so that I can surf the Web while pretending to pay attention.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.