Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Markets in Everything: Death Rays



Ever wonder what the quickest and most inexpensive way to become a supervillain is? Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance has a suggestion: buy a high-powered laser/death ray:

I'm not sure what purpose the Spyder III is meant to serve (other than the obvious fact that lasering is its own reward), but I do know that it's not your average laser pointer. Take a look at the safety warning that accompanies the product description:

Warning: Extremely dangerous is an understatement to the power of 1W of laser power. It will blind permanently and instantly and set fire quickly to skin and other body parts.

Instant blindness. Sets fire to skin. Looks like a lightsaber.

Guys. That is a portable Death Ray. And it costs less than $200. I don't think I'm overstating things when I say that this is going to revolutionize super-villainy.

Chris is absolutely right. The "Wicked Lasers" website cites a laser-powered home theater projector as one possible use for the Spyder III portable blue laser. But who are they kidding?

My only concern (aside from an increase in supervillain activity) is that an open market for villainous weapons like these might start providing too much competition for the real heinous and clandestine weapons manufacturers. This might, in turn, lead to even more violence.

Should this, then, be an externalities post?

18 comments:

David Pinto said...

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

Michael T said...

Umm, 1W of power (and it is - I checked the technical specs) can't really do any damage to skin tissues. So the supervillain is essentially waving this thing around hoping the hero looks directly into the aperture?

Joker: Hee, hee, hee! Now, Bats, gaze into my super-laser-death weapon and die!
Batman: *splat* *pow* *pain*
Joker: Back to the gun with the "bang" flag.

ercikson said...

it's a truth that 1mW power laser cannot bring any damage to skin tissues.

Alex Bony said...

a laser pointer with an output power of 1mW has little damge to human skin. just go ahead!

Alex Bony said...

a laser pointer with an output power of 1mW has little damge to human skin. just go ahead!

RJ Moore II said...

Actually, if this were shined onto a highly reflective surface you could suffer eye damage due to the concentration of high-frequency polarized photons. It's not going to be like a death ray or anything, but it could cause permanent eye damage even if it didn't hit you right in the eye.
Understand the profound increase in energy concentration that occurs with polarized, narrow light like this.

July4ever said...

Maybe 1W of power can't really do damage to skin tissues but eyes.















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