Good luck serving Spider-Man with supoena! October 13, 2012 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Jedicus and valkyryn pose with their metafilter project, The Law Of Superheroes (previously)
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter-Related at 10:11 PM (40 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

What a habeas corpus!
posted by dhartung at 10:15 PM on October 13, 2012


Have you ever wondered "Does Batman's close cooperation with the Gotham police department make him a state actor for Fourth Amendment purposes? Is evidence that he gathers even admissible?"

YES! I wonder this CONSTANTLY! Do I have to buy the book or are you willing to answer?

To be perfectly honest, I've taken the answer as yes and even if it's no I still think his quasi-legal intrusions are inappropriate.

And that is the story of how when someone I'd just met at a job fair casually asked me if I'd seen The Dark Knight Rises it resulted in a lengthy diatribe about civil liberties.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:31 PM on October 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


But does this address superheroes' massive violations of the Laws of Physics?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:34 PM on October 13, 2012


I sadly missed the previous discussions, or else I would have submitted this Wondermark comic as a piece of evidence.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:40 PM on October 13, 2012


If Batman is a state actor, how can he be a vigilante? And if he's not a vigilante, is authoritarian tendencies are basically just authoritarianism. Batman is the secret police.
posted by DU at 4:57 AM on October 14, 2012


I object to how awesome this is.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Excellent!
posted by OmieWise at 5:15 AM on October 14, 2012


So. Great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:08 AM on October 14, 2012


Rock on, Nerdistan.
posted by Wolof at 6:14 AM on October 14, 2012


Woo! Congrats on the book, Jedicus and valkyryn!
posted by Kattullus at 6:21 AM on October 14, 2012


But does this address superheroes' massive violations of the Laws of Physics?

There's another book, The Physics of Superheroes, that addresses those questions. Our book is published by the same company (Gotham, a division of Penguin, appropriately enough).
posted by jedicus at 6:24 AM on October 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


YES! I wonder this CONSTANTLY! Do I have to buy the book or are you willing to answer?

We'd prefer if you bought the book, obviously, but there's also our blog, Law and the Multiverse. The Batman/state action issue has been discussed a couple of times there.
posted by jedicus at 6:29 AM on October 14, 2012


I'm going to go to an Actual Bookstore and buy this Actual Book by Actual Authors.

This will Actually Happen.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:41 AM on October 14, 2012


Also, we are going to get some bookplates printed and sign them, so if you want one, just memail us and we'll Actual Mail it to you.
posted by jedicus at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2012


Actually?!
posted by ocherdraco at 6:58 AM on October 14, 2012


Nice!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:02 AM on October 14, 2012


Actually.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


IANALOAS (I Am Not A Lawyer Or A Superhero), but I have been following Law and the Multiverse since the beginning, and it is consistently a great read. Bravo, gents!
posted by Rock Steady at 7:20 AM on October 14, 2012


Do I have to buy the book or are you willing to answer?

Yeah, sorry, that was kind of a dick move on my part, I was just super excited that I might get the answer NOW instead of having to wait. That said, yes, I should definitely just buy the book. Yay for you guys!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:25 AM on October 14, 2012


But does this address superheroes' massive violations of the Laws of Physics?

I believe the punishment for violating the laws of physics is they give you a Nobel Prize.

Only if they know your true identity of course.
posted by philipy at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2012


Bruce Banner just can't win, can he?
posted by maryr at 8:33 AM on October 14, 2012


That's great. Congratulations!
posted by cog_nate at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2012


I guess we're doing this by the book then. Congrats guys!
posted by arcticseal at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2012


I believe the punishment for violating the laws of physics is they give you a Nobel Prize.

It's far more common to receive a Darwin Award.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:06 PM on October 14, 2012


In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2012


It's far more common to receive a Darwin Award.

That's not for when you succeed in violating the laws of physics.

That for when you fought the law, and the law won.
posted by philipy at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, in the physical world, nobody succeeds in violating the laws of physics. If they appear to, it's either an illusion, or because of an imperfect understanding of the laws.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:01 PM on October 14, 2012


Of course, in the physical world, nobody succeeds in violating the laws of physics.

The Laws of Physics are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the large granite cliff, which weighs 1.7 cagillion tons, and the smoking crater thereupon (with splashy organic highlights), the remains of the hot rod with JATO rockets attached.
posted by maxwelton at 2:58 PM on October 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


And that is the story of how when someone I'd just met at a job fair casually asked me if I'd seen The Dark Knight Rises it resulted in a lengthy diatribe about civil liberties.

*Cough* Say, have you seen The Dark Knight Rises?
posted by ersatz at 3:19 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's possible to violate the laws of physics, but only for a short period, known as the Gotham Interval.

This is the amount of time between a violation occurring, and the laws being amended to add a clause that says that the violation is henceforth an allowed exception. It's called the Gotham Interval because the amendment is often done by adding some boilerplate along the lines of "This law doesn't apply to anything with Dark in its job title." Dark matter, dark energy, Dark Knight, that kind of thing.

IANAL however.

But if you are planning on violating the laws of physics, it's probably best to do it in a jurisdiction far far away. It will save everyone a lot of embarrassment.

Personally I'm hoping they legalize time-travel, if only for medicinal purposes.
posted by philipy at 3:40 PM on October 14, 2012


The Laws of Physics are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the large granite cliff, which weighs 1.7 cagillion tons, and the smoking crater thereupon (with splashy organic highlights), the remains of the hot rod with JATO rockets attached.

These are their stories.

*DOINK DOINK*

posted by radwolf76 at 4:29 PM on October 14, 2012


Huzzah! This just went on my christmas list.
posted by gauche at 7:37 AM on October 15, 2012


Awesome! Great work, guys.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:58 PM on October 15, 2012


Also, you can totally be both a self-styled vigilante and a state actor. Batman would actually be a really good example of that, in many stories.

But, obviously, jedicus and valkyryn explain it better.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:59 PM on October 15, 2012


*DOINK DOINK*

*CHUNG CHUNG*
posted by jquinby at 1:30 PM on October 15, 2012


*BAMF BAMF*
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2012




I concede the point.

but it's clearly CHUNG CHUNG
posted by jquinby at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's possible to violate the laws of physics, but only for a short period, known as the Gotham Interval.

I don't know whether you intentionally patterned your remark after this, but I believe it is possible to violate conservation of energy for brief periods of time, as long as you clean up after yourself fast enough. The more energy you borrow, the faster you have to pay it back (energy * time is proportional to the Planck constant).
posted by Jpfed at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2012


I think that's where the Plancking trend came from.
posted by maryr at 12:26 PM on October 16, 2012


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