Just like me, I’m sure at one time or another you have felt like you are invisible to the world. When no one seems to notice you and you feel that you are just not there.
HG Wells explicitly dealt with this in ‘The Invisible Man’, when no one can see you do you have any responsibility to act in a ‘human’ way, great power and great responsibility and all that. What would you do if you were unable to be seen, or caught?
How is invisibility a power for good? You can discretely spy on people, steal without being detected or assassinate
someone. What can you really do to help people that being seen can’t do? Perhaps sneak past guards to rescue someone, but how are you going to get them out?
When you ask any man what he would do if he was invisible it always tends to gravitate to one particular idea. Like naughty schoolboys we jump on the idea of invading the ladies changing rooms, what happens them becomes worrying.
Even normal well-adjusted individuals can see (pun not intended) that if there is no one to see you, then what is stopping you from having a little touch. If nothing is stopping you from having a little touch what is to stop you from going further, and quite quickly a ‘harmless’ scenario can escalate out of control.
Being invisible removes you from the world and removes you from any responsibility. It also work when we make others invisible, by ignoring them and pretending they are not there.
A brilliant example of this is in ‘The City and The City’ by China Mieville (yes, I know I keep going on about him but seriously go read his books). In this the citizens of two cities that occupy the same space ‘unsee’ the residents of the other place, they will walk past each other and not acknowledge them. Cars travel on the same roads avoiding the inter-city traffic as the other cars are not there, which is the whole point.
I’m sure we have all done something similar, how many people have you walked past today and not even noticed. Walking through a crowd as thought there is no one else put you, faces undistinguishable. How many times have you passed someone who needs help and not looked at them, as though by not acknowledging them you are not seeing the problem?
In response to: Pick Your Gadget
Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?
(Thanks, atana’s world!, for inspiring this prompt!)