Is it Possible for Anyone to Become Batman?

A very interesting discussion on Quora.

Q: Given our current technology and with the proper training, would it be possible for someone to become Batman?

A: “By “become Batman” you mean the basic concept of Batman that we all could agree upon — a master of martial arts, of forensic and detective skills, of gymnastics, of science and chemistry, of history and geography, of the workings of organized crime, of criminal psychology and physiology, and a man with a suit offering protection against bullets and knives and electrocution but which allows him to move as fast as an Olympian runner and acrobat.

The simple answer is, no. Unless you really boil Batman down to a very diluted level as just a really strong, fast, good fighter who can jump far and with good street smarts plus an education in crime and psychology, and who wears a lot of armor and a mask.

The genius of Batman is that it pretends to be realistic, it lets us convince ourselves that with enough money and training, we could become Batman, too. But it’s still fantasy, it’s just a fantasy that is more compelling and convincing and thus more fun.”

Batman

“If you joined the military and became something like a Delta Force commando of the highest quality, while studying nights to get a double-major in criminal justice and psychology, with a minor in chemistry, you might also have time to take weekend courses in detective work and get a P.I. license. Then, after probably 10 years to reach all of those levels combined, you might be 28 (if you started right out of high school) and would then need to maintain your physical level while getting a job as a police officer in order to learn real crime solving and detective work on the streets and at crime scenes, to get the experience it would really take to be a master. Let’s say you are so good it only takes you perhaps three years to become a top detective and expert in these regards — now you are 31, and just finished the most basic level of preparation you need to be an expert in just some of the most obvious fields required to match Batman.

Now you have to quit the force now, and develop a good cover story for yourself so nobody suspects that Batman might be the guy who is an expert in all of those fields Batman is a master at. You have to have made sure you lived your life never revealing your true feelings about crime and vigilantism etc, and in fact covering it up unless you want to be arrested as a suspect the first time Batman has been around town. You need to spend some time doing dry runs around town to find your away around rooftops and fire escapes, practice running around at night in the shadows and not being seen, and presumably start practicing using your ropes and grappling hooks and other equipment you need for nightly patrols. Do some dry runs, make final preparations in case of emergencies, etc.

And you need to have been investing money and amassing a fortune the entire time, because the technology you’ll need to even get close to a real-world version of Batman will cost millions of dollars. So you’ve done that, and now you start spending the money to get an armored suit full of electronics to communicate with assistants and have night vision and so on. You need a base of operations, so you buy one of those old used missile silos the military sells (yeah, they really do that, and it’s pretty cool inside them) and turn it into a secret headquarters for the computers and monitoring equipment and car and bike and other equipment you need for your vigilante life.

Conservatively, you should probably be about 32 at this point. And you are only about to go out on your first night as Batman. Okay, it’s taken longer than expected and been pretty hard, and honestly you are not quite as much a master of all fields as Batman, but at least you got the basics and are pretty well trained and smart and equipped. So off you go, looking to stop crime…”

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