What, according to author Neal Stephenson, every man under 25 thinks he could still become if he wanted to. Snow Crash's Hiro Protagonist is quickly relieved of this belief upon encountering Raven (who carries a nuclear bomb in his motorcycle and fights with spears). After all, the position is obviously already taken.

Is it possible that there is a baddest mother fucker in the world? I suggest that there must indeed be one. Let me see if I can explain this in some sort of logical fashion.

We begin by defining baddest mother fucker. But actually, we dont really need to pin down a definiton. The general argument should hold regardless of how one defines that trait. For sake of argument though, we'll define the baddest mothefrucker as one who would beat the snot out of all people, and none would beat the snot out of him/her. He/she would reside at the top of the beat the snot out of people pyramid.

Now then, how might we argue that such a person exists? I begin by noting that the number of candidates for that position is finite. This is key! Were the number infinite, then of course, we could never pin down the baddest motherfucker. The thinking here is simlar to that found in the "is there a number that is infinity +1" problem. Given that there infinity plus one = infinity, the answer would be no. If there were infinte bad motherfuckers, I think our answer would be that there would be no baddest motherfucker. Logicians and mathematicians might suggest alternative interpretations, to which I am pleased to listen.

Here is where I am on more unstable ground, as I refer back to the infinity analogy, so comments are welcome. IF the number of badasses is finite, and IF there are no ties, then there should definitely be a baddest motherfucker. This is because the number, being finite, would have a discrete value that is conceptually different than infinity +1. Rather, the value of the baddest motherfucker would be equal to N-1, where N is the total number of bad motherfuckers,subtracting 1 for the actual baddest motherfucker.

So, it seems, there must be, somewhere, given really any definition of what makes one a bad moteherfucker, an actual baddest motherfucker.

In Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, we quickly get the impression that main character Hiro Protagonist is one bad motherfucker. However, the position of baddest motherfucker in the whole world is taken by Raven, a character we shall soon learn more about. Let's compare these two characters in several categories and see just why Raven is such a bad motherfucker...

Personality

Hiro: Typical hacker type - interested in all things technological and loves to tinker with complicated machinery. Generally a nice guy, gave up all his shares in Black Sun (the company he worked for) to put his mum in a nice community in Korea.

Raven: A nasty piece of work, Raven has POOR IMPULSE CONTROL tatooed on his forehead. Once killed most of the crew and passengers on a Russian nuclear submarine with a piece of glass, leaving the survivors to work in knee-deep blood (On a submarine, there's nowhere for it to drain to...)

Physical Characteristics

Hiro: Average height, very strong forearms and legs from years of samurai sword training. Is also blessed with freakishly good reflexes. Seems to wear a jet black biker outfit for most of the book, made from armorgel and arachnofiber - "A bullet will bounce of it like a wren hitting a screen door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest."

Raven: Built like a wrestler, has very long hair. His father was nuked twice before he was born - making Raven a mutant. Dresses relatively normally.

Technological abilities

Hiro: Wrote large portions of the Metaverse, the virtual reality universe that seems to be the equivalent of the Internet in Snow Crash. Can use sophisticated technology like the global Earth simulation and the Librarian daemon without batting an eyelid. He can code anti-viral programs and also wrote the routines that govern sword-fighting in the Metaverse.

Raven: Can vaguely get around the Metaverse on a motorbike.

Transportation

Hiro: Starts off in a Mafia-provided pizza delivery van that travels at a couple of hundred miles an hour and is described as a 'black chariot of pepperoni fire'. Transfers to a black Yamaha two-wheel-drive motorcycle with wheels that change shape according to whatever is detected by the bike's millimetre-wave radar.

Raven: Gets around the Pacific islands of his birth by surfing with his kayak, which can outrun steamships.

Weaponry

Hiro: Carries a matched pair of samurai swords with him at all times. At one point during the novel, Hiro engages the deck-mounted Gatling guns on the aircraft carrier Enterprise with Reason, a nuclear-powered suitcase-sized railgun that fires tiny slugs of depleted uranium at hypersonic velocities. This is a pretty cool gun.

Raven: Raven can make knives from glass that are a molecule thick and can therefore slice through bulletproof fabric. They can also pass through metal detectors without being detected. This technique is used to make glass-tipped spears that Raven throws at people very fast.

If you ask me, the bad motherfucker rating of these two gentlemen is almost equal. Unfortunately, there is one item that makes Raven the baddest motherfucker in the entire world. Raven has electrodes in his brain that are linked to a hydrogen bomb stolen from a Russian nuclear submarine. If Raven dies, 20 square miles of landscape around him disappear. These are the lengths you will need to go to if you wish to be the baddest motherfucker in the world.

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