The one that gets you

Watching the Batanime (or Batmanime), I came across technobabble, and it feels out of place. It’s kind of weird to think that heaps of jargon wouldn’t belong in a story about a character who relies heavily on gadgets, but in the Batman world, gadgets are used for getting stuff done, as opposed to being used as talking points over coffee. Maybe that’s no longer true — I haven’t been in the loop in ages.

The thing with technobabble is that it reeks of implausibility most of the time and tarnishes cool things that need no explanation. You simply do not question the Gadget ‘Copter, and the notion that someone might try to explain it may or may not have just made my eye twitch.

Off the top of my head, I can think of two instances where this occurred, the first being in Field Test and the other in In Darkness Dwells. Could an EMP burst stop all small-arms fire without destroying all electrical devices within a city block? It’s a bit of a stretch even just considering the first part. But! Could an acoustically triggered EMP burst stop all small-arms fire? Definitely not, because not all rounds fired from a pistol travel below the speed of sound.

And do we need or want to know how Batman’s quantum encrypted radio works? That it’s a quantum encrypted radio at all? The posturing does no one any favours, because now that we “know” that the signal is bounced across multiple satellites (and who could own all those satellites?) we also “know” that the signal has to be beamed skyward, mirrored across multiple satellites potentially thousands of kilometres apart, and then sent back down where it would require a high gain (and large aperture) antenna in order to receive it.

On last check, neither radio set had a small parabolic dish affixed to it, but neglecting that fact, the implied latency alone would make this setup worthless for real-time communications. And you thought that the satellite lag between a newsroom and a live correspondent halfway around the world was bad.

There are, though, small details irrelevant to the story, as vaguely continuous as it is. But irrespective of the writing, the animation studios plied their craft with style, kind of like Appleseed Ex Machina.