Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!
Dear Dr. Eldritch,
I am super-intelligent and I wish to take over the world. Is that so wrong?
While my goal is world domination, I pursue this for the noblest of reasons. Under my rule, wars would become a thing of the past. A just and egalitarian society would arise, with incorruptible rule of law and universal health care. Everyone would benefit, and all I ask is a larger slice of the pie and totalitarian control in exchange. I realize the enormity of my task and how difficult it would be to accomplish without extreme methods. Yet merely because I am willing to do what it takes, people are so quick to slap the label on me of "Evil Genius." I truly want what's best for the world. As long as I'm in charge.
From you, I desire a foolproof plan, one that can't be thwarted by some meddlesome covert agent, and I'm sure you can come up with one. You'll have wealth and power in the new regime if you comply! Those who assist me shall be well rewarded! In fact, the only people who have anything to fear are those who try to resist my efforts. Or fail to respect the glory that is Science. And especially those who have mocked me. Oh, those who have ridiculed me and called me insane, they... they WILL PAY! Bwahahaha! HA HA HA HA HA!
-- Don't Call Me Evil, from my Secret Hideout
Dear Not Evil,
Well, that's nice. After I'm an accessory to your equality-based, world-domination scheme, I'll be more equal than others. A charming notion, like how the Department of Homeland Security will be disbanded once they take care of a few enemies of the state. Believe that, and I can put you in touch with some people who have millions in Nigerian gold to sneak out of their country for your benefit. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm.
Still, you ask, and I have answers. While I won't give you a plan, foolproof or otherwise, it can't hurt to give you a few pointers:
- Study the mistakes of your peers. You'll note that they've all failed. Compare them to the secret cabal that actually controls global political and economic power today, and you'll see that stealth, subterfuge and money work better than extortion or force.
- Don't kill your henchmen when they fail you, even if they lose a critical piece of your Doomsday Machine or allow your adversaries to escape. You might think that the surviving team members will be more motivated to succeed, but actually morale drops dramatically.
- Have some contingency plans. You'll have to accept that despite your genius, a foolproof plan includes the flexibility to handle unexpected problems. Most global conquests fail because its mastermind refused to believe that a single part of it could go wrong.
- Don't toy with your adversaries, or gamble against them. Despite their unruffled appearance, they are deadly serious while you are playing games. See how that mismatch could be a big problem for you? Goof off after your scheme succeeds, not before.
- Don't eliminate your enemies in slow, complex ways. I know, that takes all the fun out of it, but you'll note that when someone's being ominously lowered into the lava pit, there's always just enough time to cut the ropes and swing to freedom.
- Don't reveal crucial information to your opponents, even if you're confident that they're about to meet their doom. We know your Mighty Intellect is no match for their Puny Brains, but if they don't know where the missile guidance control panel is, they can't mess with it.
Even if you do carefully follow this advice, I'll wager an extra-large box of doughnuts that you'll be destroyed by your own hubris. I know I won't be able to collect, as you'll be killed when your secret lair is blown up, but I'll have the comfort of being right.
Finally, world domination is highly overrated. If you're successful, you go from Arch-Villain to Chief Bureaucrat, trying to maintain the new status quo. Being in charge of the entire world sounds glamorous, but it rapidly becomes just another job. Is that what you truly want? You'd probably be happier buying an island and bossing your henchmen around for a few hours each morning, and then everybody goes to the beach for the rest of the day. There are fewer opportunities for revenge, but serving those cold dishes may not seem so important once you're the Big Cheese in a Tropical Paradise.
Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!
-- Dr. Eldritch