Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A question from God

God comes before you and says, "I will give humans one of the following gifts. You decide. I will give everyone unlimited money, unlimited energy, or unlimited information."

You may share your answer by selecting the "comments" link below.

What good is unlimited money? I suppose someone with a mind to destroying the global market economy would pick that one; it would be interesting to watch if nothing else.

The downsides to unlimited information include: everyone at the CIA would be laid off, the NFL would collapse because everyone would know who was going to win every Sunday, birthdays become boring because you know what your gifts are long before you even recieve them, and the global market economy hyperinflates because everyone starts making great stock market picks.

Unlimited energy might have potential. I need to chew on that one some more. Right now I'm inclined to tell God where to stick it instead, though.
Definitely information. Unlimited money makes money worthless and screws up trade and economies. Unlimited energy is no good as we still dont understand how to use it wisely, and it'll probably lead to an acceleration of pollution and a higher risk of accidents. Unlimited information would give us the means to move forward in a more positive way, although the loss of the desire to learn would cause problems. Not to mention the chaos that would be caused if part of that information included the fact that religions were invalid , there was no afterlife,or other facts that would upset our way of thinking. I think if we had the choice to opt out of this gift we should, but if we couldn't opt out, information would be the best choice.
If everyone had unlimited money, money would become worthless, so that one's right out. And with unlimited information, we would have the knowledge we need to produce unlimited energy, so that's the obvious choice.
I'd tell God to shove it. Accepting only one of the three is likely to introduce an unprecedented hell in the other domains.
Well, unlimited money clearly will do no one any good -- it will lose all value once it is no longer scarce. I'm tempted to choose unlimited information -- but I'm not sure we don't already have that. Besides, we are not promised unlimited or unproblematic access to the information -- and I think the quest for access to information is a large part of what gives life directionality in an information age.

So my choice is unlimited energy. Granted, we may have that already (the sun is virtually limitless as an energy source in practical terms). And granted, we are not promised the unlimited ability to exploit such energy (the corrollary to the access issue above). But if "unlimited energy" included access and the ability to exploit, then it seems to me that the global economy would change in interesting ways. A whole new set of ways to value products and experiences would arise. Perhaps aesthetic criteria would become a more prominent way of reaching a consensus on value. The result could be a completely different way of organizing our lives.

Because with unlimited information, you can learn how to generate unlimited energy.

And really, what's the point of unlimited money anyways? Money never has, and never will be a solution to anything.
Well wouldn't unlimited information make us gods? With unlimited information, we should be able to quite easily attain unlimited money or energy, if we would even need it after such a "gift". Certainly unlimited information would include knowledge of all things that have happened and would happen, across all possible universes. That would certainly describe a consciousness totally different from the human mind. Knowledge of all things across all of time would remove us from living in just the 3 dimension we are currently capable of perceiving.

But maybe I should ask if "unlimited" means the same thing as "infinite"?
Unlimited money is worthless (as current monetary policy reveals, the more we "print" the less it's worth).

We already have effectively unlimited information. Most of it useless. "There is a theory which posits that a billion monkeys pounding on a billion keyboards will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. Thanks to the Internet we now know this is not true". Information is not knowledge and that wasn't an option.

Unlimited energy also exists in the universe, but we are also saddled with entropy. Perhaps unlimited usable energy is what would do the widest good.
Hmm, sounds far too good to be true. It's a trap, I tells ya.
I'd settle for a new pair of socks instead. Or maybe a thermos flask.
all of these are useless. i would ask for understanding.
uninterlaced : While one can be given information, I don't think one can be given understanding. Understanding needs to be arrived at by hard work.
All three are the same one:

Unlimited money, on a bank account would be an unlimited number - which would mathematically be, by definition, infinite - therefor it would by definition be infinite information.

An infinite number would also require one of several options, one which is infinite time; somethng which is very special.

But, yes, money is a temporary existential phenomena - with computers and robots producing water supply, food, shelter and items - money will cease.

Even nowdays, I go with the google admins' approach - when I earn a vast check, I buy myself a sweater (second hand at that!) (I already have a laptop).

...but, just to show that unlimited money is unlimited information, which is very deep.

© 2004 S. L.
That doesn't sound right. God would offer wisdom, happiness, the end of pain and suffering...In other words, the real good stuff. Money/information/energy sounds more like Mr. Satan's line of business.
I'd say none of the above: I'd rather have You.
Great gifts, but I think unlimited wisdom would be an even better one.

Otherwise how would we wisely know how to use any of the others?
Information, of coourse, but what information?
Yup, this "god" sounds like a trickster to me. I'd be wondering if my eyes would disappear or my family would be chopped into dog food or something. Monkey's paw, anyone? It's like making a deal with the devil to loose 60 pounds, then having him amputate your legs at the torso. Well, you weigh 60 pounds less, don't you? Bwahahaha! Sucker!
I would pick... unlimited information. Because it makes money obsolete and leads to unlimited energy, or to efficient enough energy consumption, so that less would be more.

trade and economy, and of course money, are just tools that work out fine in the current situation. Infinite knowledge would change that situation permanently, thus making money, trade and economy things of of the past, which noone really needs anymore.

Unlimited energy would just lead to unlimited wars, which would lead to our destruction. People in general, even people in charge, are just not smart enough to deal with unlimited energy.
I say unlimited money.
Then, yes, money would be rendered useless and those who are in power because of their money would be rendered powerless. And the economy would collapse, hence forcing us to deal with those things that are only of utmost importance, like each other. Of course, we'd probably just come up with something to replace money eventually.
I think uninterlaced said it - we need unlimited understanding. A-MEN!!
Oh, information for sure.

Hatred and stereotypes are born of fear, and ignorance breeds fear.

Inhuman decisions and policies (and day-to-day conduct) would be harder to maintain if decision makers really knew the full human extent of the repercussions.

And if the human factor is insignificant to those in power, well the general population would also know the repercussions of those actions, wouldn't they? And they'd know how to change what they didn't like.
Well, you're all wrong. As has been pointed out, unlimited information leads to unlimited energy so for the sake of this argument, we'll consider them to be the same thing.

With unlimited energy, a single human could destroy all forms of matter.

Therefore, the obvious choice is unlimited money. Yes, money would become useless but then we'd simply revert to barter or create another form of intermediary trade. It would upset the economy, no doubt, but it wouldn't lead to the destruction of the universe.

It's a lesser of evils question.
Definitely unlimited information. Unlimited energy is a subset of unlimited information, and unlimited money is rendered useless by unlimited information.
Unlimited information? Hmmm... I would rather be able to understand the information I already have access to. Unlimited energy? Well, only if we also understood how to put it to good use, otherwise we would probably do with it, what we are doing today: Zap each other the best we can.
Money? Well, if it's just me, but otherwise we already have desertfuls of sand, which is just as useful.
Unlimited information would nullify learning. What good is life if you can't learn anything? How boring.

Unlimited money would nullify value. Reguardless of the type of society you live in (capitalism etc) we use money to further progress.

Unlimited energy would nullify pollution, homelessness... (probably a half dozen other things I can't thing of right now too) There is the real possibility it would allow us to better ourselves. It's the same promis that cold fusion would bring. Or the energy from water theory.
Give everyone unlimited money is the wisest choice ... prefect and complete wealth redistribution. This way we will see just how lovely socialism works once and for all... Once we rid ourselves of our utopian fantasies we can then "work" for the information we as humanity are mature enough to be responsible for -- which covers the notion of energy. Thanks God, we can handle the gift of the world from here... until again we forget. :)
I feel this is an impossible question to answer.

I would tell god to shove it as well
First, humanity cannot handle the unlimited in anything whatsoever.

Second, honestly, why would you want it? Just take the three things mentioned. Unlimited money would be worthless as sand to the Sahara.

Unlimited information would lead to the death of learning & creativity & the rise of stagnation.

Unlimited energy sounds good, but is it really a mouth-watering wet dream to our esteemed & all male world leaders?

Unlimited anything sounds to me like a Trojan Horse full of Pandora's Boxes.
Money is a form of energy as energy is a form of information. Information is the others so becomes the only reasonable choice.
Unlimited money. Of course! Simply BECAUSE that would make it worthless! How attached ARE you to your material possessions? Look I am kinda anti comintern but I would go for unlimited money because the invalidation of the economy would show us what was really important..

And the other things are easily more important ;

Better to appreciate something and not have it, than it is to have it and not appreciate it.
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