Tuesday, November 29, 2005
A question from God
You may share your answer by selecting the "comments" link below.
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.
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.
But maybe I should ask if "unlimited" means the same thing as "infinite"?
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.
I'd settle for a new pair of socks instead. Or maybe a thermos flask.
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.
Otherwise how would we wisely know how to use any of the others?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
Money? Well, if it's just me, but otherwise we already have desertfuls of sand, which is just as useful.
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.
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.
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.