Infinite Knowledge: Gift or Curse?

This weekend I was watching a show on Animal Planet that brought up the Megalodon.  If you’re not familiar with Megalodon, here’s what you need to know: giant-ass prehistoric shark.  Think a Great White is scary?  A Great White would barely have time to wet itself before Megalodon ate him for a morning snack.  Size estimates for Megalodon range from 50-60 feet in length.  Check out this scale comparison from Wikipedia:

(Image Source: Wikipedia)

The purple is a Whale Shark and the green is a Great White.  The little blue guy is you waving liking a goon before Megalodon inhaled you like a fly and didn’t even realize it.

OK, so where am I going with this?  The show got me researching Megalodon and thinking back to when I was a kid and I was fascinated with sharks and dinosaurs.  Now we’ve all seen the movies, and we kind of have an idea what dinosaurs and other ancient creatures were like, but wouldn’t it be amazing to really know?  To be able to actually see these creatures, to know what really happened to the dinosaurs?

Going down this path, wouldn’t it be amazing to know all of the mysteries of the world?  What species are out there that we don’t know about?  What about all the species living deep in jungles and at the bottoms of the oceans – we know they exist, but what do they do all day?

And let’s get out of nature.  Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know all of the other mysteries of the world?  The statues on Easter Island.  Who was Jack the Ripper?  Is there life on other planets?  Where did the Nazca Lines come from?

The Nazca Lines

I spent some time thinking about this today, and I started to wonder if this kind of knowledge might be what heaven is like.  Knowing everything about the world, history, the universe.  What a gift that would be.  Even though there would be no way to share the knowledge, you could still know.

But what about the bad stuff?  So you get to know all of these great things.  But with that, you’d have to have knowledge of all the bad stuff in history too, right?  Genocides, murders, brutality.  All of that stuff would be in your head too.

Maybe on another plane that wouldn’t bother you, it would all just be facts.  Take the human emotion out of it, and all that bad stuff is just that: stuff.  On another level, maybe there isn’t really a right or wrong, there are just facts.

This is all getting a bit more philosophical than I had intended, but here is my question: what do you think?  If you had infinite knowledge, would that be a gift or a curse?  Is that something you would know in heaven or in hell?  Would the lack of human emotion change your view of that?

I don’t claim to have an answer on this, I was just thinking and wanted to see what everyone else out there thought.  I’m looking forward to some interesting discussion in the comments!

The science behind mermaids

Today I flipped on the TV and stumbled across a show on Animal Planet about of all things…mermaids!  It was presented as a documentary, some people were going to speak publicly for the first time about what they had seen in their time working for various agencies and military branches.  At first it seemed pretty realistic, but some of the footage gave it away as being a dramatization.  A little research found that the show is a “speculative documentary,” similar to something Animal Planet did a few years ago about dragons.

Although the show, called “Mermaids: The Body Found” is not true, the science used was true enough.  They presented a theory that our primitive ancestors had found their way to the oceans and evolved over the years into what we know as mermaids.  The adaptations they would have had to make were interesting and seemed realistic enough.

This type of speculative work is fun.  Even though there is no real basis for mermaids being real, other than myths from different cultures throughout history, I enjoyed seeing that myth being looked at with real science to see how it could be real.  Of course with the ocean, as with lots of nature, there are huge pockets of undiscovered life.  New species are found, even large things like whales are found despite the years and technologies out there.

So what does this mean?  Nothing really, it’s just fun.  I wish I remembered more about the show that Animal Planet did on dragons.  I do remember that it was done similarly, using examples from nature to show how it could be real.

If you want more info on the show, check out Animal Planet’s site:

Motivating myself to write

I need to find some sort of point system to get myself to write.  It works on XBox.  “What, I have to do this level again, only slightly differently and I get some gamerscore?  Hell, what’s another half hour?”  Whether it’s writing here on the blog, or putting some of the short story ideas I have down, I need to force myself to do it.

I’ve got some ideas for posts, and some ideas for stories, but I just have trouble forcing myself to sit down and do it.  I know that the personal achievement should be motivation enough, but I think we all know that’s not true.  At least not for me.  I’m not writing to make a living, it’s more of a hobby, and it does force me to think a little differently.  Using some creativity in stories is a little different than reading through regulations and making sure our company is doing the right thing.

I do know that once I get writing, I tend to get on a roll.  Looking back through historical blog posts, I know that I’ll write 2 or 3 things over a couple of days, but then it’s a month before I do anything else again.

So, it all comes down to getting myself started, and finding that motivation to get started in the first place.  Let’s see what I come up with, hopefully something successful!