Day 13: Omniscience

Being all-knowing seems, on the surface, like it would be completely awesome. Say you just randomly woke up one day and you knew everything there was to know: You could know how every process in the world works, whether or not one of your favorite crime show suspects was guilty or innocent, what your friend was thinking when they pushed you into the cheese fountain at that upscale wedding, how many aliens have visited Earth in the last two weeks (it’s 14 cargo-loads by the way. Alien cargo-loads hold about 45 aliens each, so you do the math.), and literally everything else.

Questions and answers would no longer be relevant for you, you would just…know….everything.

But if you knew everything there was to know, what would day-to-day life look like for you? Would there be any reason to intervene in the affairs of your peers? Would you be so horrified by some of the realities of the world that you felt the need to take action against certain injustices? Or would you be so far removed from humanity that you wouldn’t even be able to effectively communicate or interact with anyone at all?

It’s interesting that the wisest person in his time was Socrates, who claimed to know nothing. If he knew nothing, and was the wisest person around, what does that say for the person who knows everything?

We can never be certain whether knowing everything would be a blessing or curse. What we can be reasonably certain of is that no matter how much knowledge we gather throughout the course of our lives, no matter how good we get at our jobs, no matter how many Shakespeare quotes we can drop casually at our niece’s Quinceañera; we will never know everything. And one way or another, we need to become comfortable with that reality.

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