Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Choosing the Blue Pill

Okay, so you've just betrayed your fellow human freedom-fighters, and the evil artificial intelligence programs that rule the world are about to reward your disloyalty by plugging you back into the blissful ignorance of the Matrix. Before you go in, the machines are also offering to reward you by uploading five abilities of your choice into your mind. Which do you pick?

Basically, the question here is: if there was no cost in time, effort, and money spent attaining a learn-able talent, which ones would you choose? While you think that over, here are my picks:

1. Math
A major building block for other knowledge, with a complete understanding of mathematics, I can fairly easily move on to conquer the worlds of physics, chemistry, economics, etc.

2. The entirety of English literature
With the complete data base of books written in English encoded into my neurons, not only am I incredibly well prepared for any cocktail party or surprise English quiz, but I've also knocked off a good year or so of my life that would otherwise have been spent reading the books. And if I really want to read something new? Well, I can always go for modern literature, or rely on:

3. Fluency in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.
In addition to being able to communicate in most of the world, knowing two Romance languages and Chinese would make learning other languages much more readily accessible.

4. Tennis
Being talented at tennis requires a combination of qualities that translate well to most other sports: muscle-memory, speed, stamina, hand-eye coordination, and a good mental game. With tennis mastered, I could branch out to dominate other sports as well.

5. The canon of medical texts committed to memory
Having an enormous body of medical literature at my fingertips would make me the ultimate diagnosing machine. I could go through hundreds of patients a day, reading the case history and sending them to get the appropriate treatment. Each year I could helps tens of thousands of people get the appropriate care and save tons of time and money.

Ice skating, the ability to play musical instruments, ability to read expressions, poker odds memorized, archive of all high level chess games

1 comment:

Rachel said...

So I have no world domination dreams or anything so my knowledge will be what I want in my sphere of influence. o.k. plug me in:

1. conservative theology- I have a lot of reading ahead of me and this would considerably speed up the process!
2. how to effectively win arguments- this would be useful in so many ways!!
3. Spanish (I can put that together with my number two choice and my in-laws won't know what hit them!!
4. Investing
5. Writing- if I knew all the rules then maybe I could actually get paid for doing something I love. We could live anywhere and my husband could quit his job to become a session drummer.