Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Perfect Imperfections

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone invented a time-travel machine which can bring us back to the past, or to the future?

On the one hand, we can travel into our past and correct every single mistake we have ever made—answer all those exam questions and achieve perfect scores; make the perfect investment decisions and make the best possible profits in any ventures; win every single football bet. In fact, there will be no possibility of making a mistake, ever. Well, OK, maybe our state Government don't really need a time-travel machine—it is aready travelling into the past right now by establishing a coal power plant in the east coast. But seriously, wouldn't it be nice to travel back to correct all our mistakes? We can go back over and over again to try out several things until we get the kind of outcomes we want.

Now on the other hand, it would also be very tempting to know what's the outcome of something if we could travel into the future. Experiments to find new cures for cancer, for example, need not wait for several decades or even centuries to actually happen. We can simply travel to the year 2500 and bring back the cure to the present time.

With the help of a time-travel machine, so many problems could be solved because when we do anything wrong, we can always do it again and again until we get it right.

Unfortunately, I foresee a major proportion of the human race would be miserable. As ridiculous as it may sound, many of us see the perfect scenario above as imperfect! We want the thrill and suspense of ignorance. When we read an interesting story book, very few of us would actually go directly to the last chapter to see the conclusion. We want to see how the story unfold; we want to follow the tide, the ups and downs in a natural flow.

Life means very little if we knew the answer to every single thing; every single problem. That will absolutely take the fun out of living. There is no more challenge in anything at all. Even if it may appear like we can live a perfect life knowing everything there is to know, the truth is that we're more alive when living a life of many little imperfections. In fact, it's those little imperfections that make life perfect!


delurk said...

It's not unusual for women to read the last chapter of a book before reading the whole book. I live with one!

Cornelius said...

Haha! delurk, perhaps the book thing wasn't a very good metaphor. But of course I don't rule out that some people would read the last chapter first before the rest of the book. But I'm inclined to believe that the majority wouldn't.

Some people want the short cut to the conclusion. So they would ask the fortune teller when and how will they become rich. How many children (and wives) will they have etc. But most people won't ask the fortune tellers, and I suspect it's not only because they don't believe in what the fortune tellers tell them. I think they want to find out for themselves.

Socrates29 said...

I know this post is not about fortune tellers but I beg to divert a bit since your last comment here did touch on fortune tellers and what they can do - tell other people's fortunes and luck, I just wonder if they can do these, how come they,the fortune tellers themselves can not predict their own fortunes and use their skills in foretelling to become rich themselves?

This way they don't have to go around knocking on our office doors to get people interested to hear their fortune.

Like other people operating their business in my office area, I have resorted to putting up amongst my "No Sales personnel,Please!" sign, a "No Fortune Teller" one also.

Cornelius said...

Ah! Socrates29, that is a slightly different story! Some fortune tellers would like to claim that they can "see" the future. This I don't believe. But I think it is possible to compile data, much the same way we compile data for medical research. When we have enough data, we can see a trend. So, for example, when a person smokes, has high blood pressure, is a diabetic etc, so it can been seen that he has a certain percentage higher risk of having a heart attack etc.

In a similar way, when there is enough data compiled, it may be seen that when people have a certain line on their palms in a specific place and in a specific curve or shape, that may suggest, based on data compiled, say, some sort of disease or windfall etc. But as in the medical research, it is not 100% certain. It merely suggests, based on the data compiled, that there is a higher possibility of it happening like that.

I suppose some fortune tellers consider themselves "rich" by the mere fact that they're able to "help" others to "see" their future - the kind of "richness" which may not translate into dollars and cents. Knowledge may be richness too to some people.

But as I said, not all of us would want to know our future even if the fortune teller can really tell us accurately. Well, maybe under some circumstances, we might be tempted to know!