Friday, February 26, 2010

The Midas Touch

As a card carrying geek, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about and speculating on the nature of super powers. Which would I like to have? Which would I not like to have? What are the limitations of abilities granted to heroes in comics and film? These are among the things that clutter the space in my head that would otherwise be occupied by math, science, and other useful skills.

The other day I found myself thinking about a discussion I saw somewhere. A reporter asked an interview subject a fluff question that was along the lines of "If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?" and the person said that they would love to have the ability to touch any book and immediately know it's entire contents.

Something about this stuck with me (only this part obviously, since I don't remember a single other detail from the interview) and it made me wonder about the nature of that power. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it would be terrible. I mean, I can see the benefits of being able to touch a text book and know it's contents, but the only way I can see this ability being worth it, is if it were controllable. If not, it would be more like a Midas touch, in my opinion.

The ability to simply touch a work of fiction and know the whole story would destroy the pleasure of reading. I don't think that I'm alone in feeling like the joy of a good book is in the slow burn, the cup of coffee you drink while you're reading, the gradual unfolding of events... to simply know the story isn't the same as having read it, even if you do know every single word.

Such are the musings of a man with entirely too much time on his hands.


buckart1007 said...

I totally agree. I also think there would be a certain amount of overload if you touched more than one book in a certain period of time. I think your brain would still need to assimilate all that info.

I'm officially following your blog.

Tom Wyatt said...

same here.