You cannot tame a great white

What’s the difference between procrastination and exploration? Specifically, on the internet?

The difference has something to do with motivation. Procrastination is driven by the avoidance of a hard, boring, worthless, or meaningful task. Exploration is driven by the search for something. Sometimes, that something is defined and explicit. Other times, you don’t know what you’re trying to find until you stumble across it. 

Perhaps you could say that with procrastination the intended outcome is known. It’s avoidance of something. But with exploration, the intended outcome is unknown. You don’t know what you’re going to find.

In a recent procrastination session, I came across this question. Are there any animals which cannot be tamed by humans? Someone gave an answer. Great white sharks. I read on.

Of the seven reasons why they can’t be kept in captivity, I want to highlight two. The first considers their mental state and temperament in captivity

“They get depressed in captivity. Great white sharks that are kept within tanks have been known to head butt their noses into the glass walls and lose their appetites. It has also been noted that they get increasingly aggressive.”

The second highlights their feeding habits.

“They refuse to be fed by humans, leading them to either die of starvation or be released into the wild. As predators, great white sharks are natural hunters and need the thrill of the hunt to survive—they will not survive on already dead small fish.”

Both of these observations are interesting. As are the other five I didn’t include. That can be deduced from the number of upvotes the answer has. Almost one thousand.

But it’s also sad. Great white sharks starve themselves and self-harm when they are taken out of their natural environment? That’s bad enough. But think about how we attained that knowledge. For us to know that great whites get depressed, starve themselves and bash their head against glass, we have to have seen it happen. We have to have put a great white shark in such a position.

That’s one of the saddest realities about progress. It’s expensive. Because to make progress, we have to figure out what doesn’t work. To decide what’s right and true, we must first discover what is wrong and false. And that process involves a lot of pain and suffering for the objects of our studies.