Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One Now: Failing the Marshmallow Test

You are placed in a three-sided room which contains three doors, one on each wall, each of which leads to a separate room. Your room contains three buttons, each of which can open one of the doors.

In the second room are a billion male Tigers and a billion pregnant female Tigers. They are all hungry and they all want to eat you. Their room has no buttons.

In the third room is a Merchant. His room contains three buttons, each of which can open one of the doors. He can press one of the buttons to open the automatic door between your room and the Tiger room. This will permit one Tiger at a time to enter your room and attack you.

In another room is the Cuck. His room contains three buttons which produce happy beeping noises but do not open any doors. He will cry, self-fellate, self-mutilate, overeat, undereat, call you any bad name he can think of, and attempt to slap you if you harm any of the Tigers, harm the Merchant, harm him, demand that the button system be shut down, demand that others stay out of your room, fall asleep, get eaten by the first Tiger, get eaten by the second Tiger, get eaten by the billionth Tiger, or take any other conceivable or inconceivable action.

The experiment begins. Here are your options:

(1) Do nothing. Result: the Merchant presses the button to open the door between your room and the Tiger room and a Tiger enters. You embrace it. It eats you. The Cuck slaps his beepy buttons and wails in dismay. The Merchant then presses the button to open the door between your room and the Cuck's room, through which the Tiger passes, and the Cuck is then eaten. In your last moments, you were amazed and confused that a Tiger would eat you.

(2) Prepare yourself. Result: the Merchant opens the door and you shoot the first Tiger. The Cuck slaps his beepy buttons and wails in dismay. The Merchant releases another Tiger. You shoot the second Tiger. The Cuck cries noisily and the Merchant releases another Tiger. You continue shooting until you run out of bullets. The seventh Tiger eats you. The Merchant then presses the button to open the door between your room and the Cuck's room, through which the Tiger passes, and the Cuck is then eaten. You die satisfied that the Cuck is going to get what is coming to him.

(3) You taunt the Cuck by pressing the button to open the door to his room, and you get in an argument with him about how stupid it is to live near Tigers. The Cuck wails in dismay and slaps you. You make fun of him for his inability to perceive the Tiger threat. You discuss and make charts and cartoons of mountainous centuries of data depicting how hungry Tigers like to eat people. You argue that you should maybe follow the Merchant's example in fortifying the doors between all of your rooms and the Tiger's room. Result: the Merchant fortifies his own door and then presses the button to open your door and you shoot the first Tiger. The Cuck wails in dismay and slaps you and the Merchant releases another Tiger. You shoot the second Tiger. The Cuck cries noisily and you shoot the Cuck and you are satisfied that he was a traitor and you killed him and you are better than he was. The Merchant releases another Tiger. You continue shooting until you run out of bullets. The sixth Tiger eats you.

(4) You press the button to open the Merchant's door and enter it and shoot him. The Cuck wails in dismay. You discover that the Merchant's room contains the door out of the testing facility. You leave.

Only one choice leads to a future free of death by Tigers. Centuries of testing show that numbers 1-3 inexplicably remain the most popular options by a significant margin. Prediction: death.

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