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The Thought Experiment Thread
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Author:  brandrinn [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Would anyone ever want to destroy the bigger country instead of the smaller one? What would be the advantage?

You are Osama bin Laden. due to a freak clerical error, you have been given 72 virgins instead of eternal inundation in a lake of fire that burns but does not consume. Do you bring the error to someone's attention and suffer physical anguish for eternity, or keep quiet and enjoy the virgins, knowing that you are in the wrong place for eternity?

Author:  Latinist13 [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

brandrinn wrote:
Would anyone ever want to destroy the bigger country instead of the smaller one? What would be the advantage?

You are Osama bin Laden. due to a freak clerical error, you have been given 72 virgins instead of eternal inundation in a lake of fire that burns but does not consume. Do you bring the error to someone's attention and suffer physical anguish for eternity, or keep quiet and enjoy the virgins, knowing that you are in the wrong place for eternity?


If I was bin Laden, givenst bin Laden's worldview, I would think, "Haha! Suckers! I was right all along!!"

If you had to live on either zuppa toscana or bacon and fried egg cheeseburgers for the rest of your life, which would you choose? You may only pick one!

Author:  Torco [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

zuppa toscana, of course! I like my cheese, no question there, but I like my arteries much, much better. Furthermore, zuppa toscana sounds like a nice dish! I guess this is a question that's only a dilemma for an american.
[oh, snap! national stereotypes!]

You must either loose [as in dropped to very low levels] your ability to laugh, to empathize with others, or to think critically and rationally. The two abilities you choose will be greatly enhanced, but will never be able to work together or at the same time, so, for instance, you can empathize and laugh, but not at the same time. Which two do you pick ?

Author:  Risla [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Not really a competition here. Nerf laughter.

You must be a participant in a huge, world-changing event in the near future, and have the opportunity to pick sides. One side is clearly in the right and the other side is pretty evil, but you know that the morally good side is doomed to lose, with the evil side coming out on top. Either way, your survival is guaranteed. Which side do you pick?

Author:  Torco [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

the good side, of course. even if my survival wasn't guaranteed. I'd do a lot of things... I'd cheat, steal and lie, but fight against my principles.... not so much.

also, nerf laughter? really? I'd have nerfed empathy!
laughter is awesome.

You must be a participant in a huge, world-changing event in the near future, and have the opportunity to pick sides. One side is clearly in the right and the other side is pretty evil, but you know that the morally good side has a great chance to loose. You're likely to die if you stick with the good guys, and sure to get a position of much power if you switch to the bad guys. That position of power might in turn allow you to secretly fight against the evil thing from the inside. Which side do you pick?

Author:  Okuno [ Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Torco wrote:
the good side, of course. even if my survival wasn't guaranteed. I'd do a lot of things... I'd cheat, steal and lie, but fight against my principles.... not so much.

also, nerf laughter? really? I'd have nerfed empathy!
laughter is awesome.

You must be a participant in a huge, world-changing event in the near future, and have the opportunity to pick sides. One side is clearly in the right and the other side is pretty evil, but you know that the morally good side has a great chance to loose. You're likely to die if you stick with the good guys, and sure to get a position of much power if you switch to the bad guys. That position of power might in turn allow you to secretly fight against the evil thing from the inside. Which side do you pick?


Totally play the double agent. Sure, I might be ragged on in the history books, but I don't care after I'm dead. If I manage it well enough, I can get the good guys winning (that's in the range of possibility, right?) EDIT: Also, the bad guys get the awesome costumes and are played by Hugo Weaving.

Also, the laughter-empathy-thinking trilemma is particularly difficult for me. I mean, nerf laughter (I'm assuming I still have a sense of humor), but being able only to empathize in a non-critical fashion... how the hell would I do that? I have no idea 0.0 Nerfing laughter makes 2 things inoperable.

You are given the power to geographically/economically/etc mix any two groups of monolingual speakers such that a creole will eventually be formed. Which two languages would you pick for the strata? What are some features you'd hope for?

Author:  Nesescosac [ Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Okuno wrote:
You are given the power to geographically/economically/etc mix any two groups of monolingual speakers such that a creole will eventually be formed. Which two languages would you pick for the strata? What are some features you'd hope for?


Nuxálk and Rotokas, because they're entirely different. Somebody, please make this happen. I can't imagine what would arise as a result. Maybe it would be Nuxálk words with actual syllables.

Author:  Ulan [ Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Okuno wrote:
You are given the power to geographically/economically/etc mix any two groups of monolingual speakers such that a creole will eventually be formed. Which two languages would you pick for the strata? What are some features you'd hope for?



Mandrin substrata, Maya superstrate, chechen and pitjantjatjara/any abbolang as adstrata

lulz ensues

Author:  sucaeyl [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Okuno wrote:
You are given the power to geographically/economically/etc mix any two groups of monolingual speakers such that a creole will eventually be formed. Which two languages would you pick for the strata? What are some features you'd hope for?


Nahuatl and Sanskrit.

You can either be without language, or in other words, have no way to think verbally or communicate effectively, or be without sight and hearing, which would you choose?

Author:  Bristel [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

sucaeyl wrote:
You can either be without language, or in other words, have no way to think verbally or communicate effectively, or be without sight and hearing, which would you choose?


Without sight and hearing. Helen Keller was able to communicate after learning how to sign and read Braille. (and if I recall correctly, she could speak as well, being mostly mute during her childhood)

She later was the first deaf/blind woman to earn a Bachelor's degree. She also studied French, German, Latin and Greek, although I'm not sure how proficient she became in those languages.

If you had to write one book to save your life, would it be in the fiction or a natural sciences genre?

Author:  vampireshark [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Bristel wrote:
If you had to write one book to save your life, would it be in the fiction or a natural sciences genre?

Fiction. I love science and all, but writing fiction is much more enjoyable for me than scientific stuff.

You have been given the opportunity to instantly acquire proficiency in another language to the level of a native speaker; if you choose to take this opportunity, however, you will automatically lose any abilities you had in your native tongue and will never again be able to communicate in it. Would you use this opportunity and, if so, for what language?

Author:  Kereb [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

vampireshark wrote:
Would you use this opportunity and, if so, for what language?

Nope.

Boxers or briefs??

Author:  Astraios [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Kereb wrote:
Boxers or briefs??
On someone else, or to wear?

Author:  patiku [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

Kereb wrote:
Boxers or briefs??


I don't wear undies.

Jigsaw has locked you and Barack Obama together in a room with a needle full of AIDS. Obama is tied up, and you have the needle. When you inject someone with the needle Jigsaw will let you out and use hypnotism to erase your memories. Who do you inject?

Author:  Torco [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

what? obama, obviously. I don't want AIDS!

next: you can either never have sex again or never enjoy a meal again, what do you choose.

Author:  patiku [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

But what happens in a few years when Obama declares war on Pakistan (read the New York Times, they are already planting news items to get people psyched for it)? He'll hardly inspire confidence up at the podium while he's wearing a hospital gown and coughing up a lung.

Author:  Torco [ Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Thought Experiment Thread

patiku wrote:
But what happens in a few years when Obama declares war on Pakistan (read the New York Times, they are already planting news items to get people psyched for it)? He'll hardly inspire confidence up at the podium while he's wearing a hospital gown and coughing up a lung.


Pakistan and the states can nuke the crap out of each other for all I care, I'm half a planet away from both, and antirad meds sounds a lot better than AIDS

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