Sunday, November 11, 2007


100 Languages

You can have the ability to speak and understand a hundred languages, on the condition that a person chosen at random dies one day earlier than he would ordinarily have died. Do you accept this "gift"?

most definitely yes...
Yes. But I would then kill a millionaire and give his money to a group of Nazi scientists to fund research into restoring Einstein's brain so that he can, among other things, solve the abortion debate, AIDS crisis and problems with the economy whilst using African children to create and maintain an army of space-robots to patrol the universe and cull the alien hordes. So, as can be clearly seen, the benefits would outweigh the costs.
I always skip lunch.
I don't mean to sound cheesy, but absolutely not. A day of life is worth more than any ability. I couldn't live with myself knowing I'd shortened someone's life.

Now, could I choose to shorten my own life by one day in return for this ability, I'd say, "Definitely!"
Who's going to pay for my cultural travels, medical attention after contracting a host of maladies? All that to speak with third worlders who have not gotten out of the stone age? Hell no I wouldn't cut some ones life string a bit shorter (unless it was an evil thug, elitist or puppet politician,lol), I'd hire a guide, a translator if needed. Why embarrass yourself with a foreign tongue and have people ask you, "where y'all from? You ain't from around here."
can i pick the person ??
Nope! It is called MURDER.
All you high and mighty moralists must be kidding. If you live in the US (or a country with a similar high life style) you are shortening people's lives everyday with your massive polluting and overconsumption. You just don't have to think about it or see it directly. You think that the little kids who make your Nike shoes enjoy good health? Grow up and realize that all animals (including humans and even strict herbivores) live by killing, whether it be direct killing/consumption or by consuming the resources that something or someone else would have been able to use. Think of the good that could be done with such a gift, even if it comes at a steep cost.
I say yes, because I think the essence of this question lies with another question: Is the LAST day of a person's life really that valuable when compared to all their younger days? Of course the person could be young though and just die a day earlier then they would've at age 18 or something. I would want to know how this random person's life would end 'unordinarily'. If it was painless then maybe you'd be doing them a favor since they may have actually been destined for an agonizing death. I think everybody knows they could die any day so you have to make the most of what you got and I don't think the random person would mind that I shortened their temporary physical existence on earth by one day for such an amazing gift. Then again without being able to travel this gift wouldn't come in handy that much, except maybe reading stuff I normally couldn't. Oh well...
No. I speak English and the rest of the world can either speak it or I don't need to know what they said. How important could it be? Let someone have that vital extra day and I'll get along without the muted knowlege of the Swahili people.
It's rather disgusting reading some of these comments. Bob's Yer Uncle, thank you for not being typical in your response.

There is a negative stereotype toward people that speak English (more specifically, Americans that speak English) directly resulting from such comments as "I speak English and the rest of the world can either speak it or I don't need to know what they said. How important could it be?"

Are you kidding me? There are several other major languages spoken on this planet besides English. Have you forgotten about French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean. The list goes on. These are the major languages of the world, but that doesn't mean we should discount the lesser know languages.

You ask "how important can it be?" What if the cure for Aids or Cancer is know by a small tribe of people deep in the jungles of Congo and the only way to gain access to that knowledge is to learn their centuries old language? Why would they ever need to know English when their community exists outside of our "western" idea of the world.

Study the cultures of the world, you'll find that their "muted" knowledge is more advanced than you think. Often times, we find that they have know the answers to questions that "civilized" scientists take centuries to discover.

Of course it can be argued "what difference can a day make?". Maybe the day that stranger dies is the day they would have unlocked the secrets of the universe and shared them with the world. The more important question is what more important: having and using a skill that could possibly connect you to every culture of the world and using that gift to create a greater understanding between all the world's peoples or relying on an undetermined "day" of ultimate discovery that may or may not come.

A simpler way to explain the dilemma would be: a man is told that one day in the future at an indeterminate time, he will receive a phone call telling him he's won a million dollars with instructions on how to collect the money. He must take the phone call personally on his home phone to receive the instructions. This phone call can come at any time during his lifetime. So what does he do? Sit at home and wait while his bills go unpaid and his life passes him by or should he risk it and continue with his life and his job, and make the money the hard way?
Absolutely not! Knowing my luck the random person would be me and would've been originally scheduled to die tomorrow.
Of course. What's one day, if you don't know when you're going to die.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker