Would You Rather...

BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
Inspired from the College Humor column, in turn inspired from the children's game; the WYR below, which I got from that column, once generated some rather intense discussion at work.

After around a day of responses, someone can post a new WYR.

Would you rather:
  • Work your dream job for free and have to live off Welfare/National Assistance, or--
  • Sit naked in a padded cell 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for a year, but then get $5,000,000/£3.900.000 tax-free.*
* To be pedantic, assume water and basic sanitation are provided, but you can't bring anything in from outside; also assume you must be at least in a sitting position and can't lie down.


  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Work my dream job for free and have to live off Welfare/National Assistance
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    I'm mildly surprised you were able to choose the first option with that little hesitation.
    Several people I asked said right away "I'm supporting a family--I'd have to take the Cell." Most of others struggled to make the Cell work--"Would I really have to be naked?" (several women were bothered by that), "Could I sleep?", "Could I bring an iPod?".
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Having to live off welfare/national assistance would mean that I'd never have to worry about money or cash flow. I could not last even for five minutes in a cell not being able to lie down.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Oh, if the Cell would essentially be a death sentence, then perfectly understandable. Having had Welfare-levels of income as a Grad Student (if I hadn't been able to live at home...), I would still hesitate on Option 1.
  • SipechSipech Shipmate
    After the savage cuts to the benefits system by the Conservatives over the last 9 years, I'd say option 1 isn't enough to live on. I've stuck out some bad jobs in order to pay the rent, so think I might be able to manage option 2.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Sipech wrote: »
    'd say option 1 isn't enough to live on.

    At least I wouldn't have to worry about gaining weight.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    In the UK, living off welfare is very unpredictable, due to cuts and changes. People can go weeks without receiving anything, and go without food, or have to rely on foodbanks. And the amount of money people get is tiny. So you wouldn't really never have to worry about money. You may be constantly worrying about making ends meet.

    But with option 2, if you have to remain seated, and can't get up and walk around, that is going to be bad for your circulation, and could lead to blood clots. Unless you are able to sleep seated, and you can use that as your sleep time. I'd have to know much more about that option.
  • The problem is that people on welfare do gain weight. Often all they can afford is unhealthy stodge - biscuits and pasta, anything to fill up with. Fruit or decent quality meat or fish are expensive.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    edited February 17
    fineline wrote: »
    ...with option 2, if you have to remain seated, and can't get up and walk around, that is going to be bad for your circulation, and could lead to blood clots. Unless you are able to sleep seated, and you can use that as your sleep time. I'd have to know much more about that option.

    Apologies: With "at least a sitting position", I meant you would still be allowed to stand, stretch, etc.--to further clarify, anything you could ordinarily do in a cell-sized space with the exception of lying down.

    BTW, I probably would try to sleep in a sitting position with Option 2, but don't know if I could.

    ETA: While many WYRs do deal with physical/moral danger, boredom and isolation should be the main problems with this one's Option 2.

  • agingjbagingjb Shipmate
    Only 12 hours a day, with Sundays off? Luxury.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Thinking about both options...

    If you were working your dream job, you still wouldn't love it every day. There would be frustrations, you'd get fed up sometimes, and if you weren't getting paid, it would be very easy to feel demotivated. Especially if you were constantly worrying about making ends meet, and knowing you wouldn't have money to fix anything that went wrong in your home. And if you didn't have enough to eat, or you were eating unhealthy food, it would be harder to concentrate.

    In theory, twelve hours a day in a padded cell would be great for prayer. In practice, you'd probably become intolerant of sensory stimuli and of other people's company, and the outside world would become difficult to deal with, at first at least, especially if you were just going home to sleep. You'd be living increasingly in your head - because if you have nothing external for twelve hours, your experience will all be inside your head. You might write a book inside your head - I think I remember reading that is what Terry Waite did when he was in solitary captivity.

    A lot of people find it very difficult to be alone and in silence. I like to be alone and in silence, but even so, I would find the cell option difficult. But I would probably choose it, given that you can walk around too, and I would sleep crouching in a corner. I easily fall asleep seated. However, realistically, in my sleepiness, I would probably automatically switch to a lying position. What would happen then? Would there be a CCTV camera watching, and then I'd be booted and have to switch to living on welfare? If that were the consequence, I would treat it as a waking night shift duty and be very careful not to shut my eyes.

    Also, does the cell have lighting, or is it dark? If it has lighting, is it natural lighting from a window, or artificial lighting? If the latter, do we have the option to choose what kind of lighting, or turn it off? Because fluorescent lights make me dizzy and unwell, and if it involved sitting for twelve hours underneath a fluorescent light, then I wouldn't choose it.

    I'm also curious how the nakedness works. Do we undress in a room outside the cell and walk in naked? Or undress once we're in there, and can then sit on our clothes? Is the cell clean?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Also, am I correct you can't eat during these twelve hours? You can only drink water and go to the toilet?
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    As I would understand Option 2:
    There would be lighting, and it would not be a distraction in itself, but would provide no interest either (perhaps from a window too high to see out of). Food would probably be too "interesting" for the scenario, unless a particularly bland choice--you would have to be truly hungry to want to eat it--could be provided.* The nakedness is meant for vulnerability instead of voyeurism, so having a screen in front of the entrance and leaving your clothes behind seems a plausible procedure. As constant surveillance may be a deal-breaker, perhaps the one thing worn would be a sensor on a headband--an alarm would go off if got near floor level.

    Have thought myself of trying to compose something in my head in the Cell, but have no idea how that would turn out.

    * Noted that this may be deal-breaker for some people for health reasons.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    This is interesting. If you are alone in the cell, and there is no CCTV, how is nakedness vulnerability? I can't see any negative function of nakedness other than maybe feeling a bit chilly, or potential lack of hygiene if you are sitting on a dirty floor with your orifices uncovered. Hence clothes on the floor would be nice.

    I would find it interesting to think of a bland food to have. I would see if I could have raw veg and fruit, and some nuts. I would ask for two carrots, two tomatoes, a bag of sugar snap peas, a quarter of a cucumber, a bowl of black grapes, a banana, and a bag of salted peanuts. I would get a doctor's note saying I need to eat little and often, and I need salty food. Which my doctor does say - it would be a true note. I would imagine in general, people's need for food would be less about hunger and more about not being faint, especially when they leave the cell and go out into the world and take the bus home.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Ha, I've imagined this so vividly, I almost wish it were real. I would quite like to try it!
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Some interesting feedback. Next WYR--

    Space Aliens have abducted you with no witnesses. You will never be able to return to Earth,

    Would you rather the Aliens:
    • Faked your death, letting people eventually get on with their lives, or:
    • Left no trace of evidence, never allowing true resolution.*
    * Assume any items you usually have on you during the day (Wallet, ID, etc.) would disappear as well.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Surely better to fake my death, otherwise time and resources would be wasted searching for me. And if I've left planet earth for good, I am, for all intents and purposes, dead.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    True, but some people may want to leave some hope, even if false, behind.

    (Though maybe this WYR won't be as difficult as the previous one...)
  • I'm late to the show, but for a year, I'd take the padded cell in a heartbeat. I can afford to sit and think for a year for that much money - after that I can take the money and live off it while I'm doing something enjoyable.

    For the aliens, I think it matters exactly what the "without a trace" means. There are cases in which I can be proved to have "vanished" - go into a room with one exit, but don't come back out, for example - and cases in which it would look like I had done a runner.

    Financial considerations aside, I think I would prefer my family to think that I had vanished in inexplicable circumstances rather than died, and I would prefer that they think I had died rather than run away.

    Although from a financial point of view, I don't think my insurance would pay out for alien abduction, so given that I have kids that need providing for, I'll have to pick "died" for now.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    edited February 21
    Let’s have knowing you inexplicably disappeared from an enclosed space count as “witnessing” (though that may wind up making the faked-death choice more likely).
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    BTW, I’m currently leaning towards False Hope, if only as less of an immediate shock.
  • Doesn't it depend what sort of death they fake?
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    edited February 23
    I would assume staged horrific accident with appropriate copies of dental evidence, non-organic remains, etc. (not sure what else wouldn't leave loose ends).
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