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Old 12-17-2009, 03:44 PM   #1
desertgrandma
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Who should be saved?

HA! Thought I was going to get serious here, didn't you?

Actually, I'm in the midst of reading an outstanding short story by Arthur C. Clark.

An advanced civilization gets to Earth just before Sun hits nova.

(I haven't finished it yet so don't spoil it for me.....life keeps getting in the way! Damn dishes, dinners and chores!)

So........they have (maybe) chance to save just a few hundred people, if there are still any left.

The question is........how to choose? The commander of the ship has to make the decision.

My question to YOU, MobileRead members and philosophers extraordinaire, is this.

How would you decide who to save? Remember, you have room for only a few hundred. If that.

Cats and dogs, llamas squirrels or penguins not allowed. Nor otters. (sorry)

Who do you save?
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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This was already addressed in Dr. Strangelove:

Quote:
Well I... I would hate to have to decide.. who stays up and.. who goes down.

Strangelove:

Well, that would not be necessary Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross section of necessary skills. Of course it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Slams down left fist. Right arm rises in stiff Nazi salute. Arrrrr! Restrains right arm with left. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. But ah with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present gross national product within say, twenty years.

Muffley:

But look here doctor, wouldn't this nucleus of survivors be so grief stricken and anguished that they'd, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?

Strangelove:

No sir... Right arm rolls his wheelchair backwards. Excuse me. Struggles with wayward right arm, ultimately subduing it with a beating from his left.

Also when... when they go down into the mine everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead! Ahhhh! Right arm reflexes into Nazi salute. He pulls it back into his lap and beats it again. Gloved hand attempts to strangle him.
Turgidson:

Doctor, you mentioned the ration of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

Strangelove:

Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

DeSadeski:

I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

Strangelove:

Thank you, sir.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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This was already addressed in Dr. Strangelove:

Such a typical male solution........
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:09 PM   #5
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I'd first save a bunch of computer weanies, because i can't go without my gadgets and can't fix the things to save my life. Then I'd save my wife, because I kinda dig her. After that, I'd let the hordes claw and spike their way to the door of the ship and let the first five hundred get on board just for the entertainment value.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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And then I'd wander around, wondering out loud why it was me who got to decide...
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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I'd first save a bunch of computer weanies, because i can't go without my gadgets and can't fix the things to save my life. Then I'd save my wife, because I kinda dig her. After that, I'd let the hordes claw and spike their way to the door of the ship and let the first five hundred get on board just for the entertainment value.
NO no!!

You are the captain of the alien ship.

You have to choose which of the miserable humans left on Earth to save.

You have no personal agenda..........how do you choose?
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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Cats and dogs, llamas squirrels or penguins not allowed. Nor otters. (sorry)
Why not?
If I don't save my two dogs, no one deserves to be saved! And if my two dogs are saved, what about all the other cute little creatures? Who are they gonna play with?

Now if you insist it must be humans...
Nah, let them all die, I'm an indecisive kind of person The end would surely come before I could make up my mind anyway...
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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Oh, right. Alien without agenda? Totally without agenda? Flip a coin.

Human in a rubber suit alien? Choose based on genetic probability for survival, depending on the final destination. Choose for fertitlity. Non-fertile escapees only for superior knowledge or skills not obtainable through anyone else. Amongst the millions eligible by the first two categories, choose based on skill sets that match what conditions will be at the destination and what skills need to be preserved and with redundancy.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
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NO no!!

You are the captain of the alien ship.

You have to choose which of the miserable humans left on Earth to save.

You have no personal agenda..........how do you choose?
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Then you have nightmares for the rest of your life.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:33 PM   #11
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Oh oh, I know! SAVE THE CHILDREN!
I'll change my mind in a minute, but until then I stand by my decision.
Small children only, say up to 7-8 years old, or maybe younger, representatives of all races. Or maybe....
Arghhhhh, I'm getting indecisive already.
The responsibility is killing me...
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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Oh oh, I know! SAVE THE CHILDREN!
I'll change my mind in a minute, but until then I stand by my decision.
Small children only, say up to 7-8 years old, or maybe younger, representatives of all races. Or maybe....
Arghhhhh, I'm getting indecisive already.
The responsibility is killing me...
Thats a good answer.

However, aren't you perhaps going to miss out on some specialized knowledge/skill some adult humans might have that children don't yet?

Remember, these are aliens from all over the known and unknown universe. They've learned to work together, for the good of all.

What could some humans have that would 'tilt' the scales towards their salvation?
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #13
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Oh, right. Alien without agenda? Totally without agenda? Flip a coin.

Human in a rubber suit alien? Choose based on genetic probability for survival, depending on the final destination. Choose for fertitlity. Non-fertile escapees only for superior knowledge or skills not obtainable through anyone else. Amongst the millions eligible by the first two categories, choose based on skill sets that match what conditions will be at the destination and what skills need to be preserved and with redundancy.
You don't have the time. From what I"ve read so far, you only have about 1/2 to 1 hour.

Choose.

Interesting dilemma. Fascinating question, to me.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #14
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Thats a good answer.

However, aren't you perhaps going to miss out on some specialized knowledge/skill some adult humans might have that children don't yet?

Remember, these are aliens from all over the known and unknown universe. They've learned to work together, for the good of all.

What could some humans have that would 'tilt' the scales towards their salvation?
I see what you're saying, and that's what I immediately thought after I posted my idea. But I wouldn't want to save the scientists. Useful people, but they can be out of touch with anything but their field of expertise...
How about this: save the children, and all of earth's books.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #15
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I see what you're saying, and that's what I immediately thought after I posted my idea. But I wouldn't want to save the scientists. Useful people, but they can be out of touch with anything but their field of expertise...
How about this: save the children, and all of earth's books.
Paper or ebooks?

Karma to you for that one........but they have to save people.

They don't need scientists. They are way beyond anything we can even conceive of.


The children are of course, the first thought. But.........how will they be able to rebuild a human civilization, and know what it is to be human, without the knowledge that comes from those who have lived before?

Last edited by desertgrandma; 12-17-2009 at 05:56 PM. Reason: sp
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