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Deserted Island

  1. Mar 25, 2006 #1
    I will evoke a hypothetical situation and will ask 1 or 2 simple questions. Excuse my english and writting skills, or rather lack of, it is not my virtue. You can also skip my babbling completely (recommended) and go directly to the SUMMARY.

    warning: this is most likely waste of your time.

    After ship wreck Arnie, Hitler, Einstein, Sun Tzu and Enrique Iglesias find themselves on a deserted island. They have nothing but their bare hands, they are hungry and without a cozy place to rest in.

    Arnie, naturally, took the role of the group leader coz hes simply the strongest of the bunch, he never panics, and hes got a cool accent. So he says: "Ok guys we need a plan! Throw me a bone here, Im listening.."

    Einstein says: "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?"

    Hitler says: "Become strong again in spirit, strong in will, strong in endurance, strong to bear all sacrifices! Ein Volk Ein Reich Ein Führer!"

    Sun Tzu says: "Calculate advantages by means of what was heard, then create force in order to assist outside missions. Force is the control of the balance of power, in accordance with advantages."

    and when Enrique starts singing : "All I need is a rhythm divine.." Arnie knows he wont get anything useful from those four fools so he says: "You Ubermensch will go with the smart ass Jew and find us some shelter. You singing fag shut the f*** up already! You will go with the general and get us some food. I will go to check the island for any signs of life and stuff and we'll all meet here again before dusk. Agreed?!?"

    *everyone nods in fear of the Pumping Iron and they go about their business.*

    At dusk, when they meet again, Arnie shouts: "Report!"

    Hitler says: "We are all proud that through God's powerful aid, we have become once more true Germans and we've found a suitable cave boss. And even if the entrance was blocked by a huge boulder, we managed to make our way inside. However, I have to complain about Einstein! I admit I was clueless what to do about the boulder and he was the one who came up with the ingenious idea of heating it up and cooling it down several times untill it cracked and broke appart, but I was the one who had to make the fire, bring wood and water. He refused to help me babbling something about "arbeit macht frei" and something about a ray of light he was travelling on.. damn fool!"

    Einstein smiles and replies: "Well, the only source of knowledge is experience mein Führer. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others."

    Arnie nods in agreement and says: "Das ist gut meine Buben! You did quite well .. for one german and one lesser german. So how about you Sun Tzu and Enrique? Was your mission a succesful one as well?"

    Sun Tzu says: "Killing the enemy is a matter of arousing anger in men; when we've met this very dangerous wild pig I told Enrigue that the pig said Ricky Martin's butt is much more sexier than his and proceeded to sing Livin' La Vida Loca. Enrique went ballistic, jumped the pig and broke its neck in a single blow. Needless to say that Enrique was so pissed and shocked that I had to carry the dead pig all the way back here. He was just checking his butt constantly, looking into the pig eyes and mumbling something about sad eyes or something. Hes a fag anyways .."

    Arnie is somehow disgusted but since deep down hes a nice guy he wants to show some compassion. He pats Enrique on the back and says: "You did a great job by killing that dangerous pig Enrique! Whats the matter with you amigo?"

    Enrigue doest even look up and still starring into the dead pig's eyes starts singing "Because Sad Eyes Never Lie, Sad Eyes Never Lie, Sad Eyes Never Lie.."

    Now to the point.

    SUMMARY: we have 5 ppl who worked together, each one according to his own abilities and according to the given task and momentary situation.

    Hitler: did almost all the dirty work
    Einstein: moved no finger and used exclusively his witts
    Sun Tzu: used his wisdom and did some labour
    Enrique: is the hero he killed the pig! sang songs, was sad
    Arnie: gave orders, did some scouting, hes the boss

    QUESTION: How will they divide the pig once its grilled? Who and why gets the biggest/most tasty part and who and why gets the smallest/least tasty part?

    PS nothing in this post is ment to be racist or degradatory, its just my sick "sense of humor". i hope i didnt break any rules and if so feel free to remove this post.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2006 #2
    so .. nobody wants to carve the pig for those guys? or is it a dumb question to ask how and why should they devide the pig?

    lets say they should devide the pig as equally as possible simply because they all worked together, according to their abilities, given task and momentary sutiation. anything else than equal division of the pig would be discriminatory~discriminating as in: to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit - http://www.webster.com/

    would anyone disagree with that statement? and if so why?

    edit: id like to stress that arguments of type "Einstien wouldnt eat pig..." are besides the point. we could just use person A,B,C,D,E instead but i found that boring.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2006
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #3


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    If they didn't have some kind of prior agreement (formal or informal) as to how they would divide the bounty, then there's no way of saying how they would do it. Hitler and arguably SunTzu maybe and even Arnie if he's in his 'strong man' mode, might not even want a 'moral' or 'fair' solution. Hitler wouldn't even be predisposed to give anything to someone who he deemed as being 'weak' or less than human. Remember what the Nazis would have thought of Jews, Einstein being Jewish.
    So there's really no way of knowing.

    Ultimately, it seems you're simply asking everyones opinion as to what would constitute the proper, 'moral' outcome for this scenario in any case. Your question seems be the perennial one regarding what one does regarding 'free riders' but it also seems ask what the nature of authority is and how does the use of power affect the moral outcome of situations.

    My own answer is that they should divide it equally at first but that everyone in his own way must eventually contribute to some extent. That being said however, if it's the 'old Einstein' we're talking about, does one allow 'retirees' on the island, island-citizens who aren't expected to work for their share? Again, my answer would be yes, but they would have to agree to that at first. And, if some aren't predisposed to 'mutual agreement,' then who's to say what the outcome could be? It would merely be survival of the fittest. If one or a few first don't even 'believe in' or 'agree to' moral justice or fairness, then all bets are off anyway.

    Cheers, mrj
  5. Mar 28, 2006 #4
    If they were interested in maximizing their chance of survival it seems to me they ought to distribute it according to weight or according to expected energy output (most physical labor). I would also consider this to be the most "fair" or "moral" solution. Would they care (or think about) maximizing their odds of survival and/or come up with the same conclusion? I don't know. Maybe their odds are better with only four or three people.

    edit: interesting, i realize in retrospect that i associated "their odds" with the best chance of keeping at least one person alive for the longest amount of time, as apposed to say, the whole group for the longest amount of time.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  6. Mar 28, 2006 #5
    This is nothing that some paper-rock-scissors couldn't solve rather quickly.

    What would be more interesting is the moral dillemma they would be in if there was no pig and the had to determine who would be the first to be cannabalized first. That would no doubt be decided by a 4-way battle to the death unless one person willingly ageed to be the sacrifice. Arnie, being the leader as he is, should do the moral thing and offer himself up.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  7. Mar 29, 2006 #6
    mrj - so your argument is based on "prior agreement"? that makes sense to me yes. however, there was no prior agreement in this hypothetical situation, nor "free riders" nor "retirees". the summary states the conditions present at the time.

    Greg825 - according to needs.. thats very good i think. how could we determine if their odds are better with only four or three? with the info we have its clear that if one of them would not cooperate they wouldnt have nothing to roast nor a shelter.

    RVBuckeye - paper-rock-scissors? is that what you would agree to or like in such situation? personally id be pretty mad if i wouldnt get my "fair" share simply beause i would be hungry.
  8. Mar 29, 2006 #7
    One pig could feed 4 grown men, with food to spare probably. If there is a food source on the island, I don't think they would even fight over who got what.
  9. Mar 29, 2006 #8


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    There was exactly such kind of situation displayed in some reality TV programme over here. People with totally different temperaments were released, without anything else but their clothes, on a deserted island...
  10. Mar 29, 2006 #9
    vanesch> was there any kind of reward for the participants of the "reality" TV programme for their participation?

    RVBuckeye> ok since you seem to resist ;) you avoided my question. lets try one more time and lets try to picture yourself as one of those 5 (not 4 btw) men ok? say you are .. who you want to be? i will be Arnie and you will be Enrique if thats ok.

    i say: the whole pig is mine! you want a piece you have to fight me for it! or you know what? i will share with all of you but Enrique.

    what do you do? how would you feel?

    btw if there was no pig and they had to kill and eat each other to survive, i dont think there would be any dilema at all... survival of the fittest would solve such situation. however, survival of the fittest princile has little to do with morals.
  11. Mar 29, 2006 #10
    Reisistance is futile....:rofl:
    OK, what are enriques options? Option one, Enrique could propose to solve the situation by rock-paper-scissors. For the desired result of cooperations and survivability of all. (he is an artist you know, very compassionate)
    Oprion 2- Get his own pig. This could possibly lead to several outcomes. If he kept it all to himself, he risks angering the rest of the group by not aiding in their survival. Also, he could share with the rest of the group, even Arinie (you), and raise his leadership status among the group. I doubt he would try to exclude Arnie, if he tried to share, because that wouldn't be as effective if his goal was to take over as leader. (He is an artist you know, not wanting to inflame the situation.)
    Option 3- Take him up on his offer and beat his a$$. At the risk of being hurt or injured in the process. (Not very likely because he's an artist, you know, he's sensitive)
    That's is how I think Enrique would respond, and would act in that order. Violence would be a last result.
    Now, "I" (as myself, the person typing), would probably act choosing option 2, then one, then 3. (i'm not an artist) However, according to how and when your morals kick in, it is my belief that it is completely dependent on the amount of time you are given to react once the situation presents itself. If "I" had to make a split-second decision, (like Arnie was all up in my face trying to exert dominance, and I was starving, no other food in sight), I might choose the 3rd option first because my survival instinct is being threatened. Human beings have the odd ability to act irrationally when presented spur-of-the-moment decisions and would likely react how they were "programmed" to act. Do they follow their survival instinct? (the whole "fight-or-flee" routine)

    I think we agree on what would happen in this situation. I just showed above my rationalle on how the two are related. (They are related by the time given for you to think and let your morals kick in)
  12. Mar 29, 2006 #11
    you only needed to post the summary

    anyway, I'd divide the pig equally, regardless, to avoid any dangerous conflict
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