Low risk, high pay

This is the second strand of thought I had right after I woke up twenty-two minutes ago. I thought it was a pretty sweet question, so I thought I’d post it up here in the form of one of WordPress’ nifty polls to see what you guys thought. So, somehow, from beginning with the question “do I have to pee?”, I arrived at this (though I’ve filled in particulars to make it make sense):

Imagine you’re standing in front of a gigantic slot machine. (You know, one of those things in vegas where you pull the handle and it starts to roll around pictures of cherries and sevens and whatnot.) This one is massive though. It’s so wide you can’t see the other end of the thing when you’re standing by the handle on one side. This is because, while the easiest slots have three rollers, the medium have like seven, and so on, this slot machine has a million rollers. You wonder, what would the pay out be on such an odd slot machine? Well, this machine is just as odd in that way as in its construction. The gamble on it is this: on each of the million round rollers is painted nine cherries and one skull. If you pull the handle, setting the rollers spinning, and they land on anything other than all skulls, you win one hundred years of unlimited material wealth and health, which may be spent only on you and your immediate family and friends. On the other hand, if the rollers all land on skulls (the chances of which are one in one hundred million million), you will be cast into an eternity of unrelenting torment.

(Just fyi, I can only see statistical results of polls, not what each individual person voted.)


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  1. #1 by Michael Glawson on 1.14.09 - 4.42 pm

    Sassy Mouth’s Comment (moved from Polls Fubar’d):

    In response to you’r poll question… I think I would pull the bar. Yes it would suck real bad if I got all skulls… But the chances that I would hit all skulls is very slim. People take higher risks every day and don’t think twice about it. Every time I get into my car I have a risk of getting into a wreck and being horribly maimed for the rest of my life, or even die. I mean I would be nervous pulling the lever, but only because of the eternithy in torment part. But I still think I’d do it. Of course the reward itself seems to be too much. I’d feel guilty getting that kind of wealth… it would almost seem wrong to me. But putting aside my guilty feelings of the wealth… I’d pull it.

    The art link was pretty sweet by the way.

    Sassy mouth

  2. #2 by Michael Glawson on 1.14.09 - 4.45 pm

    It seems like, in one way, the risk is lower than, say, getting in your car. But, in another way, it’s much higher. You definitely have a greater chance of getting in a car wreck, but it seems like the risk itself is, literally, infinitely worse. That’s what keeps me from pulling the lever. I see the reasoning though. I’d be tempted in the same way, but the idea of rotting forever in a fiery hell over something so small(from that eternal perspective) keeps me from doing it.

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