Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
A choice none of us would want to make
I ran across a report of an interesting study yesterday. It was a story on the Time Magazine website. The study was about choices, very important choices. It was a variation on what is known as the "Trolley problem." let me set it up for you...
You are the person in charge of switching tracks in a rail yard. There is a runaway boxcar speeding down a track toward 5 men who are repairing the track. There is no time to warn them to get out of the way, your only hope is to throw the switch which will send the boxcar down another siding. The problem? There is one man working on that siding and he would die.
Do you save the five by killing the one? Or do nothing and let the five die?
There is a variation of the moral problem where the one person on the other siding is a family member.
What would you do in the first version? How about the second?
Some of you will say, "There must be a third choice, another option." That is not so, not in this situation. Studies need to have fixed parameters, there can be no uncontrolled variables, in order to force a decision. These moral problems have always been around (any person who has commanded in combat has likely had to make such a choice) but we now have the technology to study the reactions on a deeper level and a way to make the test situation more than words on paper by using computer simulation and animation. We can study the physiological reactions that come with such choices.
I will refer you to the report to learn what percentages chose which options.