Friday, March 28, 2008


16. Someone builds and optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it’s essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that—for some unknown reason—you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be changed.

The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it?
Wow. I like sports, but c'mon. CFL? I say that crystal ball is on crack. I don't think I would watch the game. According to the rules laid out in this scenario, that future will happen no matter what you do. So if I'm going to end up some solitary, CFL junkie, I'd rather be doing other things now that I currently enjoy...or maybe I'd test the power of the crystal ball...go sky diving, and bungie jumping, and take part in other high risk/high adrenaline activities. The way I read the question is that I wouldn't be able to die...because that future of me in 20 years (give or take a few years) is going to happen...therefore I can't die...right?

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