Monday, December 7, 2009

The Button

I told myself I wouldn't post this until I got lazy, hadn't posted in a while, and didn't feel like posting. I told myself this last night.

And now I'm lazy. Enjoy. 

So my friend Chris, whose blog you can read here, sent me a message in Facebook chat about a week back. We bantered back and forth for a while and then continued the discussion via email. I think you'll enjoy this despite its length. Yes, I know I already used that image but I'm too lazy to find a new one.

Chris
A button appears next to you. Attached is a note that says, "This button does anything. From the worst thing you can think of to the best thing you can think of, this button will do SOMETHING to you. It will not disappear, and will not run out of pushes. Anybody may use it." What do you do?

9:28pmSpencer
Stop taking any medications I'm on

9:29pmChris
You still have several hours before the effects of the current pills wear off. What do you do in that time period?

9:29pmSpencer
touche
I would assume the note is false and begin to methodically disassemble said button.

9:30pmChris
There are no screw-holes of any kind, and the box seems to be indestructable. The button seems to be gleaming.

9:31pmSpencer
Do I have access to any sort of x-ray/laser imaging device?
or Geiger counter?

9:32pmChris
There's no radiation, and you have both at your feet.

9:32pmSpencer
wait, both what?

9:32pmChris
Both an x-ray and laser imaging device.

9:33pmSpencer
ah, thank you. I would attempt to x-ray the button to discern its contents. What do I see?

9:34pmChris
A spring beneath the button, which assumably keeps the button upright. Nothing more.

9:34pmSpencer
Having spent much time examining said button have the narcotics worn off?

9:35pmChris
No.

(End of Facebook chat, his computer died)
(beginning of emailed convo)

Spencer
In that case I would advance to animal testing. I will entice a small koala to press the button.

Chris
The koala quickly morphs into a panda bear. Thoroughly confused, it simply sits there, torn between searching for eucalyptus leaves and bamboo shoots.

Spencer
Now that I have ascertained that the button only affects the person/animal who pushes it I would proceed to test the probability of positive vs. negative effects upon the button-pusher. If this next question is permissible, out of ten pushes by ten (lets say dogs) how many dogs had positive effects vs. negative effects?

Chris
First a few general questions, so as to ascertain what you perceive as "negative". Simply return a series of numbers with either + or - next to them, indicating the obvious.

1. Switching gender
2. Changing species
3. Targeted memory loss (choosing a memory to forget)
4. A console (activated by the "~" key) for R.L.
5. Knowledge of any one truth
6. Super sex appeal (girls beg for you in public)
7. President of The United States of America
8. One wish granted (ANYTHING EXCEPT MORE GODDAMNED WISHES and if you try to weasel your way around that one, your head asplode).
9. Performing an heroic act and being recognized by the world as such.
10. (Insert something that you would mark as "extremely positive".)
11. (Insert something that you would mark as "extremely negative".)
12. (Insert something that you would mark as "neutral".) 

Spencer
Damn you good sir. I have an essay to write, I will complete your questionnaire tomorrow.

Chris
Cody said he was going to "beat the shit out of it". I bid you good luck.

Spencer
1. -
2. -, loss of ability to think abstractly
3. +
4. I do not understand. A "real life" console? Like the dude in Fallout? Or what?
5. +
6. Could get irritating (after 60 years). Likely get killed by angry gents. Therefore -
7. Super -
8. +
9. +
10. Instant "pocket dimension" ++
11. Slow and painful death - -
12. absolutely nothing (this would be both heartening and extremely depressing. Therefore, neutral)

Also, what color is the button?

Chris
Explanation for console, you push the tilde key on any keyboard, and type in something such as "god" or "give all" and it happens to you in RL. Anyway, as to the dogs...

1. Seems to have been cloned.
2. Is running off after a French poodle. (insert dog sex joke here)
3. Gone, no trace of him.
4. Two-headed.
5. Asleep.
6. Seems to be reciting Shakespeare, although paraphrased.
7. Nothing.
8. Another panda. The hell?
9. Dead where it stands.
10. Seems to be changed into a steampunk version of a dog. Currently running on coal power. 


Spencer
Break-down
2 out of 11 chance to become panda (interesting)
30% chance of deadly/extremely bad outcome
50% chance of neutral outcome
10% chance of mildly positive outcome.

Conclusion- not a smart bet for personal use. Possibly useful for restoring the panda population.

Solution- create game show hosted in own version of Sealand (named Beardland) where contestants pay a fee to try their hand at pressing the button. I collect cash while various people die/transmorgrify/orate or turn into Pandas. (Created in own country in order to avoid legal issues. All Pandas released into wild.)

And THAT, good sir, is what I would do with the button.

(Again, what color is it?)

Chris
I am somewhat bemused by your attempts to quantify the unknown. Probably what will kill you one day.

CONCLUSION- You live to the prosperous age of sixty-five, having accumulated millions in button-pressing-fees and failed lawsuits against you in which you enacted inordinate counter-sues. Sadly, one day a tourist-recently-turned panda loses its temper, and mauls you. In your old age, your beardjitsu has atrophied somewhat, and you are unable to prevent it from tearing out most of your internal organs, and severely damaging your external organs. However, you see that it soon regains its senses, and returns to the wild. Which does not do you much good.

It's red. The button, I mean. And your organs.

Spencer
I have enjoyed this exercise. Perhaps we shall do it again sometime. Also, I'm blogging this.
 ____________________________________________________________________
And indeed I have.