Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Parachute Paradigm

Here's the situation: you are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane, but there is only one parachute. If you are a(n):

Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you're going to die anyway.

Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived accidents just like this before.

Procrastinator: you decide to wait until tomorrow to grab the parachute.

Bureaucrat: you determine optimum parachute allocation by contracting out a feasibility study on parachute use in the exiting of multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

Lawyer: you charge the other passenger one parachute for helping him sue the airline.

Doctor: you tell the other passenger you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make it to your next appointment.

Sales Representative: you sell the parachute to the other passenger at top retail rates and get the names of his friends and relatives who might like one, too.

Internal Revenue Service Auditor: you confiscate the parachute from the other passenger, along with his luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

Advertising Representative: you strip-tease while singing that what the other passenger really needs is a neon parachute with computer altimeter for only $39.99 (plus shipping, handling and applicable sales taxes).

Engineer: you make another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

Scientist: you give the parachute to the other passenger and ask him to send you a report on how well it worked.

Mathematician: you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

Philosopher: you ask the other passenger how he knows the parachute actually exists.

English Teacher: you explain simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions to the other passenger.

Comparative Literature Teacher: you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.

Computer Scientist: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

Economist: you plot a demand curve by asking the other passenger, at regular intervals, how much he would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalyst: you ask the other passenger what the shape of a parachute reminds him of.

Dramatist: you write a one-act play in which you develop the characters of two persons trapped on a falling plane with only one parachute.

Artist: you sign the parachute and hang it on the wall.

Republican: as you jump out with the parachute, you tell the other passenger not to expect the government to always provide parachutes.

Democrat: you ask the other passenger for a dollar to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.

Libertarian: after reminding the other passenger of his constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.

The Surgeon General: you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Spokesman for the Association of Tobacco Growers: you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between airplane crashes and death.

Spokesman for the National Rifle Association: you shoot the other passenger and take the parachute.

Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Objectivist: you understand that your only rational and moral choice is to take the parachute, as the free market will take care of the other passenger.

Sports Fan: you start betting on how long it will take to crash.

Have I left anyone out? Add your suggestions in the comments.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



allenwoodhaven said...

These may be a bit off, but I'll give it a try:
A conservative would insist on tax breaks for parachute manufacturers to increase the supply.

A liberal would insist that they both jump at the same time and take turns sharing the parachute on the way down.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

My first thought before I read these was very similiar to what Allen said above about a liberal. I would hold on to the person w/parachure (vice versa) so for the most part it's the same as what he said. So I guess that is my new label. :-)Who knew? I'm a liberal.

KathyA said...

Tea Party -- You just cheer as the whole plane goes down in flames around you.

Mike said...

The guy (first person) straps on the parachute. Then he straps on the second person (girl) as tight as he can and trys to make the drop last as long as possible.