Jeremy´s Paradox of Perspective
rating: +10+x

Here is your situation: Your name is Gertrude. You sit at a desk with four opaque cups in front of you. In three minutes, a man named Hubert will enter the room and knock over one of the cups, leaving you with a random prize. For this, we will simply name the cups 1, 2, 3, and 4. The question is easy: What is the chance that our friend Hubert will reveal what is under Cup, say, 3? The obvious answer is that there is a 25% chance of that happening.

Here is your situation: Your name is Hubert. In three minutes, you must go to your friend Gertrude and reveal the contents of one of four cups to her, and the choice is up to you. But you have already decided which one to lift: You will reveal the contents of Cup 3. You´re also a fairly sure person, and won´t change your mind. Accounting for natural disasters and the unexpected, there is a nearly 100 percent chance you will lift Cup 3.

So which is it? For Gertrude, it is 25% that Hubert will choose Cup 3. For Hubert, it is 100%. But surely it cannot be both at the same time?

Here is your situation: Your name is Langston. You have trapped 2 people in a basement and are forcing the man named Hubert to choose one of four cups to decide the fate of his friend Gertrude. You´ve accounted for everything; soundproofing, weather, chains, locked doors. You´ve made yourself free to do your horrible, sadistic acts, and you couldn´t be happier.

Here is your situation: Your name is Geoffrey. You are the chief of the Albany Police Department, and three hours ago you got an anonymous tip that stated that someone had abducted two people. You are outside the door of the house, and you are about to

Here is your situation: Your name is Stacy. You were admitted to the Albany Police Department thirteen weeks ago and just saw your chief get shot in the face. You look down and see that you were hit by shotgun spray. You shoot right back through the wooden door. You hear someone shout from behind, then go silent. Is Langston dead or alive? You can´t be sure until you open the door.

Here is your situation: Your name is Monica. You are a paramedic. You hate this part of the job, where you have to put known murderers in a stretcher to drive to the hospital, at which point they will live, even after what they´ve done. You feel like you should quit. The man rambles about philosophical nonsense for the entire ambulance ride.

Here is your situation: Your name is Madeline. You are a judge. The man before you pleads insanity. What do you do? What he did was horrible, but you can´t deny that the test he took said he was insane. What does he deserve? You didn´t think about this moral conundrum when you became a judge. Eventually, he is admitted to a mental institution, according to the law. You wonder what the point of you being there is. The law has the rules already there, and you just dispense them? What exactly is yours to judge here?

Here is your situation: Your name is Langston, and you are being escorted to a nice room. You wonder if psych ward cells are really covered in padding. It feels like not every single insane person would try to hurt themselves. That would be improbable. You´re not in a straightjacket, actually, so you´re not sure why that is. Hey, what if you just turned around and punched both the guards in the face? You don´t think they would be ready. So you do that and it works.

Here is your situation: Your name is Jeremy, and you are Hubert´s neighbor, the one who called the police with the tip. One of your friends at the mental hospital nearby tells you that some dude escaped earlier that day. You ponder how you´re safe in this sequence of events- even though you´ve interacted with the situation quite a bit. Newton says that when you push something, it pushes back, but you suppose that doesn´t apply to this sort of thing.

Here is your situation: Your name is Hubert. You are living in a safe house. You´re not entirely sure why, since they got the guy that kidnapped you a week ago. You get a call.

¨He´s out.¨


¨Langston. Just thought you should know.¨

The other guy ends the call. You have no idea who he was. You´re scared, but also you didn´t do anything to Langston, so why would he come after you? Somebody knocks on your door. It´s an officer.

¨I have to tell you something.¨

¨I know about him.¨

¨How… You know what, it doesn´t matter. I´m going now.¨

Here is your situation: Your name is Frank. You were assigned to tell some witness protection guy that someone´s out of jail. But he already knew. Did someone tell him? But surely the only people who would know are connected to the department and would tell the department that they didn´t need to send anyone? That´s annoying. Oh, it also appears someone is behind you.

The last thing that goes through your mind is ´didn´t even have to.´

Here is your situation: You are Hubert again, and you are faced with another conundrum: If you stay where you are, you will almost definitely be shot. If you run, that will start a chase that would trap you inside a full-lockdown safehouse, in which scenario you would be trapped and probably still die. But maybe running would give you a better chance? Or perhaps this Langston character has no intention to shoot you if you don´t run?

Oh. It appears that Langston did intend to shoot you. In the stomach, that is. You gasp, stumble back, and clutch your stomach, the usual for someone who was just shot in the abdomen. You decide to run to the kitchen. There would probably be something there to fight back. Langston shoots out again, missing you, and you yelp and duck under the counter, and grab a knife. You´re not really sure how to hold a knife with the intent of stabbing someone. Like a sword? Or maybe like a spear? You think about what they do in fencing, with the blade sort of turned sideways and the stance that´s a little hard to explain to yourself when you´re about to die. Langston turns the corner and you just kind of jump up. Do you know what else is hard to explain? The sound of metal going into someone´s flesh. Langston falls back, letting go of the gun for just a moment, in which you take the opportunity and snatch it from the ground. It´s all over.

A few days later you´re back in your own home and hear that Langston is going to a real prison for a change. That´s good. You´re okay. The hospital bills were surprisingly manageable. But what do you do now? Do you just… go back to the way things were? Go back to your job and talk to everyone like nothing happened? Do you think that if a jogger went past you on the sidewalk, they would realize your face from the newspaper? You wish that they wouldn´t. So you think. For a while. And maybe what you decide to do doesn´t matter.

Here is your end.

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