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4 Head Scratchers
4 Head Scratchers
The Coconut Conundrum
Your survival depends upon getting coconuts to eat. There are coconuts high in the trees all around you, however there is danger of being struck by the coconut you choose to knock down. The logical thing to do is choose a low hanging coconut so that, if it strikes you on your head, it won’t do as much damage as a coconut falling from a greater height. The problem is that the lower coconuts the coconut, the greater the probability of it scoring a direct hit. The higher coconuts are less likely to strike you on the head but if they do, they will almost certainly be fatal. What do you do?
The Three Baskets Problem
You are a thief in a burning building. You have to leave immediately or you will be trapped and burnt up. You have only seconds to choose one of three baskets of loot. There is a metal basket filled with gold coins but it is too heavy to lift and would require dragging across the burning floor and might take too long. Also the heavy basket might bring the whole floor down sending you into the fiery pit below. The second basket is made of paper and is filled with paper money, stocks and bonds worth a fortune. It is very light but also very flammable and almost certain to catch fire before you reach safety. The third basket is made of straw and filled with diamonds. The fire can’t hurt the diamonds but the basket may ignite spilling the diamonds on the floor. Which basket do you choose?
The Survivor’s Dilemma
Your plane has crashed in the desert. You and two others are the only survivors. There is only enough food and water for three days. You are the youngest and strongest of the three The other two survivors are the pilot and the radio operator. The pilot announces that it will take him three days to fix the plane. The radio operator says it will take him two days to fix the radio. You think you can walk to the nearest town in two days. There is enough water for everyone for one day or one person for three days. What do you do?
You awake from a nightmare when you are a young child. All you can remember is that you died horribly and that you were wearing a red shirt. You take the dream to be prophetic and avoid wearing red. For decades the color red is banished from your wardrobe. Then one day in middle age you have a dream that you are being handed a prestigious prize, one you have always aspired to. In the dream you are wearing a red shirt. Is that a sign? What does the red shirt mean? What do you do?
PS RE my suggestion for the Baskets problem I also meant I would empty the gold out first before adding the diamonds to give me a good chance of carrying the metal basket - Dave
Coconut Conundrum: I would improvise a protective helmet with the first shells I knock down then aim for the sky. The Three Baskets:If I had to take something I would tip the diamonds into the metal basket and take that. The Survivor's Dilemma: If I was the strongest of the three I would share my portion of water with the radio operator and urge the pilot to do the same which should ensure greatest number of survivors in shortest time. If I was a sociopath however, I imagine I may well kill the other two and head off with my bloody aqua vita. The Premonition: Death in Tehran or no Death in Tehran, that is the question. But if you were a child in the first dream then wearing a red shirt in middle age should be no cause for concern. Just remember to whip it off as soon as you receive the prize and burn it in a metal basket before driving home, just to be sure.
mark211 -  The Coconut Conundrum: Climb to the top of the tree and only knock the coconuts down that are below you? Or maybe find some stones and throw them at the coconuts from a safe distance?  The Three Baskets Problem: Can't I just stuff my pockets with diamonds from the third basket and then run like hell? It's all profit for me if I can sell them on so ... screw the basket!  The Survivorís Dilemma: I don't know, this one's got me stumped.  The Premonition:Is that a sign? Nope. What does the red shirt mean? Nothing really. What do you do? Go to the pub?
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