Posted by: joha5 | May 28, 2010

Three Questions for a 10 Minute Mental Vacation

Last weekend I had an impromptu dinner party with a handful of good friends.  It wasn’t even planned.  It just all happened very organically – which is the best kind of dinner party if you ask me.  We sat around the living room debating politics and religion and all of those boring topics that adults always discuss.  personally, I love having these kinds of debates but even I find that they can become tedious after a while.  What’s more is that these kind of topics are rife with emotion and sometimes it can be hard to maintain personal distance while discussing theories. 

All of a sudden I remembered that one of my favorite books called Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman contains a section entitled “The twenty-three questions I ask everybody I meet in order to decide if I can really love them”.  On the surface, these questions are mildly hilarious and – at the very least – extremely fun to think about and debate.  I can normally get through these questions with a small group of people in the span of 2 hours or so.  Maybe it was because we had been drinking some wine or maybe it was because all of the people that I was sitting around my living room with were extremely intelligent and articulate.  Whatever the reason was, we didn’t even manage to get through half of them in close to 5 hours.  Seriously. 

As a result of the inspiring conversation I had last week, I propose a more participatory blog post today which will rely on everybody who reads this to think critically about 3 of the questions I will pose below and to quickly jot down their response in the comment section.  It doesn’t have to be more than a few words or a couple of sentences but I encourage you to please share your thoughts because I think you will be surprised at how many different ways there are to answer these questions.  Here are three random questions for you to think about on this wonderful Friday.  Enjoy your temporary mental vacation and I can’t wait to see what people come up with!

Think Hard!

1.  Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks–he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can’t learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he’s doing these five tricks with real magic. It’s not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He’s legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence.

Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

2.  Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that–for some reason–every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots.

Would you attempt to do this?

3.  A novel titled Interior Mirror is released to mammoth commerical success (despite middling reviews). However, a curious social trend emerges: Though no one can prove a direct scientific link, it appears that almost 30 percent of the people who read this book immediately become homosexual. Many of these newfound homosexuals credit the book for helping them reach this conclusion about their orientation, despite the fact that Interior Mirror is ostensibly a crime novel with no homoerotic content (and was written by a straight man).

Would this phenomenon increase (or decrease) the likliehood of you reading this book?



  1. 1. No I don’t think so. It’s because he’s limited to what he already knows. What made Einsten (or any other person) impressive was to think outside of the box. To keep people interested in him, he has to keep on making “new” friends.
    2. Unless I have a close affinity to a lot of political prisoners, I won’t. The poor thing is defenseless.
    3. Increase it, but with the forethought of proving the trend wrong by still being straight after reading it (which is still 70% anyways).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: