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8 Very Odd “Would You Rathers…?” Answered With Logic

 

 

“Would you rather…?”, the favorite game of People In Pubs since forever.

“Would you rather…?”, the favorite game of People In Pubs since forever. The quandaries of this game are always tough, but the best WYRs usually contain elements of disgust, sacrifice, sexual deviance, death, dishonor and, more often than not, end up with you fighting something. Some WYRs, such as “Would you rather give up cheese or oral sex?” are purely the domain of philosophers, we’ll steer clear of those.

However, some of them can be carefully deduced using science and logic, and those are the ones that we are interested in. Sure, science may not be able to yet describe the nature of the soul, or how gravity really works, but it can sure as hell help us to figure out whether we’d be better off with feet for hands or hands for feet or whether we’d be better off fighting a bear or a lion. These are the real questions.

So, we’ll preface this all with that timeless question: Would you rather…

8. Have Feet For Hands Or Hands For Feet?

Okay, this seems like a pretty obvious one due the the unimaginable inconvenience of having feet for hands.

Hands for feet seems like the clear choice. However, before you go rushing into your decision, consider a life spent walking on a pair of hands.

Human feet have evolved especially to enable us to walk bipedally. Before that, our feet looked much more like those of modern-day apes – they were much more flexible and even had opposable toes. This allowed us to grasp things and climb trees with ease, but the catch is that they’re not so hot for walking.

You ever wondered with the other apes aren’t skipping around on two feet? Our feet have adapted for walking by developing stiff ligaments in the middle, this gives us balance and stability whilst improving walking efficiency. Our short, stubby toes are also much tougher than our delicate, spindly fingers.

Hands, on the other, er, hand, are designed for fine, delicate movements, more so than our primate cousins, they’re certainly not robust enough to haul your great carcass around all day. This delicacy, combined with their frankly unstable nature, would mean that hands would actually make extremely poor substitutes for feet.

All this said, feet for hands would well and truly suck. Maybe the obvious choice is the best in this case.

Verdict: Hands For Feet.

7. Be Blind Or Deaf?

Unless you plan on developing some kind of superhero alter ego, neither of these options is exactly ideal.

But, if you have to pick one, what this really boils down to is timing. That is, whether you’re born deaf/blind, or whether you become that way.

If you were to have one of these conditions from birth, then it would be much better to be born blind. Language, far, far more than vision, is essential in the normal development of a tiny human. Babies begin to hear in the womb, they learn the sounds of their mother’s voice and even begin to pick up the cadence of their mother tongue long before they’re even see daylight. The development of language and communication in the first two years of life is absolutely essential to normal social and cognitive development, and hearing is the primary channel for this development.

Helen Keller, the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor’s degree, is quoted as saying that “the problems of deafness are deeper and more complex” than with blindness as it is a key social and learning tool for humans.

This said, once this key developmental stage is over, it comes down to what you would be more willing to sacrifice. Although hearing is a key part of human communication, particularly in large social groups, an increasing amount of our communication in the modern world is becoming text based. Being deaf and sighted would allow you to use messaging and the internet in general, in relative normality.

Another thing to consider would be the advancements in medical science. Our artificial hearing technology is currently far more advanced than our artificial vision technology. Presuming this hypothetical world in which you get to choose blindness or deafness, also allows you to then seek medical attention, cochlear implants could well restore your hearing far more effectively than the latest in artificial vision. For now at least.

Verdict: Be Deaf.

6. Face One Horse-Sized Duck Or 100 Duck-Sized Horses In Combat

This one comes up a lot in games of “Would You Rather…” and everyone has their own reasoning.

There are lots of discussions about the relative size of each adversary and it has been calculated that, due to the nature of 3D scaling, an army of duck-sized horses would actually weigh more (403 kgs) that one duck sized horse (308 kgs). This leads some people to plump for the horse-sized-duck option.

However, you have to take into account the fact that the mass of the duck-sized-horse army would constantly decrease as you took each tiny horse out, which you could do relatively easily with a kick (you monster), given a horse’s delicate physiology. Although, given their numbers, you might become overwhelmed if you didn’t keep on top of things.

Another factor that needs to be borne in mind is the temperament of each animal. Horses, in the real world, are dangerous because they are skittish and easily spooked.If you frighten a horse in the real world, then you’re likely to get hurt or even killed. However, very tiny horses lack the only quality that makes them so dangerous, which is their size. Take that away and they’re pretty harmless.

Ducks, on the other hand, are more aggressive and less timid. They have been known to chase and bite humans when they are at their normal size, so a horse-sized-duck is certainly less likely to be phased by little old you. The nearest real-world equivalent of the horse-sized duck would probably be the ostrich or cassowary which, by all accounts, are pretty formidable. The nearest real-world equivalent of a duck-sized horse that we have is, well, a tiny horse.

If either of those decided to give you a kicking, it would probably hurt, but it would take the tiny horses much longer to inflict the same damage as the big duck, giving you more time to neutralise the threat. Plus, with duck-sized-horses, you could capture them and sell them as adorable pets, demonstrating your business acumen as well as fighting prowess.

Verdict: 100 Duck-Sized Horses.

5. Fight A Lion Or A Bear?

Lion. Every time. Okay, entry over, everyone go home.

Fine. Let’s show our working. This is science class after all.

When pitted against one another, grizzly and polar bears would kill a lion in virtually one swipe. Lions are pretty much apex predators on their home turf, but that’s only because their aren’t any bears around. They, bears, are generally much bigger, much more powerful and their thick fur, skin and fat layers make them much more resilient to injury.

In order to kill a bear, both you and a lion will need to get around the throat and asphyxiate it. A bear will simply swipe you out of the way, probably crushing your skull in the process. The bear is bigger, stronger and more difficult to hurt, you definitely stand more of a chance of (A) reaching the lion’s face to get a punch in and (B) being able to choke it out.

The bear’s one saving grace is that it’s more likely to leave you alone, and much more likely to leave you alone if you run (whereas this will usually trigger a lion to just chase you). However, in our hypothetical scenario, we’re assuming that each animal is up for a bit of fistycuffs.

That said, either way you’re probably screwed. If either of these animals decide to kill you then that’s probably what’s going to happen. In this case, you’re probably better off with the bear as it would be over quicker.

Verdict: Fight A Lion.

4. Be Really Short Or Really Tall?

Believe it or not, your height actually affects a lot more than your ability to reach high shelves. Your answer to this questions boils down to your priorities.

Let’s begin with the tall ones. Some research has found that tall people might actually earn more than their more diminutive counterparts. Estimates suggest that a person over 6ft is likely to earn as much as £100,000 ($143,992) more than someone of 5ft 4in over a lifetime. As it turns out, this isn’t because people just like throwing money at tall people, or because they need extra money for their enormous clothes, it’s actually because they’re just better.

Height has been linked to higher intelligence and better social skills, meaning that these people are more likely to succeed in their careers. Whether or not this is an inherent genetic factor, or whether people who grow up in a healthy, well-nourished environment (making them more likely to be tall) are more likely to have better opportunities in the first place, is currently unclear. It’s probably a bit of both.

However, those tall people better enjoy it while it lasts, because the short people are going to get the last laugh. It has been found that those with smaller bodies are much less likely to suffer from chronic illness and diet-related disease. Shorter people also have longer lifespans than their towering friends. It is thought that this could be what is linked to the disparity in male and female lifespans, as women are, on average, shorter than men.

So, the tall people will live shorter but wealthier lives while the short people will be healthier and longer-lived with a lower chance of being successful. But hey, we live in an ageing population, so living longer isn’t necessarily.

Verdict: Be Really Tall.

3. Have A Constant Pain Or Constant Itch?

Chronic pain and chronic itching are both medically recognised conditions, but which would you rather have?

Pain and itching are actually remarkably similar from a medical perspective. It is thought that both have their own system of nerves separate from the usual ones that we use to sense the world, and it is thought that some chronic itching is actually a type of pain. They’re pretty similar, biologically speaking, so we’ll have to make this decision based on the psychology of each condition.

Nobody likes to be in pain, and constant, chronic pain can prevent you from doing some of the things you love. It has also been shown to increase the risks of psychological disorders such as depression. However, there are some studies that suggest that patients with chronic pain actually experience an increase in the opioid receptors in the brain that allow us to cope with pain and this can even increase the pain threshold. Due to our (understandable) aversion to pain, we have developed a frankly enormous arsenal of medications to help treat it.

Chronic itching is significantly less studied than pain, which means that there are fewer ways to treat and manage it. If you’re itchy, the chances are that you’ll just have to deal. Itching might not physically prevent movement and independence in that same way pain does, but there are other stigmas to take into account.

Itching, as you may know, probably means scratching. Chronic itching cannot be properly soothed by scratching and this could even make the symptoms worse. This can lead to damaging scratching and skin picking that can cause scarring, pain, and infection. There is also a social stigma attached to constantly scratching yourself in public that you don’t get with pain. Constant itching is also often linked with psychosis, and the itch-scratch cycle can literally drive you mad. Looks like pain actually wins this one, pass the morphine.

Verdict: Have Chronic Pain.

2. Burn To Death Or Drown?

Wikipedia

If you’re ever lucky enough to choose your method of exit from this world, it’s good to know the facts. Fire and water are generally considered to be opposites, but which is worse?

Death by drowning is caused by asphyxiation as the water fills the lungs and cuts oxygen from the brain. The initial sensations felt by a drowning person are panic, but the body will initially automatically hold the breath.

As the oxygen levels drop in the body, they will begin to experience increased disorientation and weakness. As a last ditch attempt at self-rescue, the brain will force the person to take a breath, filling the lungs with water (which is extremely painful). After this, however, the person will lose consciousness and near-drowning victims often report a sensation of peacefulness just before this happens. As things go, this might not be a bad way to die.

One of the major causes of death by fire actually also happens to be asphyxiation as the toxic fumes from a fire render the victim unconscious. However, if we’re talking about literally burning to death, as opposed to “dying in a fire”, then things get a whole lot worse.

Flames will activate every nociceptor that they come in contact with, causing sharp, excruciating pain. after a few minutes of contact, the nerve endings will have burnt away, and the duller pain of deep injury will set in. Cause of death is actually kind of extremely rapid dehydration (or, more accurately, hypovolemia) as the fluids in your body are cooked out of you, resulting in cardiac arrest.

This, however, takes many minutes of suffering and none of that “sensation of peacefulness” as a consolation. Drowning gets the vote every time.

Verdict: Drown.

1. Experience A Kick In The Balls Or Childbirth?

Paramount/20th Century Fox

Ahh, the age old question. Men and women have been battling this one one for reasons that are not entirely clear, and we still can’t seem to come to a definitive answer.

This is largely to do with the fact that pain is a subjective experience, and no two people will feel it the same. However, as this is a “would you rather”, it means that there is one individual (that’s you) and one pain threshold involved here.

Pain is caused by the stimulation of nociceptors in response to damage or potential damage. Testicles are covered in these nociceptors because taking a blow to the knackers is likely to cause the kind of damage that is an evolutionary no-no: Infertility. Because of this, men have evolved to avoid ball bashing at all costs by developing extreme sensitivity to pain.

Testicles are also directly attached to the stomach and, subsequently, the vomit centres of the brain via the vagus nerve, and this is what causes the dull ache in the abdomen and the urge to be sick. This makes ball-kicking a visceral, full-body experience as opposed to the more localised pain of getting kicked in the leg, for example.

The muscular cramps and visceral distention associated with giving birth actually produces a similar effect in a labouring woman’s body. In addition, there is all of the stretching and tearing associated with pushing a human head out of a vagina. At the moment, we could generously call this a tie. However, we have the issues of frequency and duration to contend with.

The common argument is that being kicked in the nuts is a more frequent occurrence, whereas childbirth happens but a few times. If we’re going down this route, let’s run the numbers:

We shall assume that the average labour lasts for 8-10 hours, and the average amount of “down time” from being kicked in the testicles (including the initial pain and following nausea) is around 20 minutes, and the average number of children for most women in the West is two. This would mean that a bloke would have to be fully kicked in the nuts (not just clipped) between 48 and 60 times in a lifetime to match up. Now, without wanting to sound too judgemental, if you’re getting kicked in the nuts 60 times, you might want to consider improving your social skills.

Verdict: Get Kicked In The Nuts, Obviously.

 

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