In response to – A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip? http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/full-disclosure/
The sales pitch went something along the lines of:
Enthusiastic salesman scientist: Hey there. Sir, inside this small box is something that will literally change your life
Me with a resigned “here we go again” look on my face: Go on then. What’ve you got?
Encouraged salesman scientist: Imagine what life would be like if you could read the mind of everyone you meet. To know exactly what they were going to do before they did it – great for poker. To know what everyone thinks of you and what they like and don’t like – great for impressing the boss, at work and at home (little chuckle) – just think you can change your behaviour so that you’re popular with whoever you want.
Me starting to engage: Sounds interesting – tell me more
Salesman scientist getting ready to deliver the punch line: Now I know what you’re thinking – there’s bound to be a catch.
Me, a little smug having spotted an opportunity: So you know what I’m thinking, which would suggest you have one of these yourself. Is that true? Go on tell me what am I thinking now!
Still confident salesman scientist: Your thinking – if he can tell me what I’m thinking then this thing really works, if he can’t then it’s a waste of time and if he won’t it means he hasn’t got one and how could I buy something from a salesman who doesn’t believe in it
Me now slightly perplexed: Spot on! But was that you telling me what I was thinking or simply stating the logic of your position – which happened to be what I was thinking? OK – let’s try this again. I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 20 – what is it?
Excited Salesman scientist thinking all is not lost: But you’re not thinking of a number between 1 & 20. You’re thinking about whether I can think of a number between 1 & 20 that happens to be the same as yours.
Me, intrigued further: I like that. You’re good – really good.
Smart salesman scientist: Let’s try this one on for size and perhaps this time I’ll show you how rewarding it can be. Take the last two digits from the year in which you were born and then add it to the age you’re going to be at the end of this year. I’ll tell you the number you’re thinking of and if I get the it right you give me £20.
Me, now sure I’ll get to the bottom of this once and for all: Ok done it
Salesman scientist: I’m willing to bet that you got an answer of 114, right?
Me, now fairly hooked: Amazing. You have one of these things don’t you?
Responding salesman scientist: Well Sir, if I had one do you think I’d still be here because it was quite plain when you first saw me that you thought I was just some mad scientist weirdo. And that might have been a little upsetting.
Me, trying to rescue the situation: No not at all. It’s just that you get so many people knocking on the door trying to sell you the latest wonder treatment. They’re all full of talk but little else. I just figured you’d be the same but with slightly worse hair. It’s been different though so how much is this thing? And is it safe?
Salesman scientist stepping up the sell: It’s fairly new but we’ve had no safety issues to speak of and it was tested vigorously a few years ago by a Mr N.Adamus who seemed to suffer no side effects. In terms of price it’s 250k which is obviously a serious amount of money – but as I’m here I could fit one today at a discounted rate of 200k.
Me, picking myself up off the floor: 200k are you mad? Do you think I can afford 200k?
Salesman scientist: Well sir. If you had one of these you’d know exactly what I was thinking and you’d also be aware that I’d think you couldn’t afford to not have one of these. There is however one catch and that is – you can never turn it off!
Me, on the back foot but with a way out: Never turn if off! Sounds like it might be fun to start with but might it not get a little boring after a while? Where’s the fun in poker if you win all the time – I mean part of the fun is not knowing what’s going to happen. And why would you want to be liked by everyone, always having to fit in with them and never really be yourself. No I think I’ll keep my money.
Disappointed Salesman scientist: Fair enough. When you first opened the door I thought you’d say that. But hey ho at least I go away with £20 and I hope you have a nice day sir.
And away he went. But there was a nagging feeling I’d been had somewhere along the line.