Eccentric billionaire offers you a huge sum of money to never consider another hypothetical again...

Suppose an eccentric billionaire meets up with you one day, and offers you a huge sum of money under the following condition:

You may never pose another hypothetical situation again in your life, nor may you ever respond to any questions involving what you would hypothetically do.

Assume there is some magical technology that allows him to know whether or not you have upheld your end of the bargain, without invading on your privacy. If you break it, you lose everything. If you no longer have the huge sum of money, then you are in legal debt to him and he can pursue you legally until it is entirely repaid.

He offers a million but might be up to negotiate a larger sum.

So, do you take the offer? Or is posing/considering hypothetical situations too important to you?

This is hypothetical, right?

Hypothetically, yes.

Thanks for posting this.

I grew tired years ago of people asking ridiculous hypotheticals: Saving a family member vs. killing 6 billion people, all that.

If they are not remotely realistic or quite unlikely for me to have to deal with, I don’t care. Even more realistic ones (loved one on life support, etc.), I don’t want to consider now. If it happens, then I’ll worry about it. In the meantime, let me get on my life.

I enjoy the mental exercise of hypothetical questions. I enjoy the “ceteris paribus” thought-experiment, and alternate history “what if” questions. They’re good clean fun, and, best, they’re very open. It’s all but impossible to argue conclusively. Maybe Hitler would have gotten nuclear weapons if he hadn’t attacked “Jewish Science”…and maybe he wouldn’t have. There isn’t any concrete way of knowing.

Of course, I also would like to have a huge sum of money. Send the rich guy to me and we’ll talk.

(“If Karl Marx had been a goat, Das Kapital would have been written entirely without vowels.” Harvard Lampoon.)

Can you just ponder hypotheticals? :stuck_out_tongue:

I enjoy hypotheticals, but not all that much. Show me the money!

I was hoping this would be a public poll. One person voted for “I’m Skald.” I’d love to know who. :slight_smile:


Damn! I totally should have done that. I’m sorry.

Hypothetically, who do you think it was?

ETA: It looks like we have 3 Skald the Rhymers on here now.


No, I’m Skald the Rhymer, and so is my wife.

Hell, yes, I take his offer. Just think of all the things I could do if I had all that money. The first thing I’d buy is…


This is an impossible obligation to uphold. Any sort of planning that involves uncertainty necessarily involves considering hypothetical situations.

“What will we do if X happens?”

Let’s say I accept the money and head off to the Ferrari dealership. My girlfriend asks “What color will you get?” I might respond “Well, I’d like a red one, but if they don’t have a red one, I’d get a blue one.” Oops! I told her what I would hypothetically do if they didn’t have a red Ferrari in stock! Poof! All the money is gone.

Is this like the end of V for Vendetta, where they are all V? Are we ALL Skald the Rhymer?

You kids with your 21st century movie references.

It’s flat out impossible, unless you just stop thinking in general. Hypotheticals are how our brains figure out how to respond to situations.

I think money corrupts people and makes life boring :smiley:

but that is just me :stuck_out_tongue:

Framed your poll too widely. If you’d framed your poll as “Would you take the money to give up considering any **wildly irrelevant **hypothetical situation of the type posed by Skald again” I would have said yes.

I’m not going to give up my right to consider normal life hypotheticals.

Sorry, 90% of my job consists of coming up with hypoteticals, posing them to people, collating responses…

He’d have to pay me a lot more than a mil, since a mil doesn’t cover the rest of my working life (specially once taxes and inflation are taken into account).

I voted no because, as has been said, the OP’s proposal is too broad and would be broken within the first day…

“Mmmm, if I had the muesli rather than the froot loops, I’d probably have a more regular day…whoops!” Half our thinking is in “if…thens…”

On the plus side, that means no time to actually spend the money, so it’d just be an irritant.

Now if I were offered sums to avoid online hypotheticals, sure, I’d take it. I like Skald’s threads, but not that much.