Thursday, July 14, 2011

If wishes were fishes...

We'd walk on the sea! Or they'll be horses, and Jayne Cobb will have plenty of steak... Anyways, this post is about my take on what to do if you ever encounter a genie that gives you three wishes. If you guys see problems either with the wording or the wishes themselves, please, feel free to comment ^.^

First wish: Just to avoid the classic story plot, whereupon the character makes a wish and the evil genie exploits the wording to make life disastrous for the character making the wish, I would advise wishing "For you, Genie, to act upon wishes in the spirit in which they are asked; which means giving me what I want, not necessarily exactly what I asked for, therefore not exploiting loopholes in clumsy wording or logistical problems". The phrasing protects against things such as wishing to be the tallest person on the basketball team, and having the rest of the members shrink, or winning at gambles so much you have IRS agents or the mafia after you.

Wish the Second: I, personally, think that wishing "for modest luck in all that I or those I befriend do" is a wonderful wish; being sure to improve all areas of your life (from finding romantic love to getting that raise you ask for to having good enough reflexes to save you from a car crash) without needing to try and think of them all and address them seperately. Why only modest luck? To avoid having the media hound you for miracles surrounding you every day, friends to grow all super envious, or government agents to grow suspicious of you. And why include your friends? Because who wants to see a friend suffer? And the "those I befriend" phrasing includes friends you might make in the future, and ensures that if you have a falling out with somebody, you aren't forced to watch them enjoy the good luck you previously bestowed upon them.

The Third Wish: I would save this wish for anything specific you really want. For example, a person might wish to "make me think exercise is fun", or "help me be able to learn foreign languages quickly and effortlessly", or "make my in-laws stop being such bitches". I'll go over some wishes that would probably be a bad idea, and my reasoning why (and some alternate wishes, just because).

"Make me a superhero/wizard!" Because honestly, in the real world, you would either become a lab rat, or be forced to hide your identity all the time. The comic books and movies might make the double life seem glamorous, or those near slips funny, but secrets = stress and stress = all sorts of bad things. Yes, I know, it would be totally awesome to be able to conjure fireballs in your hand or summon magical talking cats, but is that truly worth becoming a bundle of raw nerves?

Alternate Wish: "Help me find really good fiction books that are exactly to my taste" (so you can live these powers and adventure through cool characters), "make virtual reality technology develop alot faster" (so you can play virtual games and be able to do all these things), "make me smarter/stronger/faster/better" (which would only be developing a area of your natural abilities, therefore easy to explain away, and gaining real world benefits).

"Make me rich!" How? Through winning the lottery? And then what would you do? Laze about on a beach? Sounds lovely, but it'll wear thin, and then you have to pay a ton in taxes, and become hounded by the media, and on and on... Besides, if you have nothing else (somebody who loves you, health, ability to appreciate what you have), then being rich won't make you happy, and it's been proven that rich people aren't really happier than normal people anyways.

Alternate wish: "Help me find the perfect job for me" (giving long-term satisfaction, steady income, a congenial working environment to meet new people who could become friends),or "help me get a raise (or promotion)", which would mean giving you more confidence (never a bad thing), or improving your skill at the job, thus easier to work with, or both, or some other factor that I haven't thought of but would nevertheless probably help enrich your life in other ways.

"Give me adventure!" Getting mauled by lions, tigers, or bears is an adventure. Getting kidnapped is an adventure. Getting framed for a serious crime is an adventure. Catch my drift? (same thing goes for excitement or "spice in my life").

Alternate wish: "Help me find my life less boring" (either from helping you be able to appreciate things more, or finding a new hobby, or figure out what's missing from your life), or "put more new, positive things in my life" (adding the positive makes sure that these new things are good things). Or, if you already have a specific idea in mind, say it! It could be anything from "Give me more opportunities to travel fairly safely", to "I need to meet more interesting people", or "I need to move out of this boring, tiny old town"...

In general, I would advise against wishes that require changing other people (ethically, because it's wrong to mess with other people's brains- would you want somebody messing around with your brain?- practically, since a) if somebody discovers what you had the genie do, you'll have hell to pay, and b) if you have any sort of scrap of concious, it'll haunt you for the rest of your life), actually changing the environment around you (because a) the butterfly effect, b) really hard to explain, c) just plain wrong, again), or trying to change huge things without a logistical plan. Solve world hunger? How? Have crates of food magically appear everywhere, have scientists have incredible breakthroughs on farming technology, have all the world go vegitarian because growing plants is more efficient than having animals eat tons of plants and then eat them, whittle the population down to what we can feed with our current resources (which would mean either forcibly sterilizing people, murdering babies, murdering grown adults now)... just think about it.

So, there you have my thoughts on the matter. Yes, I know, genies don't exist and I'm probably putting way too much thought into it... But hey, it's only a blog post, exercising the brain never hurts, and if you come across this post a million years from now, still feel free to comment if you have an extra thought laying about in your head!

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