People often say very, very serious things very lightly.
For instance, when young people are in love, they are prone to say things like “I would give my life for you.”
You know, that’s a pretty serious words. However, however someone hearing that has to wonder how true it is when the person saying that won’t put up the toilet seat.
But how do you test that?
Up to now, it hasn’t been easy to test someone who tells you that.
First, you have to find somebody else who wants to kill you. Hollywood lies; a good homicidal maniac who kills just for kicks is hard to find. You could die of old age before you run across one. In fact, most people do.
You’ll probably end up having to provoke somebody into wanting to kill you. You have to admit, this is pretty masochistic. The only thing arguably worse is paying someone to do it, and you may run into problems putting out a personal ad for such services.
Seeking this kind of paid professional help often gets you other kinds of professional assistance, like those often offered by mental health or law enforcment authorities.
On the other hand, hiring a professional killer gives you a lot more control over the timing. It’s pretty hard asking an amateur to keep his homicidal rages to a schedule. He might not listen if you ask, “My boy(girl)friend is a little late, could you please wait another ten minutes?”
Even if you manage to take care of all this, and run the test, what happens if you’re successful?
If he or she passes the test, all you can do is give him or her an “A” on the tombstone, and corpses are unquestionably uncuddly.
If he or she looks out for Number One instead, then you’re dead, and the only posthumous recognition you’re likely to get once the story gets out is a Darwin Award. Besides, death greatly deters future dating.
If he or she kills the attacker, well, at least in many places, that gives your government a chance to try again, and they don’t play fair. Either that, or your government makes your partner take free room and board from them for a long, long time.
What happens when both parties in a relationship promise to give up his and her life, and both get threatened? Who goes first? Does “Ladies first” still apply? Or do you demand that you both be killed, just to be fair?
Up to now, this has been a question without a means to a practical answer.
Benchmarking the Boyfriend
It dawned on me that there is now a fairly easy, quick-and-dirty test to see how sincere such death wishes really are. Title notwithstanding, this ought to work equally well for members of either sex.
How? Just ask yourself a simple question:
Where have you died lately?
Unless you like to hang in a hospital’s intensive care unit, the only answer you can come up with is “a gaming environment.” Go there, and you can die as often as you like (and usually, more than that), no matter how healthy you are.
It seems to me that a gaming environment provides an excellent simulation to test the willingness of someone to die for you, with much less effort, and far fewer annoying side effects.
I grant you, it’s not a perfect test. Your beloved may die for you in Half-Life but crap out in Full-Life. However, if the Loved One won’t give up one of his or her virtual lives in Half-Life, how likely is it that the most wonderful person in the world is going to give up his or her only real one in the real game?
It ought not to be too hard for someone playing a game to get themselves in a position where they face imminent death and only a sacrifice by the significant other can keep the person alive. It has to be easier than doing it for real.
Consider the first time a test run. Don’t judge the person too harshly if he or she fails the first time. Use the test run as the excuse to let him or her know what’s at stake. Say, “You said you would die for me, and you didn’t. From now on, justify your love.”
If the beloved starts moaning and groaning about allegiance to a clan, tell that person to sleep with the clan from now on.
After that, start benchmarking.
Just A Start
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this principle could be extended to many other aspects of a relationship (well, not all, but there are workarounds). There are many simulation programs out there in which less terminal situations can also be tested.
Benchmarking a significant other can save a lot of time and effort, but the one-to-one savings are dwarfed if the collaborative power of the Web is engaged.
Let’s say you meet somebody that you like. You can spend a whole lot of time and effort getting to know the person, but really, aren’t you wasting that time most of the time? Aren’t you just reinventing the wheel? Hasn’t somebody else extracted the data, which is lying uselessly in their cranial hard drive?
Wouldn’t it be much, much better if you could go to a website where you could find that potential boyfriend and girlfriend benchmarked? Not only with synthetic benchmarks, but also some real ones you might be more interested in. 🙂
Or let’s say you’re looking for another. Would it not be much, much better to be able to call up all the appropriate candidates in your area, and see how they rate?
Perfect? No. Better? Yes.
Just imagine how much better people will behave knowing that they’re being benchmarked. Just imagine how much less lying and BS and verbal confetti you’d be likely to get if someone said, “I’d die for you,” and you pull out your PDA, go to the website link with his benchmarks, and show a graph proving he or she only does so 3.46% of the time in his favorite game.
Imagine how much better the world would be if it became habit-forming.
If it works for a Radeon, why not for a Rod or Rachel?
Think about it. 🙂