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Thought Experiment: The Fallout Shelter

Gathomas88

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A nuclear holocaust has occurred. You and a small group of eleven fellow survivors have managed to procure a shelter stocked with food and medical supplies. As far as you are aware, your group represents the last living human beings on planet Earth.

However, you have a problem. The shelter's supplies are limited, and your group is too large for the supplies on hand to support. With a population of six, and only limited rationing, your supplies can last five years. With all twelve persons (including yourself), on the other hand, the supplies will only last two years. If you ration your supplies strictly, you can save one additional person, for a total of seven, but the health of the group as a whole will suffer (note: if you're creative, it might be possible to stretch those rations further, in order to either save one additional person, for a total of eight, or alleviate the health impacts of saving seven, but I will not say how ;) ).

According to the expert in your group, radiation levels should be low enough to make it safe to exit the shelter in four years. It will take roughly a year to grow crops after that point.

Your group consists of the following:

One high-ranking military officer, male, age 45. He has advanced survival training, extensive leadership and managerial experience, and rather imposing presence. Unfortunately, however, he also has PTSD. This is manageable at the moment, but could get worse. He is moderately religious.

One nuclear physicist, male, age 30. He is a paraplegic, and somewhat sickly. No survival skills. He is non-religious.

One doctor, male, age 50. He is overweight and has high blood pressure. However, he also has considerable skill with both medicine and basic surgical procedures. He is religious, but non-practicing.

One nurse, female, age 67. She is the picture of good health, but her skills are not quite as great as the doctor in your group. She is devoutly religious.

One single mother, female (obviously), age 24. She is healthy, and has an infant daughter with her. She is presently breast feeding, so that child will not draw supplies (i.e. doesn't count). She is non-practicing religious.

One priest, male (again, obviously), age 42. He is in good health, though he lacks noteworthy survival skills. It should go without saying that he is religious.

One botanist, female, age 34. She has the beginning stages of multiple sclerosis, but is otherwise healthy. She is agnostic.

One transient who managed to sneak in at the last moment, male, age 28. He has demonstrated anti-social tendencies, has a criminal background, and is dependent on alcohol and very likely an illicit substance or two. He is non-religious.

One additional transient who managed to sneak in, female, age 21. Same as the above, romantically connected to the transient male. She was raised religious, but is non-practicing.

One lawyer, female, age 36. Highly intelligent, and she is in good health. However, she lacks survival skills, and does not get along with the military officer due to her political views. She is non-religious.

One unemployed layabout, male, age 26. He is in good health, and reasonably fit from a physical perspective, but he has no skills whatsoever. He is non-religious.

So...

Who lives and who dies? What is your reasoning for that decision? What is your endgame?

This was actually a group exercise we were given at Warrant Officer Candidate School. Needless to say, things got pretty damn dark in a hurry. :lol:

I'll be interested to see how civilians tackle the issue.
 
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Lutherf

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I'm coming up with 11 not counting the baby and, unless I'm one of the people mentioned, we're at 12.

Anyway, you want me to get this whittled down to 6?

Dr, nurse and botanist need to stay. You need at least one more female of reproductive age so I'm going with single mother. She's also going to have to pick up as much medical and botanical knowledge as she can because those specialists are on their way out. The 26 year old layabout would probably be a keeper too as the other half of repopulating the world when the time comes. The sixth would be the priest because over time these folks are going to need a moral basis for the challenges they will be encountering.
 

Gathomas88

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I'm coming up with 11 not counting the baby and, unless I'm one of the people mentioned, we're at 12.

Lol. Yeah, I corrected that in an edit. It's 12 total, not counting the infant.

Anyway, you want me to get this whittled down to 6?

Dr, nurse and botanist need to stay. You need at least one more female of reproductive age so I'm going with single mother. She's also going to have to pick up as much medical and botanical knowledge as she can because those specialists are on their way out. The 26 year old layabout would probably be a keeper too as the other half of repopulating the world when the time comes. The sixth would be the priest because over time these folks are going to need a moral basis for the challenges they will be encountering.

Cool. Any plan regarding how you're going to whip the 26 year old into shape, however?

Most of our groups wound up keeping the military officer around for that.

Edit:

Actually... Come to think of it, I might have made this a bit too easy. It may have been only five we were allowed to keep in class.
 

Tanngrisnir

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I'll need more time to digest it, but at first glace every young, fertile female must be included for species propagation.
 

Lutherf

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Lol. Yeah, I corrected that in an edit. It's 12 total, not counting the infant.



Cool. Any plan regarding how you're going to whip the 26 year old into shape, however?

Most of our groups wound up keeping the military officer around for that.

Edit:

Actually... Come to think of it, I might have made this a bit too easy. It may have been only five we were allowed to keep in class.

My guess is that a 67 year old nurse has great motivational skills and that the slug wouldn't remain that way for long. Most people are lazy because they can be. In a scaled down society like you're talking about that isn't an option.

The reason I didn't pick the military person was because if these are the last half dozen on earth then military skills are pretty much irrelevant. The goal needs to be survive and grow.

That being said, if this is one of those fallout shelters where you run into raiders, super mutants, mirelurks and radscorpions as soon as you leave that's a whole different scenario!:lamo
 

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Keep the military guy, The nuclear physicist and the 4 youngest women.
 

Gathomas88

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My basic thoughts on the matter were...

Military officer: Keep, because he has valuable skills and experience in organizing people in high-stress situations. We can most likely take him down if he goes nuts.

Nuclear Physicist: Kill. He's already served his purpose by telling us when it'll be safe to leave.

Doctor: Keep. Put his ass on a diet.

Nurse: Kill. Her skills aren't as great as the doctor, unfortunately, and her age is a liability.

Single mother: Keep. Proven fertile female. Also... Breast milk ('creative' option mentioned above)! It may be kind of gross, but that can be used as a dietary supplement, which could potentially allow another person to be saved.

Priest: He is expendable, ultimately. He can't (or won't) breed, and he doesn't have an especially valuable skill-set. He might prove useful for morale and cohesion purposes, however, so I like to think of him as being a "stretch-goal." I'll save him if I have extra resources, and no better candidate is available, but not before. If worse comes to worse, I'll simply take the guy's Bible and carry on the flame myself.

Botanist: Keep. Her skill set is basically non-negotiable given the circumstances. She could also potentially conceive, and supply further milk. Her illness most likely will not become a major issue until several years down the line.

Male transient: Kill. I mean... Do I really even need to explain this one?

Female transient: Kill... Most likely. We might be able to rehabilitate her, I suppose, and she's probably fertile. However, it's hard to justify the effort when better candidates are available.

Female lawyer: Keep, most likely. Sure, she's a pain in the ass, but she can think (which means she's trainable), would appear to have some good genes, and can most likely breed.

Layabout: Keep, if possible. Pair him with the Officer or someone else who could teach him some useful skills and change his mindset. Whip his ass into shape.

So...

Assuming only five can survive, but we opt for rationing, which adds a sixth:

Me (Lay-about's not really needed because I'm here), Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botanist, and Lawyer.

Assuming five can survive, but we opt for rationing, and make use of the milk for an extra person, which adds a sixth and seventh:

Me, Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botantist, Lawyer, and Female Transient.

Assuming six can survive, and we opt for the extra two, bringing the total to eight:

Me, Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botanist, Lawyer, Female Transient, and Lay-about.
 
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EMNofSeattle

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A nuclear holocaust has occurred. You and a small group of eleven fellow survivors have managed to procure a shelter stocked with food and medical supplies. As far as you are aware, your group represents the last living human beings on planet Earth.

However, you have a problem. The shelter's supplies are limited, and your group is too large for the supplies on hand to support. With a population of six, and only limited rationing, your supplies can last five years. With all twelve persons (including yourself), on the other hand, the supplies will only last two years. If you ration your supplies strictly, you can save one additional person, for a total of seven, but the health of the group as a whole will suffer (note: if you're creative, it might be possible to stretch those rations further, in order to either save one additional person, for a total of eight, or alleviate the health impacts of saving seven, but I will not say how ;) ).

According to the expert in your group, radiation levels should be low enough to make it safe to exit the shelter in four years. It will take roughly a year to grow crops after that point.

Your group consists of the following:

One high-ranking military officer, male, age 45. He has advanced survival training, extensive leadership and managerial experience, and rather imposing presence. Unfortunately, however, he also has PTSD. This is manageable at the moment, but could get worse. He is moderately religious.

One nuclear physicist, male, age 30. He is a paraplegic, and somewhat sickly. No survival skills. He is non-religious.

One doctor, male, age 50. He is overweight and has high blood pressure. However, he also has considerable skill with both medicine and basic surgical procedures. He is religious, but non-practicing.

One nurse, female, age 67. She is the picture of good health, but her skills are not quite as great as the doctor in your group. She is devoutly religious.

One single mother, female (obviously), age 24. She is healthy, and has an infant daughter with her. She is presently breast feeding, so that child will not draw supplies (i.e. doesn't count). She is non-practicing religious.

One priest, male (again, obviously), age 42. He is in good health, though he lacks noteworthy survival skills. It should go without saying that he is religious.

One botanist, female, age 34. She has the beginning stages of multiple sclerosis, but is otherwise healthy. She is agnostic.

One transient who managed to sneak in at the last moment, male, age 28. He has demonstrated anti-social tendencies, has a criminal background, and is dependent on alcohol and very likely an illicit substance or two. He is non-religious.

One additional transient who managed to sneak in, female, age 21. Same as the above, romantically connected to the transient male. She was raised religious, but is non-practicing.

One lawyer, female, age 36. Highly intelligent, and she is in good health. However, she lacks survival skills, and does not get along with the military officer due to her political views. She is non-religious.

One unemployed layabout, male, age 26. He is in good health, and reasonably fit from a physical perspective, but he has no skills whatsoever. He is non-religious.

So...

Who lives and who dies? What is your reasoning for that decision? What is your endgame?

This was actually a group exercise we were given at Warrant Officer Candidate School. Needless to say, things got pretty damn dark in a hurry. :lol:

I'll be interested to see how civilians tackle the issue.

As a civilian who doesn't need to engage in stupid contrived scenarios like this I reject this scenario entirely. in real life this type of thing will not happen in this way, and if it does it's not going to give you enough time to evaluate everyone's resume for survival.

It's like the old question of "the train will hit 10 people unless you divert the track to where it will hit 5, what do you do?" I stand up and say "this is stupid as hell" and then not take a choice. there is always a third option.
 

Gathomas88

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As a civilian who doesn't need to engage in stupid contrived scenarios like this I reject this scenario entirely. in real life this type of thing will not happen in this way, and if it does it's not going to give you enough time to evaluate everyone's resume for survival.

It's like the old question of "the train will hit 10 people unless you divert the track to where it will hit 5, what do you do?" I stand up and say "this is stupid as hell" and then not take a choice. there is always a third option.

Lol. Okay. :roll:

The point is to see whether or not you are willing and able to make unpleasant decisions, with an objective and rational frame of mind. Your response would appear to speak for itself in this regard.
 
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Crovax

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As a civilian who doesn't need to engage in stupid contrived scenarios like this I reject this scenario entirely. in real life this type of thing will not happen in this way, and if it does it's not going to give you enough time to evaluate everyone's resume for survival.

It's like the old question of "the train will hit 10 people unless you divert the track to where it will hit 5, what do you do?" I stand up and say "this is stupid as hell" and then not take a choice. there is always a third option.

In the immortal words of Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"
 

Crovax

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My basic thoughts on the matter were...

Military officer: Keep, because he has valuable skills and experience in organizing people in high-stress situations. We can most likely take him down if he goes nuts.

Nuclear Physicist: Kill. He's already served his purpose by telling us when it'll be safe to leave.

Doctor: Keep. Put his ass on a diet.

Nurse: Kill. Her skills aren't as great as the doctor, unfortunately, and her age is a liability.

Single mother: Keep. Proven fertile female. Also... Breast milk ('creative' option mentioned above)! It may be kind of gross, but that can be used as a dietary supplement, that could potentially allow another person to be saved.

Priest: He is expendable, ultimately. He can't breed, and he doesn't have an especially valuable skill-set. He might prove useful for morale and cohesion purposes, however, so I like to think of him as being a "stretch-goal." I'll save him if I have extra resources, and no better candidate is available, but not before. If worse comes to worse, I'll simply take the guy's Bible and carry on the flame myself.

Botanist: Keep. Her skill set is basically non-negotiable given the circumstances. She could also potentially conceive, and supply further milk. Her illness most likely will not become a major issue until several years down the line.

Male transient: Kill. I mean... Do I really even need to explain this one?

Female transient: Kill... Most likely. We might be able to rehabilitate her, I suppose, and she's probably fertile. However, it's hard to justify the effort when better candidates are available.

Female lawyer: Keep, most likely. Sure, she's a pain in the ass, but she can think, would appear to have some good genes, and can most likely breed.

Layabout: Keep if possible. Pair him with the Officer or someone else who could teach him some useful skills and change his mindset. Whip his ass into shape.

So...

Assuming only five can survive, but we opt for rationing, which adds a sixth:

Me (Lay-about's not really needed because I'm here), Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botanist, and Lawyer.

Assuming five can survive, but we opt for rationing, and make use of the milk for an extra person, which adds a sixth and seventh:

Me, Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botantist, Lawyer, and Female Transient.

Assuming six can survive, and we opt for the extra two, bringing the total to eight:

Me, Officer, Doctor, Single Mom, Botanist, Lawyer, Female Transient, and Lay-about.

He has another purpose, and his initial calculations might be wrong you better keep him around.
 

Gathomas88

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He has another purpose, and his initial calculations might be wrong you better keep him around.

Perhaps. However, it's dubious whether he'd even be able to determine such things without access to a dedicated lab. He's also pretty much worthless apart from that one particular function.

To my mind, at least, it's kind of hard to justify keeping him around on the off chance that he might be useful at some point in the distant future. He most likely won't.
 

EMNofSeattle

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Lol. Okay. :roll:

The point is to see whether or not you are willing and able to make unpleasant decisions, with an objective and rational frame of mind. Your response would appear to speak for itself in this regard.

It's not a matter of "are you willing to make unpleasant decisions" it's a matter of creating a contrived scenario where a specific unpleasant situation is the only answer or else you have failed.

and not only that, but you can make six different kinds of proclamations on your logic white board, but in reality you're not going to be able to simply make these decisions in a real life stressful scenario, if all your fertile involuntary sperm recipients you want to save demand to save the baby boomer nurse or else they're walking out the door into the radiation well now are you going to start gunning people down for defying you? this scenario has a presupposition in it that everything is in your hands and if your decisions aren't popular they won't just toss your ass out the door.

like I said, it's silly and is useless as a test.
 

Gathomas88

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It's not a matter of "are you willing to make unpleasant decisions" it's a matter of creating a contrived scenario where a specific unpleasant situation is the only answer or else you have failed.

You are aware that such scenarios can and sometimes do play out in the field, correct?

A higher-ranking Officer might very well have to make the decision to sacrifice an entire unit as a distraction, so that another unit can move in and make the kill.

and not only that, but you can make six different kinds of proclamations on your logic white board, but in reality you're not going to be able to simply make these decisions in a real life stressful scenario, if all your fertile involuntary sperm recipients you want to save demand to save the baby boomer nurse or else they're walking out the door into the radiation well now are you going to start gunning people down for defying you? this scenario has a presupposition in it that everything is in your hands and if your decisions aren't popular they won't just toss your ass out the door.

One would hope that more expendable, but generally upstanding, persons like the nurse, the priest, and the physicist would be willing to sacrifice themselves when presented with the logic of the scenario.

However, assuming that they were not, or the rest of the group were uncooperative, you have actually touched upon a rather excellent reason to keep people like the Military Officer around. A more decidedly "Alpha" presence might very well be required to persuade and keep people in line... By force if need be.

like I said, it's silly and is useless as a test.

If you say so. :shrug:
 
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Perhaps. However, it's dubious whether he'd even be able to determine such things without access to a dedicated lab. He's also pretty much worthless apart from that one particular function.

To my mind, at least, it's kind of hard to justify keeping him around on the off chance that he might be useful at some point in the distant future. He most likely won't.

He's the only one who knows complex math, not to mention he's got the best sperm for repopulation. What use in the doctor without all of his tools. The army guy and most likely the lawyer, botanist and physicist know all the basics to keep everyone alive.
 

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According to the expert in your group, radiation levels should be low enough to make it safe to exit the shelter in four years. It will take roughly a year to grow crops after that point.

Your group consists of the following:

One high-ranking military officer, male, age 45. He has advanced survival training, extensive leadership and managerial experience, and rather imposing presence. Unfortunately, however, he also has PTSD. This is manageable at the moment, but could get worse. He is moderately religious.

One nuclear physicist, male, age 30. He is a paraplegic, and somewhat sickly. No survival skills. He is non-religious.

One doctor, male, age 50. He is overweight and has high blood pressure. However, he also has considerable skill with both medicine and basic surgical procedures. He is religious, but non-practicing.

One nurse, female, age 67. She is the picture of good health, but her skills are not quite as great as the doctor in your group. She is devoutly religious.

One single mother, female (obviously), age 24. She is healthy, and has an infant daughter with her. She is presently breast feeding, so that child will not draw supplies (i.e. doesn't count). She is non-practicing religious.

One priest, male, age 42. He is in good health, though he lacks noteworthy survival skills. It should go without saying that he is religious.

One botanist, female, age 34. She has the beginning stages of multiple sclerosis, but is otherwise healthy. She is agnostic.

One transient who managed to sneak in at the last moment, male, age 28. He has demonstrated anti-social tendencies, has a criminal background, and is dependent on alcohol and very likely an illicit substance or two. He is non-religious.

One additional transient who managed to sneak in, female, age 21. Same as the above, romantically connected to the transient male. She was raised religious, but is non-practicing.

One lawyer, female, age 36. Highly intelligent, and she is in good health. However, she lacks survival skills, and does not get along with the military officer due to her political views. She is non-religious.

One unemployed layabout, male, age 26. He is in good health, and reasonably fit from a physical perspective, but he has no skills whatsoever. He is non-religious.

Who lives and who dies? What is your reasoning for that decision? What is your endgame?

I'll be interested to see how civilians tackle the issue.

The survival of the human race supercedes ideals of mercy and sympathy.

My picks in order of importance are:

1. One doctor, male, age 50. He is a necessity for the health and well-being of the group. His problems with weight and blood-pressure will be alleviated by the strict survival diet and an exercise regimen.

2. One single mother, female (obviously), age 24 w/infant daughter. This is a two-fer. An adult female still young enough to breed, and a child who is also a female. One who will not utilize rations for a year and even then, in smaller amounts than an adult.

3. One botanist, female, age 34. Another female to perpetuate the species with the added necessary skills to guide us in our food growth efforts. She can also help locate and identify herbs which can be used to make medicines.

4. Me, I am as qualified as the other military officer and don't have PTSD. Leadership (hell its MY shelter after all) and survival training skills, plus combat capability for group defense.

5. One unemployed layabout, male, age 26. Able bodied male who can work for his feed and be trained to help defend the group.

6. One lawyer, female, age 36. Intelligent female capable of breeding, offer counsel, and able to learn new skills, seek out educational support materials in our search for resources.

REJECTS:

1. One high-ranking military officer, male, age 45. Liability; threat to stability and security of the group.

2. One nurse, female, age 67. Liability; too old to breed, skills less than that of the doctor, likely to become a burden due to her age.

3. One priest, male, age 42. Liability; moral issues with necessary survival activities, non-breeding extra mouth.

4. One transient who managed to sneak in at the last moment, male, age 28. Liability; morally untrustworthy, may steal or secretly hoard resources, may harm others, threat to group security.

5. One additional transient who managed to sneak in, female, age 21. Liability; same issues as boyfriend in #4, which negates her value as a breeding female.

6. One nuclear physicist, male, age 30. Liability; drain on resources with no return. Knowledge recoverable from books.

That's it.
 
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EMNofSeattle

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You are aware that such scenarios can and sometimes do play out in the field, correct?

A higher-ranking Officer might very well have to make the decision to sacrifice an entire unit as a distraction, so that another unit can move in and make the kill.



One would hope that more expendable, but generally upstanding, persons like the nurse, the priest, and the physicist would be willing to sacrifice themselves when presented with the logic of the scenario.

However, assuming that they were not, or the rest of the group were uncooperative, you have actually touched upon a rather excellent reason to keep people like the Military Officer around. A more decidedly "Alpha" presence might very well be required to persuade and keep people in line... By force if need be.



If you say so. :shrug:

A military officers "alpha" personality means absolutely zero without the force of the state behind him. in fact, he's a worse candidate for survival then the nuke physicist if his only speciality is making O-grade in the army.

You ever hear of Clipperton island? go look up what happened when the lighthouse keepers "alpha" personality overstayed its welcome.
 

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Who lives and who dies? What is your reasoning for that decision? What is your endgame?

This was actually a group exercise we were given at Warrant Officer Candidate School. Needless to say, things got pretty damn dark in a hurry. :lol:

I'll be interested to see how civilians tackle the issue.

*cracks knuckles*

Straight logic. We're cutting it all the way down to the bones -- six people. Five years is a long time, the world is unstable, and trying to stretch our resources when we don't know what unpredictable things might happen is unwise. We want a buffer. I am not trying to maximize the number of people we keep. I am trying to produce the greatest likelihood that each and every one of them will actually survive to the end of 5 years no matter what happens.

Yes, I got rid of all the younger men. Doesn't matter -- men remain fertile for life, and the rules we had in large societies are now fair game for re-evaluation. And in all likelihood, the group is too small to ever populate the earth anyway due to inbreeding. I've kept a young, proven-fertile woman in order to give it the best possible shot, but I don't think it'll work. I think we'll be extinct within 100 years no matter what. But, as a hail mary...

We keep the military officer. We need leadership. We're able to address his issues with PTSD, because of how the rest of this will fall down...

We keep the doctor. His weight, and consequently his blood pressure, will improve in a damn hurry. He won't be eating or sitting as much as he used to. It won't be an issue in 6 months.

We also keep the nurse. Doubling up on medical personnel, even with unequal skills, will probably be necessary.

We keep the priest. We need him for the military officer.

We keep the botanist. Her skills will be critically needed, and MS usually has a long, reasonably slow progression. She'll probably be ok in 4 years. Whatever relapses she has will probably be treatable by the doctor and the nurse with whatever they have on hand. Most people with MS are still independent for another 10 or 20 years after diagnosis. It's worth the cost due to the vital knowledge she has.

We keep the single mother, although I am reluctant to do so. Her baby will die due to lack of sunlight, so we will wind up with a second person with PTSD. But we need another female of reproductive age.

We get rid of the physicist. If he's as logical as he seems, hell, he'd probably volunteer. Due to the minimalist nature of our remaining resources, his advanced knowledge is of no use to us, and therefore is irrelevant. We won't ever have the supplies or man power to put it into practice. Obviously, his health is also a liability.

We get rid of both transients. Cohesion is essential and we don't need criminals. A clever punk kid we could use, but not a pair of miscreants playing Sid and Nancy.

We get rid of the lawyer. Her skills are useless, and she threatens cohesion.

We get rid of the lay-about.

The goal of my picks are entirely based around cohesion and realistically useful skills. We need cohesion just in general, but especially to keep the military man and the single mother in good mental health. They have a hopeful prognosis with the combination of strong community, religious counsel, and the rudimentary psychological knowledge that both the doctor and the nurse will have.
 
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Gathomas88

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A military officers "alpha" personality means absolutely zero without the force of the state behind him. in fact, he's a worse candidate for survival then the nuke physicist if his only speciality is making O-grade in the army.

You'd be surprised. :roll:

Particularly in a survival situation, people have a tendency to turn to those who can keep a cool head, seem to know what they're doing, and have the ability to back it up. They can also be cowed into submission, if need be. Again, all of these are skills which a high-ranking officer would most likely have.

In any case, you're simply being the contrarian for the Hell of it at this point, because the scenario seems to be hurting your feelings. What this ultimately boils down to is either using resources (including the human variety) wisely, and saving the human race, or behaving foolishly and killing it off instead.

If achieving the former goal requires cracking the skulls of a few contrarian persons inclined to behave irrationally, and against the best interests of the group, so be it.

You ever hear of Clipperton island? go look up what happened when the lighthouse keepers "alpha" personality overstayed its welcome.

Which has what to do with this scenario, exactly? :screwy
 

EMNofSeattle

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You'd be surprised. :roll:

Particularly in a survival situation, people have a tendency to turn to those who can keep a cool head, seem to know what they're doing, and have the ability to back it up. They can also be cowed into submission, if need be. Again, all of these are skills which a high-ranking officer would most likely have.

In any case, you're simply being the contrarian for the Hell of it at this point, because the scenario seems to be hurting your feelings. What this ultimately boils down to is either using resources (including the human variety) wisely saving the human race, or behaving foolishly and killing it off instead.

If that requires cracking the skulls of a few contrarian persons inclined to behave irrationally, and against the best interests of the group, so be it.

No you're invested in the scenario because you were asked it in some military indoc course and you think you have the answers.
normal people realize we don't, and can't have the answers for scenarios like these, and it will never happen.

Which has what to do with this scenario, exactly? :screwy

The lighhouse keeper on Clipperton island when he was the last adult male on the island (and if you've never heard of Clipperton island look up the Mexican colony there around the time of the Great War) tried to control the women with sexual dominance (which btw is exactly what you are saying by "we choose fertile young women to repopulate" translation, you intend to have sex with them, and if they don't want it, your male party members will have permission to rape them) until one of the women simply killed him after she had enough.

being an alpha isn't unique to the service. find some union foreman from like the steel workers. general alpha will be on his ass out the door in a heartbeat.

autocratic decisions will doom your colony, mutual cooperation is always the better bet.
 

Captain Adverse

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It's not a matter of "are you willing to make unpleasant decisions" it's a matter of creating a contrived scenario where a specific unpleasant situation is the only answer or else you have failed.

and not only that, but you can make six different kinds of proclamations on your logic white board, but in reality you're not going to be able to simply make these decisions in a real life stressful scenario, if all your fertile involuntary sperm recipients you want to save demand to save the baby boomer nurse or else they're walking out the door into the radiation well now are you going to start gunning people down for defying you? this scenario has a presupposition in it that everything is in your hands and if your decisions aren't popular they won't just toss your ass out the door.

like I said, it's silly and is useless as a test.

I take it you've never been in the military?

Military leaders have to make hard choices that risk lives (including their own) all the time.

Political leaders do so as well (though usually at small risk to themselves).

The thought experiment forces you to think in terms of rational necessity rather than irrational emotion. Take steps to save some rather than do nothing and let ALL die.

It's okay that you don't want to play. Why you feel the need to keep justifying your decision escapes me.
 

Gathomas88

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No you're invested in the scenario because you were asked it in some military indoc course and you think you have the answers.
normal people realize we don't, and can't have the answers for scenarios like these, and it will never happen.

In other words...

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:roll:

Again, you do realize that people in certain dangerous, high responsibility, positions can and do have to make these decisions all the time, right? Even the steel plant foreman you mentioned might very well have to choose to lock some of his workers in an environment where he knows they'll all die in order to save the rest of his workforce if something goes wrong.

You seem to be mistaking huffy indignance for having an actual argument. It's quite irrational, I'm afraid.

The lighhouse keeper on Clipperton island when he was the last adult male on the island (and if you've never heard of Clipperton island look up the Mexican colony there around the time of the Great War) tried to control the women with sexual dominance (which btw is exactly what you are saying by "we choose fertile young women to repopulate" translation, you intend to have sex with them, and if they don't want it, your male party members will have permission to rape them) until one of the women simply killed him after she had enough.

The lighthouse keeper was a psychopathic social outcast, obviously, with no other goal than seizing on the opportunity to satisfy his own needs. He took that power because the actual military governor of the island, and every other adult male who could have stopped him, died in a boating accident.

Again, what on Earth does that have to do with a trained military professional working towards the goal of trying to preserve the human race?

being an alpha isn't unique to the service. find some union foreman from like the steel workers. general alpha will be on his ass out the door in a heartbeat.

Nope. No anti-military bias there at all. :lamo

autocratic decisions will doom your colony, mutual cooperation is always the better bet.

No, clearly, with the human race on the line, we should allow a bunch of uninformed morons making decisions purely on the basis of emotion and knee-jerk instinct to take control instead. Brilliant! :roll:

I think I'm beginning to see Smoke's point on "cohesion" here. lol
 
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A nuclear holocaust has occurred. You and a small group of eleven fellow survivors have managed to procure a shelter stocked with food and medical supplies. As far as you are aware, your group represents the last living human beings on planet Earth.

<snip>

I'll be interested to see how civilians tackle the issue.
I'm knocking-off the men, and keeping all the women.

I don't know if I'll make it out, but I'm going to enjoy my last days!

If we do survive, the kids will all look like me - good for the world I say, and this fulfills my narcissistic dream!
 
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Gathomas88

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Yes, I got rid of all the younger men. Doesn't matter -- men remain fertile for life, and the rules we had in large societies are now fair game for re-evaluation. And in all likelihood, the group is too small to ever populate the earth anyway due to inbreeding. I've kept a young, proven-fertile woman in order to give it the best possible shot, but I don't think it'll work. I think we'll be extinct within 100 years no matter what. But, as a hail mary...

Yeah. It's certainly iffy. However, I chose to keep as many fertile men and women as possible for that exact reason. Greater numbers certainly wouldn't hurt our chances. Hell! The doctor could possibly even take sperm, and/or egg samples from the rejects before throwing them out, if we were really concerned about it.

Could the lack of sunlight be rectified in any way? Is it guaranteed to be lethal to the infant?
 
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