Home Tales of Imagination A Philosopher’s Conundrum

A Philosopher’s Conundrum

by Venky

(PHOTO CREDIT: J HARDY CARROLL)

A melodious jangle from the shapely clock on the mantel piece alerted Joanne to the fact that precious time was ticking away. It was close to an hour since Mervyn had challenged her with the puzzle.

The world of 2084 allows customers to choose between two forms of self driven space pods. While the “Utilitarian” would sacrifice its owner in the event of an accident to save others, the “Egobot” would do exactly the opposite. The Egobot would crush everyone in its wake to save the owner.

If every potential customer chose the Egobot, would the world end?

(WORD COUNT: 98)

This story was written as part of the FRIDAY FICTIONEERS challenge, more about which may be found HERE

For the complete list of entries, please click HERE 

The credit for the breathtaking photograph goes to J Hardy Carroll 

 

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31 comments

rochellewisoff September 12, 2018 - 11:00 am

Dear Venkat,

That would be a tough choice. Thoughtful and evocative piece.

Shalom,

Rochelle

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 2:34 am

Thank You so much Rochelle! Glad you liked the piece.

Regards
Venkat

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Susan A Eames September 12, 2018 - 11:03 am

A story from the future – and yes, maybe the world would end if everyone chose the Egobot! 🙂

Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 2:29 am

Hmmm. Point to ponder isn’t it?

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Abhijit Ray September 12, 2018 - 3:00 pm

How would these pods identify who is the owner? What if a glitch kills the wrong person? If everyone chose egobot, the owner would survive, would he not? So world may not end.

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 2:36 am

I reckon the owner would be inside the pod, since he/she chooses a self-driven pod.

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Alice Audrey September 12, 2018 - 3:13 pm

What? No built in swerve?

But seriously, it’s all in how many people are in which pod.

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jillyfunnell September 12, 2018 - 3:49 pm

I hope it ends in a truce.

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Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 12, 2018 - 8:04 pm

I think that we live in a world today where most people are acting like egobots…
Love the name Mervyn, reminding me of Marvin the paranoid android

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 2:32 am

Thanks Much! Indeed altruism has become more of a novelty I reckon than a norm.

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anuragbakhshi September 13, 2018 - 5:50 am

Let’s just try it and see, I say.

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pennygadd51 September 13, 2018 - 6:49 pm

Dear Anurag
I think we already are, and the answer doesn’t look hopeful.

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Snow's Fissures and Fractures September 13, 2018 - 11:04 am

This is such a thought-provoking story and so well written.

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 11:08 am

Thanks a lot for the encouraging words!

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Kalpana Solsi September 13, 2018 - 12:12 pm

It would be a war of every Egobot. Who will survive it is difficult to portend. it would be a very lonely world to live in. A story well etched.

https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2018/09/uncertain.html

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venkyninja1976 September 13, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Food for thought indeed. Thanks much!

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pennygadd51 September 13, 2018 - 6:52 pm

You’ve shown great ingenuity in this piece, by writing the story in the form of a timed puzzle. It’s an allegory for the way mankind is treating the planet. I hope it succeeds in making readers think, and I hope it is spread widely. Good writing!

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venkyninja1976 September 14, 2018 - 12:22 am

Thank you so much for the kind and stirring words!

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Jacob C. Edwards September 13, 2018 - 8:47 pm

If society ever got to that point I’d opt out of my choice. I can’t willingly select Utilitarian and not feel anxious when I’m on the road, and if I picked Egobot I’d feel the same. Especially around school buses and ambulances. Just flip a coin and don’t let me see the results.

Great story man, it really got me thinking

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venkyninja1976 September 14, 2018 - 12:23 am

Thanks much!

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michael1148humphris September 14, 2018 - 2:58 pm

What a choice… I enjoyed this piece of flash.

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lisarey1990 September 16, 2018 - 12:33 am

Very thought-provoking! A great read.

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venkyninja1976 September 16, 2018 - 1:57 am

Glad you liked it!

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JoHawkTheWriter September 16, 2018 - 2:05 am

The results of a moral dilemma left to the programming of AI. Sounds like a theme for a novel. Nicely done.

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venkyninja1976 September 16, 2018 - 2:06 am

Glad you liked it!

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subroto September 16, 2018 - 2:42 am

A choice between self sacrifice and survival by killing. Sadly in a selfish society for many this won’t be a dilemma. Nicely done.

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venkyninja1976 September 16, 2018 - 3:11 am

Thank you so much!

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Dale September 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

Sadly in this “me” generation, I fear most would choose the Egobot… Not a good sign, I fear.

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venkyninja1976 September 16, 2018 - 4:28 am

Indeed!

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StuHN September 16, 2018 - 4:50 pm

Choosing the ego over anyone or anything else is always a disaster for others. Nice.

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venkyninja1976 September 17, 2018 - 2:47 am

Thanks much!

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