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Platinum Shell
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I was given this assignment last week in a class of roughly 22-25 students. It was purely a more morbid way to get to know everyone's stance for our (then) upcoming class read, Lord of the Flies.

So I decided to post it here to see how DW thinks.


Who Should Survive?

A severe storm has crippled a small ship, the S.S. Guppy, and the only remaining lifeboat has room for only seven people. You have no hope of reaching civilization, but there's a fairly good chance that you can make it to one of many small, uncharted, and unpopulated islands in the area. You may have to remain on such an island for years. Your task is to choose which seven people should be allowed on the lifeboat, and hence, be allowed to survive.

Dr. Dane: thirty-seven, white, no religious affiliation, Ph.D. in history, college professor, in good health (jogs daily), hobby is botany, enjoys politics, married with one child (Bobby).
Mrs. Dane: thirty-eight, white, Jewish, rather obese, diabetic, M.A. in psychology, counselor in a mental health clinic, married to Dr. Dane, has one child.
Bobby: ten, white, Jewish, mentally retarded with IQ of 70.
Mrs. Garcia: twenty-three, Spanish-American, Catholic, ninth-grade education, cocktail waitress, worked as a prostitute, married at age sixteen, divorced at age eighteen.
Jean Garcia: three months old, Spanish-American, healthy.
Mary Evans: eighteen, black, Protestant, trade school education, wears glasses, artistic.
Mr. Newton: twenty-five, black power advocate, starting last year of medical school, suspected homosexual activity, music as a hobby, physical fitness nut.
Mrs. Clark: twenty-eight, black, Protestant, daughter of a minister, college graduate, electronics engineer, single now after a brief marriage, member of Zero Population.
Mr. Blake: fifty-one, white, Mormon, B.S. in mechanics, married with four children, enjoys outdoors, much experience in construction, quite handy, sympathizes with anti-black views.
Father Frans: thirty-seven, white, Catholic, priest, active in civil rights, former college athlete, farming background, often criticized for liberal views.
Dr. Gonzales: sixty-six, Spanish-American, Catholic, doctor in general practice, two heart attacks in the past five years, loves literature and quotes extensively.


Is it bad of me to have thrown Mrs.Dane over immediately? Her size made me think of another thing...the assignment makes it seem like your the decider (with the power piece being intimidation,strength, gun or any combination of the three), and these people have fuck all say in the matter. Oh, and the assignment was given a completion time of 5 minutes as your boat is taking on water fast.


...and Bobby went too.

Last edited by Platinum Shell on 03-29-13 at 00:57

Old Post 03-28-13 03:02 #
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Technician
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This sounds like a test aimed at forcing you to "check your privilege."

Old Post 03-28-13 03:11 #
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Grazza
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Platinum Shell said:
upcoming class read, Lord of the Flies.
You poor, poor bastards. Nothing will prepare you for the sheer awfulness of this dreadful and tedious book.

Old Post 03-28-13 03:21 #
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Technician
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Grazza said:
You poor, poor bastards. Nothing will prepare you for the sheer awfulness of this dreadful and tedious book.
Explain.

Old Post 03-28-13 03:31 #
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Platinum Shell
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Technician said:
Explain.


Yeah, I mean, now were 20 pages in (I guess my context of saying "upcoming read" wasn't appropriate for stating the assignment was last week, my bad) and I'm enjoying it a good deal. So yeah, explain please.

Old Post 03-28-13 03:36 #
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Technician
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I liked the book a lot.

Old Post 03-28-13 03:46 #
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GreyGhost
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Platinum Shell said:
Is it bad of me to have thrown Mrs.Dane over immediately?
Not at all, it's pretty obvious who won't make the cut.

Mrs. Dane - medical condition
Bobby Dane - high dependency
Jean Garcia - high dependency
Dr. Gonzales - medical condition

Two probably won't last long without their medication and the children would demand someone else's full-time attention, which is a less than ideal situation when you're living rough on an uncharted island.

Old Post 03-28-13 04:05 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
COCK BEEN BLOWED
IN YOUR MOUTH,
MANJUICE EXPLOAD


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Grazza said:
You poor, poor bastards. Nothing will prepare you for the sheer awfulness of this dreadful and tedious book.

At least it's not A Separate Peace.

Old Post 03-28-13 04:17 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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GreyGhost said:
Not at all, it's pretty obvious who won't make the cut.

Mrs. Dane - medical condition
Bobby Dane - high dependency
Jean Garcia - high dependency
Dr. Gonzales - medical condition

Two probably won't last long without their medication and the children would demand someone else's full-time attention, which is a less than ideal situation when you're living rough on an uncharted island.


Yeah, these are definitely the obvious choices. Every other point of conflict in the choices isn't worth leaving a slot empty or bringing one of the unhealty/dependent ones. It would be more interesting if Dr. Dane had a highly valuable skill (I suppose botany is, but I'm thinking more exaggerated), but wouldn't exactly be cooperative if you offed his wife and kid.

Old Post 03-28-13 05:15 #
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Kontra Kommando
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I immediately liked Dr. Dane because he is almost exactly like me. The difference is I'm not a professor, or have a mentally retarded son.

Old Post 03-28-13 06:04 #
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purist
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Just an obese wife.

This exercise let's you off the hook a little by allowing you to choose based on likelihood of independant survival.

And I enjoyed Lord of the Flies too.

Old Post 03-28-13 07:41 #
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gggmork
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Not surprising to see the establishment "teaching" race and religious infighting to divide and conquer.

What's the difference between government and the mafia? Government controls 12 years of compulsory brainwashing to convince you they're not a mafia.

Throw the narrator ("you") overboard because he falsely claimed authority to decide who goes and who stays, and thus will likely devolve into a Caligula-like politician over time on the island, demanding child sacrifices. Since there's only 11 people left I think, 7 can get in the lifeboat and 4 at a time can swim while holding onto the boat and they can take turns doing that.

Old Post 03-28-13 08:52 #
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DoomUK
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Platinum Shell said:
the assignment makes it seem like your the decider (with the power piece being intimidation,strength, gun or any combination of the three), and these people have fuck all say in the matter.

I refuse to participate without a better explanation as to how I'm in a position to say who lives or dies. I can't make choices like this vicariously, when the character I'm assuming the role of might not have anything in common with me.

Old Post 03-28-13 10:00 #
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GreyGhost
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gggmork said:
Throw the narrator ("you") overboard because he falsely claimed authority to decide who goes and who stays
What falsely claimed authority? It's my ship, my lifeboat, we're in international waters and I'll shoot any mutineers! :P

Old Post 03-28-13 10:09 #
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DoomUK
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GreyGhost said:
What falsely claimed authority? It's my ship, my lifeboat, we're in international waters and I'll shoot any mutineers! :P

The captain should go down with his ship. Have you no honour?

Old Post 03-28-13 10:20 #
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GreyGhost
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Nope - I'm being pragmatic and downsizing to something that still floats.

Old Post 03-28-13 10:40 #
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Enjay
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All the ones with medical conditions should be allowed to survive and the rest go down with the ship. Why? Because that means the healthy ones will die on the ship. The rest will die soonish anyway. 100% wipeout! Woohoo!


Ahhh, lord of the flies. Piggy and his ass-mar. Studied it twice at school. It could have been worse.

Old Post 03-28-13 11:11 #
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DoomUK
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Enjay said:
It could have been worse.

Indeed, I wish we'd studied something of a semblance to interesting like LOTF in school. Instead, we were condemned to read material which the average teenager can't appreciate. How most of us passed our GCSEs is a mystery.

Old Post 03-28-13 11:45 #
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kristus
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Technician said:
I liked the book a lot.

Old Post 03-28-13 11:57 #
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Snakes
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I'm pretty sure I would have liked the book if it hadn't been for the high school teacher's bullshit discussions that effectively sucked all joy of literature out of my system for the following year. (Damn, that's a long sentence.) It boiled down to, "This is how you should be interpreting this symbol or this theme."

Shit like that drives me nuts.

Old Post 03-28-13 16:54 #
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gggmork
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Shoot all the men and ugly women. Tell the remaining cute girls that Dr. Gonzales killed everyone then turned the gun on himself. Escort your well-deserved harem to your island paradise.

Old Post 03-28-13 17:26 #
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darkreaver
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killemall

Old Post 03-28-13 18:26 #
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Kontra Kommando
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It might be better to save the weaker links for the island, so you can better exert power over them. (If that's what you plan on doing)

Bobby could be a simple but effective informant/spy

Dr. Gonzalez is valuable for his medical expertise, but frail enough to be controlled.

Mrs. Garcia, because her past as a prostitute shows she can be manipulated.

Mary Evan, because she could probably still be influenced at age 18 [form a sexual relationship]

Jean Garcia, she could be raised to be loyal. Moreover, Mary Evans could be charged with her care, becoming a 2nd mother, further re-enforcing influence over the child’s development. When she grows up, she can take Bobby's place as a spy. Further, Bobby could then become your muscle by the time he reaches his late teens.

Last edited by Kontra Kommando on 03-28-13 at 19:15

Old Post 03-28-13 18:51 #
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Aliotroph?
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The fat lady can be used as a floatation device by someone.

Old Post 03-28-13 19:38 #
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Eris Falling
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Grazza said:
You poor, poor bastards. Nothing will prepare you for the sheer awfulness of this dreadful and tedious book.


Ohhh thank you. I also had to write an essay on this book and compare it to Macbeth (ref. DoomUK), which aside from the fact they both feature corruption in leaders, turning them more into dictators/tyrants, they are completely different.

I got a C grade in that essay. Didn't bother redoing it due to my sheer hatred of that story. Macbeth wasn't too bad but it wasn't worth revisiting LOTF.

Spoiler:
Piggy dies

Old Post 03-28-13 20:01 #
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fraggle
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It's an interesting problem because you can look at it two ways: are you choosing who should live, or who should die? I'd argue that it's the former, because everyone is doomed anyway if nobody gets onto the boat. The choice should be to pick the people most "useful" and who will be best able and most likely to survive: if you do not, you are potentially saving them at the cost of someone else (who could have taken their place) and others (who may have benefited from their skills).

For example, "Mr. Blake" is a racist, but he also has a number of really useful skills. If you leave him behind you condemn not only him to death but potentially, everyone who escaped in the lifeboat anyway (if they're unable to construct adequate shelter, for example). If they're forced to live and survive together for years, I think any political opinions are likely to become irrelevant.

I think a lot of the details (gender, political views, etc.) are irrelevant to the situation and it helps to get a blinded version that does not include them.


Platinum Shell said:

Dane 1: thirty-seven, Ph.D. in history, college professor, in good health (jogs daily), hobby is botany.
Dane 2: thirty-eight, rather obese, diabetic, M.A. in psychology, counselor in a mental health clinic.
Bobby: ten, mentally retarded with IQ of 70.
Garcia 1: twenty-three, ninth-grade education, cocktail waitress.
Garcia 2: three months old.
Evans: eighteen, trade school education, artistic.
Newton: twenty-five, starting last year of medical school, music as a hobby, physical fitness nut.
Clark: twenty-eight, college graduate, electronics engineer.
Blake: fifty-one, B.S. in mechanics, married with four children, enjoys outdoors, much experience in construction, quite handy.
Frans: thirty-seven, priest, active in civil rights, former college athlete, farming background.
Gonzales: sixty-six, doctor in general practice, two heart attacks in the past five years.


The choice is now to choose the four people least likely to be useful and/or to survive. I'd go with Dane 2 (no useful skills, unhealthy, potentially life-threatening medical condition), Bobby (too young to be useful even if he wasn't retarded), Garcia 1 (no useful skills), and one of either Garcia 2 (too young to be useful), Evans (no useful skills), Clark (no useful skills), Gonzales (likely not to survive).

Old Post 03-28-13 20:03 #
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dew
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so the ship is sinking violently and i'm supposed to review everyone's CVs and medical reports to assemble the perfect cast for the reboot of gilligan's island?

no. women and children first, then whoever was in the lifeboat sooner.

Old Post 03-28-13 21:47 #
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Jonathan
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Me, Mrs Garcia, Mary Evens, and Mrs Clark. That's it.

Old Post 03-28-13 22:00 #
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Platinum Shell
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dew said:
no. women and children first,


Aren't you a gentleman.

And my choices of who sleeps with the fishies is the same as GreyGhost. They seem to be the weakest links...you're only as strong as your weakest link, right? It was also interesting to note that over 2/3 of the class's female population let the little baby survive; not that it's too surprising since practically all of this 2/3 are teenieboppers.

I too thought why the life boat didn't have any sort of handles or straps on the side of it...cause I thought they could all go, just alternate which 4 are holding onto the boat in the water. What is it, some little inflatable dollar store piece of shit? And still why you're the decider...like a horrifying balls-to-the-walls session of team members picking teammates.

Old Post 03-29-13 01:08 #
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The Doomist
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Hank won't be pleased when he realized his son Bobby escaped onto a ship with a bunch of people that he doesn't know.

Bobby should DEFINITELY survive because his extent of propane knowledge can make himself craft a propane tank with propane in it to boost life boat to safety, while the others grab onto the sides of the lifeboat.

Hank will telepathically know of these actions, feel proud, then take a sip of beer and say "yep", while his 3 comrades follow on with the same statement, and they're also in envy.

^^^THIS IS WHY YOU KEEP BOBBY!^^^

And yes, I'm talking about Hank Hill from King of the Hill. Yep.

Old Post 03-29-13 01:43 #
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