atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6334: I would have been given a failing grade for this one.

Pick eight people to be saved from Doomsday.
Some of the choices included in the controversial assignment, which parents slammed as "insensitive," included a "militant African-American medical student," a "homosexual, male professional athlete" and a "female movie star who was recently the victim of sexual assault."
So, who would I leave behind?

I'd leave behind these people:
1) the 60-year-old Jewish university administrator
2) the famous novelist with a disability
3) the homosexual male pro athlete
4) the addicted accountant
...and my reasoning, if you read much of the Fungus at all, will not surprise you.

That these four were selected at all tends to make me think that how well they can aid the survival of the human race was not considered a very important criterion, but these are clearly the ones which would contribute the least to the success of the mission. Why?

1) Our Jewish university administrator is sixty years old. It does not tell us in which discipline he matriculated, but unless he is a genius on par with Rick Sanchez, his age makes him a complete liability. His life expectancy is at best twenty years, and he is old enough that if he were stranded on a deserted island on Earth his survival would be problematic. To say nothing of being on an alien world. So, rejected.

2) "Disability" is not defined for our famous novelist, but I'm assuming it's something that either requires drugs or some special accommodations to overcome--things which will never again be available within his lifetime once Earth is kaput. If he needs insulin, for example, where will he get it? Whatever the disability is, our team will have to expend too much time, energy, and other resources on keeping him alive, or accommodating whatever physical limitations are imposed by his disability. Rejected.

3) Because eight people, as a gene pool, is very small, we need as many members to be breeding stock as possible. On Earth, having a certain percentage of homosexuals is not a problem because they are vastly outnumbered by heterosexuals. But in an environment where there are only eight people? Rejected.

4) However good he is with numbers, this guy is nothing but trouble for the mission. Suppose he gets into the medical supplies and uses up all the pain relievers? Then what do you do when you need to give someone a Vicodin for an injury? Rejected.

Of course, this reasoning would probably get me a failing grade on the assignment, because this assignment is not about the survival of the human race, but virtue signaling. Because I crassly considered something other than their identities in making my selection, I'd be made to sit in the corner with a dunce cap on.

So--why would I not reject the other candidates, when the author of the assignment makes special effort to make them unpalatable? Well, in this thought experiment I abandon every last thing and think only of the survival of the human race; given that these twelve people are the pool that I have to choose from, and using only the information given, these are my choices, with some justification why.

Understand that the actual race of the people in question is utterly irrelevant to this discussion. I don't care what color their skins are; what I care about is how likely they are to survive and have children, because having children is what makes sure the race goes on. A starting pool of twelve people is far too few for my taste, and given the dire nature of the situation I'd rather have different candidates, but we'll work with what we have and go from there.

"Militant African-American medical student". This is a young person who has demonstrated intelligence and drive to succeed. The fact that this person can direct this drive and demonstrates a passion for a cause is a positive trait in a survival situation; even if it's misdirected in a civilized society. I'm assuming he's intelligent enough to recognize that the old grudges no longer apply.

"33-year-old Native American female manager who can't speak English". She can learn English. She's 33; although she's within about a decade of the end of her fertility she's still a woman and we need to be able to make babies. Further, being a manager, she should have some management skills, which will be useful.

"The accountant's pregnant wife". This is a two-fer. Although she's going to be less-able due to her pregnancy, she's still demonstrably a fertile female, and she's bringing a ninth person along with her. This is a plus for genetic diversity. In fact, I would prefer that all the females selected be pregnant, if possible, by men who are not on the mission--but we work with what we have.

"21-year-old female muslim student". Again, fertile female, which is vital to the success of this mission.

"Hispanic clergyman". There are no red flags here.

"Female movie star". What does the "recently a victim of sexual assault" factor have to do with this? There's no age specified but I assume she's on the young side. Whatever happened, she was picked for this mission and I therefore assume she's fit enough.

"Racist armed police officer who has been accused of using excessive force". Well, I like the fact that at least one person on the team knows how to use firearms and actually has one. Colonizing a habitable world means there will probably be some dangerous things to face. Are there no other weapons? What are we colonizing, the Garden of Eden? (Watch out for the snake.)

"Orphaned Asian 12-year-old boy". He's just about old enough to be breeding stock, and he's young, which are both marks in his favor.

So: five of these are specified as female. Assume the other three are male; that's not a bad ratio, survival-wise. My preference would be for all five of the females to be already pregnant by men not on the mission for maximum genetic diversity.

...and of course my reasoning and my choices are not politically correct, because I am ignoring the entire question of "privilege" and thinking about hard scientific facts, and becuase this is an exercise in political correctness I'd get a failing grade. Oh well.

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