Thursday, February 01, 2007


If you had no choice- you have to know the answer to one of the following questions, which one would you choose? You can't know both and you can't choose to not know the answer to either (which of course is most everybodies natural prefeence).

Which one would you choose to know?

How will I die?


When will I die?


Andrew Peck said...

How I die.

lisa d said...

i guess when.

only because if my 'how' turned out to be in a car accident or plane crash, then i might become afraid to go anywhere. when's got tons of points against it too, but i can't just rot up here in the hills.

by the way, debbie downer, maybe you should go see a happy little movie or something. sheesh.

Hal said...

Josh, you've been perplexing me with your question posts of late.

As to this question, what if i know the answer already to both?

Steve said...

I think my vote is for how.

Liana said...

Lisa has a good argument - but I think I'd want to know the "how".

This argument could go either way as to "would I live my life differently if..." but, I think knowing the date would be too much for me to know.

sarah said...

weird. i agree with Lisa.

When is not unusual. It's akin to a doctor saying, "You have this long to live."
You would come to terms with the timing.
How, though, would make one wary whenever the method in question was mentioned or near. it could be anytime, but don't go near the burner, or drive too fast...i think that knowiung how you would die would introduce a level of fear or stress that would not be easily overcome.

Steve said...

Ultimately we always have the knowledge that we'll die, but we're able to overlook it. Once we knew the moment of our death, the tick-tock of that timer might become insanely audible.

Knowing the how could conceivably help you avoid it, and that's why I like it, I guess -- it's the answer that lets me retain some (perceived) control over my destiny. Once you know the when, the game's over, and you're but a character in a novel someone's already finished.

heidiann(e) said...

definitely WHEN. if i knew how, then i'd be filled with terror of the HOW everytime i encountered it. if i knew the when, i'd just buckle down and get ready to be gone that day.

jdjones said...

The thing about HOW is that statistically speaking I’d most likely be told that I was going to die by something that I already knew was likely to be my cause of death. For instance, to have someone confirm that heart failure was definitely going to kill me at some point wouldn’t seem to affect me all that much.

HOW would only be an issue in the unlikely event that I was told my death was something like “stabbed to death by clowns.”

Rocket Surgeon, Phd said...

When, for sure.

I'd like to know what I'm working with here.
But knowing HOW might also provide clues to WHEN - perhaps giving you an edge on both questions.

If I died by crashing my hovercraft into a hive of deadly nano-hornets and they lasered me to death I could assume I died in the distant future.

But if I flipped my Jeep on an icy road because I was trying to turn up the kaiser cheifs on EQX, i could assume that was tomorrow and I'd better eat out tonight.

Cameo said...

Both Lisa and Job have very good points, but I think I will go with Lisa. Knowing how will make me a paranoid wreck, when will leave me a ease even if the answer to when is tomorrow.

BarefootKangaroo said...

I choose when.

john tate said...

Have you ever read "Appointment in Samara" or something like that by W. Somerset Maugham? Great little tale about such things. I choose how - it's far more natural to know how than it would be to know when.