I was reading The Book of Questions (the revised and updated 2013 edition) by Gregory Stock and I decided to answer all of the questions. Here they are – in the order the questions are asked in the book. Of course, I can’t provide the questions in this post but I have formulated the answers in such a way that most of them can be read without knowing the question. In some ways this post is also a test: If you read through all of the answers, you need a hobby.
Some of the questions are ridiculous, and I give ridiculous answers to ridiculous questions. There are follow-up questions for some of the questions that I do not always consider. My answers are honest but not too honest, and in most cases rather trivial. Maybe I’ll pick up the book again when (if?) I get old (older?) and see whether my answers will differ.
Here goes nothing:
1. I would rather lose one of my hands than not having access to any technological devices.
2. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t have a daughter.
3. I would rather be obsessed with food than money, sex, sports or religion.
4. I will rather spend the next five years in an urban mecca than a beautiful, isolated town.
5. I would find the Olympics much more interesting to watch if it embraced performance-enhancing drugs.
6. I would be fine if I figured out that a poem I like was actually written by a computer. I would actually be quite disappointed if machine learning can’t provide a poem that would touch me deeply.
7. I will never publicly admit to have broken the law.
8. I would never do anything to anonymously and safely destroy a person’s reputation online.
9. I believe the people visiting the Louvre in Paris on a typical Sunday is worth more than the art hosted there. Mona Lisa is also very overrated.
10. If I needed a new heart, I wouldn’t mind it coming from a genetically engineered pig.
11. It should be required for the police to archive footage of everything they do.
12. I wouldn’t mind putting on 40 pounds for three years for $100,000. It would be a fun story (and most likely something to write about).
13. Nothing could let me choose to permanently forget the languages I speak and be cut off from friends and culture.
14. If a person I was engaged to was in a car crash and became a paraplegic, I would most likely back out of the marriage.
15. I have no preference to be famous. If anything, I would see it more as a downside to accomplish certain things in life. And I would definitely not give up on anything important in order to achieve fame.
16. If women were fundamentally smarter and harder working than men, I would not support putting rules in place to ensure that men would share equally in the best jobs.
17. If I could, I would not watch to be able to spy electronically for the next month and watch anyone, anywhere, anytime. I am sure I would feel ashamed of doing so and I would be too paranoid about people being able to do the same on me.
18. If my parents told me that they never really loved or even liked me, I don’t think it would affect my life.
19. If a crystal ball could tell me about any one thing about the future, I would like to know how it is all going to end (and when). One of the sad things about not living forever is that I will never know how it is all going to play out.
20. I believe that the power of ads to change behaviour is overrated. If they could be tailored to my personal desires and concerns, I wouldn’t mind. I would be more annoyed and concerned by the data they had to collect in order to tailor the ads.
21. Any discovery of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would not alter my core beliefs.
22. If I could legally pay whatever income tax I wanted, I would pay none at all. If everyone else should pay the same rate, I would pay 20%.
23. To be financially secure, I do more to have enough to withstand the unexpected rather than trying to avoid risks.
24. I would never completely rewrite a person’s college application essay if it would help them get into a better school.
25. I would not like to have a high-definition nude image of myself in my physical prime (whenever that might be).
26. I would never say yes to a lot of money knowing that I would go bankrupt after two years.
27. I would like to be more intelligent than 99.9 percent of the population, and I would not be concerned about how that would affect my sense of humour.
28. If there was an interstellar journey to a planet with the first known extraterrestrial life, that wouldn’t return for a century, I would not be interested. Even if I would only age by a few years during the trip (like in Interstellar). I don’t think anything could change my mind. Maybe if I have only a few years left to live to make them seem longer?
29. If the only way I could support my family was to steal money from someone wealthy, and I could get away with it, I would most likely do it.
30. I feel envy more often than gratitude.
31. If I was locked in a time machine set for one one-way trip (to the past or the future), I would not go far. I would most likely go a few years back, buy a lot of bitcoins and do other investments. I prefer the current world and life too much to leave it behind. I think today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be worse than today (climate change and whatnot).
32. If the U.S. was hit with a nuclear bomb, I do hope that they do not unleash their nuclear arsenal.
33. I would like to spend a week as someone of the opposite sex, preferably someone around my own age to make the counterfactual comparison as strong as possible. And I would read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex before and after the experience.
34. As I use my real name in all online interactions, I would not change my behaviour if it was enforced that all communication should take place with people’s real names. As I also tend to ignore people not writing with their real name on social media, it would not really matter.
35. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to compare your partner’s intelligence and look to your own. Actually, I would be slightly concerned if I could easily make such a comparison.
36. If I were to die now, I would most likely regret not having told certain people how much they have meant to me and shaped how I see the world. As I am not about to die, I don’t see any need to tell them yet, if ever.
37. If a stranger on a plane offered me $30,000, I would never accept the money independent of the requirements. Don’t trust strangers, kids.
38. For $30,000 I would go for 2 months without washing, brushing my teeth, shampooing, and using deodorant. I do not use shampoo in general so that part would be easy.
39. I have no problem with most medicine being legal as long as the risks are well-known and the individual benefits are greater than the potential negative side effects.
40. I find any questions about what I would do if I had kids too hypothetical to take seriously.
41. I can’t imagine ever doing anything that would estrange me from my family and friends.
42. I think the world will be a better place 100 years from now.
43. It is easier to be a man than a woman in our culture.
44. I would rather lose my memory of past events than no longer being able to form new memories.
45. I would never kill someone. I could not even see myself ever hitting another person.
46. I am happier with more control over what happens in my life than by having control over my response to what happens.
47. If high-tech goggles would let you see through people’s clothing, I believe they should be banned.
48. I will rather have a great private life but an uninspiring professional one than be successful professionally with only a tolerable private life. Not that I don’t care about professional success or work a lot, but I can only focus on work if/when I have a great private life.
49. I have no idea what the most outrageous thing I have ever done is.
50. It would be great if all humans were sterile by default and had to take a (free) readily available “fertility” pill in order to get pregnant.
51. I admire people who have a lot of ‘social energy’. I can spend hours in a multi-person setting (i.e., at least 3 persons), but after a few hours I can slowly feel the need to relax and recharge.
52. I don’t introduce myself to complete strangers.
53. If I had a voodoo doll that worked, I would – for several reasons – not use it on anyone.
54. If someone invited everyone who ever mattered to me, I would not be excited to see any of them. I would be much more curious about the social dynamics between all those people that – in a lot of cases – would meet for the first time.
55. I prefer people close to me to tell me the truth – even if it hurts.
56. I estimate that my character has been forged equally by success and disappointment.
57. I would rather change my profession than move to another part of the country.
58. There are no people I envy so much that I would want to trade lives with them.
59. If I got an all-expenses-paid, one-week vacation anywhere in the world, I would be willing to tear the wings off a beautiful butterfly or step on a cockroach. I don’t think it would affect my ability to enjoy the vacation.
60. If I wanted to take a new and uncertain path in my life, I would not listen to what my friends had to say unless they made a very good argument for why not.
61. If I was a role model to millions of children, I would most likely make some decisions on order to live a more anonymous life.
62. I would not be willing to murder an innocent child to end hunger in the world. (I find all of these questions to be meaningless and not even saying anything about whether I have a utilitarian worldview or not.)
63. If God appeared to me in a series of dreams, I would not think further about that once I woke up.
64. If I could have a free, unlimited service for five years, I would go with a good cook. It would be great not to have to think about cooking food for five years. The only downside would be that I would be less willing to eat out.
65. If a very close friend only had six months to live, I would make a few arrangements and spend more time with the friend.
66. My greatest accomplishment is my PhD. It didn’t mean a lot to me.
67. If my family lived in a low-lying area affected by climate change, they would most likely be forced to move.
68. If I could take a pill that would permanently alter me so that I only needed an hour of sleep a day (without any side effects), I would happily give up half on what I own.
69. If I knew that devoting myself to an all-consuming occupation for 20 years would make me one of the best in the world at it, I would not do it. I see myself as too much of a generalist to find any pleasure to master a single domain. I have one life and I don’t want to waste that in one domain, despite how much success that could lead to (or, as for most people, not lead to).
70. I am unable to say what has been my best and worst experiences with alcohol and drugs. That is a feature that I enjoy about alcohol – making it difficult to compare an experience to that of other experiences (even experiences that also involves alcohol).
71. I would not like a rice grain-sized computer chip implant in my fingertip, even if it enabled me to throw away credit cards and keys. It would be convenient when it is working but I can also imagine multiple scenarios and potential problems where it would be less convenient.
72. If someone looked at my friends with the explicit aim of learning something about me, they would most likely (or hopefully) conclude that I am quite selective in terms of who I want to spend time with.
73. If I could have one of fingers removed surgically and that would somehow guarantee me immunity from all major diseases, I would go for that. I can definitely learn to live with nine fingers and I would enjoy never having to worry about major diseases.
74. I prefer to spend time with people who are world-wise and experienced than people who are more naïve.
75. I don’t want for the government to use more cameras, implanted sensors, and automated surveillance devices to monitor citizens – even if it is only going to be used for convicted felons after their release.
76. I would never buy a gun. Even if I lived in a place with a lot of crime and the police was slow to respond.
77. I would be more intrigued than distressed if I found out that I had four living identical twins.
78. If my flat was on fire and I could only save one thing, I would most likely save my Mac (especially if my most recent work wasn’t fully backed-up). Actually, since I first answered the question, and wrote the previous paragraph, I came close to having to deal with this question in a non-hypothetical manner. The other day I was reading a book in the evening in complete silence when someone knocked at my door. I could hear the person was also knocking on other doors in the building. I went out and the person told me that there was a lot of smoke upstairs and people should get outside. I was 99% sure that there was nothing to be worried about, but just to be on the safe side, I packed my Mac, iPad, phone, wallet, keys, face mask and a bottle of water and went downstairs. I thought that in the unlikely scenario of a full-blown fire, I would be fine with these things.
79. I had not had a violent physical clash for as long as I can remember.
80. I wouldn’t mind if I learned that my partner’s previous lover wasn’t the same sex as me.
81. I would not like to travel into any point of the future if the cost was to return a year later with whatever knowledge I could obtain.
82. I would never play Russian roulette. Or, the odds would need to be crazy unrealistic. Like 1 to 10,000.
83. I will rather play games with people slightly more skilled than I am.
84. I don’t mind euthanasia in very special cases.
85. If what I owned had no bearing on what people thought of me, I would not spend my money differently.
86. If I could pick anyone in the world as my dinner guest, I would pick Tyler Cowen.
87. I believe it is fine to give people in prison access to the Internet.
88. I often take a step back and reflect on where I am headed. If anything, I think less self-reflection would be good.
89. I would not pay anything for additional medical care. I am happy with the current services I have access to – and I don’t expect those will change in the future.
90. If I see a bird with a broken wing, I would have no clue about what to do. Accordingly, I would see if anybody near me would have a clue – or begin to google and call people.
91. I don’t think state leaders should negotiate with terrorists.
92. I wouldn’t mind giving up sex for a year if it gave certain long-term benefits.
93. If I could add an extra decade to my life and it would take that decade from a random person, I would – with no additional information – not do it. Assuming that I live long enough to turn, say, 85, I am not sure how much extra 10 years of living will be for me. Especially not having to live with the price of those 10 years.
94. If a good friend pulled a well-conceived practical joke that made me look completely ridiculous, the good friend would most likely no longer be a (good) friend.
95. I feel comfortable going to the movies alone – and to some extent to dinner alone (though I very much enjoy the social aspect of eating out).
96. If I could direct medical research funds towards finding a cure for a specific disease, I would not do it. My main concern would be that the little progress achieved on other diseases would have more negative long-term implications. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I am writing this answer in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s quite obvious that a lot of resources are already (rightfully) targeted a cure for this disease.
97. If a good friend of mine fell in love with someone I thought was deceptive and creepy, I would most likely tell my friend but not do anything else to prove my point.
98. I am fine with the fact that I will not achieve anything of real importance in life.
99. I would – for various reasons – prefer to put my parents in a nursing home than having to take care of them in my own home.
100. I don’t think it’s worth additional resources to develop technologies enabling people to travel faster between adjacent cities. If anything, I would prefer slower but better public transportation (and by better, I mean more climate-friendly – and expensive for people who want to travel in their own car/plane).
101. If I had to pick between a baby crying, someone screaming, someone cursing drunkenly, or the song “It’s a Small World” played over and over and over again every morning for the next year, I would pick the sound of a baby crying.
102. I could see myself dying if I could save someone I love deeply.
103. I would not like to travel into the past without the possibility to return.
104. I would rather die painfully and alone at age 80 than peacefully among friends at age 50.
105. My life has not changed dramatically from one second to the next because of a seemingly random influence.
106. I would be happy to work the same amount of time I do now for double the pay (rather than work half of what I do for the same pay).
107. If someone deliberately stops talking to me, I will accept that decision (independent of their reasons) and not reach out.
108. I have never borrowed money from family or friends and not paid back (as far as I remember).
109. For extraordinary wealth, I would accept having terrifying nightmares every night for a year. However, it truly had to be extraordinary wealth.
110. I would never be able to kill a cow.
111. I would not like to record everything I hear or see.
112. I don’t want someone to know every single thought and feeling I have for a week.
113. I would not enjoy a month of solitude in an isolated, beautiful natural setting. Sure, I might have a fine time, but I would not enjoy it more than not having a month of solitude.
114. If I was first being told, after a medical examination, that I only had a month to live, and I then found out after a week that it was incorrect, I am sure I would appreciate life more.
115. If I was to see a dog locked in a car next to a large shopping center suffering from the heat, I would inform security (or someone else working nearby) to look into it.
116. I don’t believe that continuous video monitoring of all roads, walkways, parks, and other public spaces is worth it.
117. If I could end cigarette smoking at a global scale, I would definitely do it.
118. If I knew that I would die of a heart attack in a year, I don’t really know what I would do. Most likely consider my retirement plans (for the first time in my life) and make some funeral arrangements and whatnot.
119. If people used tiny point-of-view cameras to record what they saw and heard, I don’t really think I would like to watch any of it.
120. If I got $2 million to leave the UK and never set foot in the country again, I would most likely accept the offer.
121. I can see very good reasons to make certain virtual yet not “real” experiences illegal.
122. When I recount experiences, I definitely do what I can not to exaggerate.
123. I would be a little more relaxed if I knew what humanity would look like 500 years from now.
124. It is hard for me to ask for help.
125. I would happily perform alone in front of a thousand people if someone agrees to make a large contribution to a charity.
126. If I died tomorrow, I have no clue what the funeral would be like. I couldn’t care less (I am dead). My only preference would be that the people that now have outlived me will arrange whatever funeral they believe I deserve.
127. I do not think that we need to monitor every single move made by politicians in order to reduce political corruption.
128. I will never make decisions about who should (not) have antivenom.
129. I would rather have a child that was ugly than boring or stupid.
130. If I should place myself on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is having security and comfort and goals within easy reach, and 10 is taking risks, struggling, and reaching for great achievement, I would put myself at a 5.
131. I work harder to earn praise and recognition than to avoid criticism.
132. I would like a permanent cardiac monitor that could detect telltale signs of an impending heart attack.
133. If I was aware of serious crimes being conducted by politicians, I would try to expose the crimes (even if I worked for the government).
134. I would not, out of the blue, pay for a train ticket to a stranger.
135. I don’t believe in a distinction between body and mind.
136. I strive for security through accomplishment and success.
137. If I had one shot at a 50-50 bet that would pay 10 times my wager if I won, I would most likely put down 10% of my annual salary.
138. My two most compulsive habits are checking Twitter and my phone (I don’t use Twitter on my phone). I do struggle to break them but not enough to actively trying to break them.
139. If I had to do all electronic communication with friends and colleagues using one ‘technology’, I would pick social media (and not phone, text or email).
140. I would not like to get rid of any animals or plants. I am a huge fan of biodiversity.
141. If I found out that a close friend was a heroin dealer, I would most likely end the friendship (after we had a great and interesting conversation).
142. If I was driving a car and hit a dog, I would always stop to help.
143. I have no interest in taking any drugs that will alter my motivation or preferences.
144. I would need to know how exactly I could contribute to humanity before I would even consider sacrificing my life.
145. I am not in my current job because of the pay, so I would not chance my profession if I could keep my current salary.
146. I don’t enjoy doing things for the first time. I am too concerned about failing – or at least collecting data – for me in order to enjoy something.
147. If I had an online stalker and there was nothing the authorities could do about it, I guess I would just have to live with it.
148. My family is really great.
149. I would not give anything for wonderful erotic dreams every night. In general, dreams are overrated. I am much more into the absence of nightmares than having good dreams.
150. If someone I know starts belittling a common acquaintance, I will – on average – stand up for the person.
151. I would definitely not mind having my rate of physical aging slowed significantly. Even if it meant that I could in principle live for 1,000 years.
152. I believe that my personal growth has been somewhat constant over time. Accordingly, I don’t have a specific period in my life where I have seen the most personal growth and change.
153. If I had difficulties on a critical test at school and could safely cheat by looking up answers online, I don’t know what I would do. I guess it depends upon what would be at stake.
154. If I find a dead cockroach in my salad, I would definitely stop eating.
155. For $50,000, I would not rule out putting a healthy pet I love to sleep. However, it depends upon what pet it is, age of the pet, etc.
156. It would be easier for me to leave the country and never return than never being able to travel more than 150 miles away from where I live.
157. If I could become brilliant by having a visible scar stretching from mouth to ear, I would be fine with that (though I find it difficult to understand the potential causal mechanism).
158. I don’t remember dreams (or nightmares) for more than a day or two (if they are not already forgotten when I wake up).
159. I might be willing to shorten my life by a decade for certain things in life (I am not sure about what though).
160. If 100 people I went to school with were sampled at random, I think a lot of them would be more satisfied with their lives. That being said, I would not want to switch with any of those people.
161. When I am dead, I am dead. It would not disturb me much whatever plans people have for me once I am dead.
162. If I had to pick between two virtually equivalent medicines, with the only difference being whether they were synthesized in the laboratory or harvested from a medicinal plant, I would pick the latter.
163. I will never get a tattoo.
164. There are certain things in life, small and big, I don’t keep track of.
165. There is not one thing that, if I was to be without it, life would not be worth living.
166. I don’t think there is an age beyond which it should be illegal for women to bear children.
167. I would like for my friends to honestly tell me what they think of me.
168. I would not like to wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else and assume his or her life.
169. I don’t think we need more extensive car and road sensors. We just need to get rid of cars in the first place.
170. If I was happily married, I would not leave my spouse.
171. If there was a drug that could make me extraordinarily happy, I would not use it.
172. I think it goes without saying who is the most important person in my life.
173. When I do something ridiculous, I do of course think a lot about who see it – especially if they laugh.
174. If I needed a dangerous brain surgery, I would prefer to have an extremely gifted surgeon – independent of how he or she is as a person.
175. I do not believe in capital punishment.
176. I would be concerned about the unintended effects of chancing anything about the way I was raised,
177. There is nothing I have dreamt of for a long time but hasn’t done.
178. I am not religious.
179. I have absolutely no opinions about how to punish children for wrongdoings.
180. I don’t swim.
181. Nothing I have done within the last three months (at the time of writing) has been really satisfying.
182. If I find out that someone is cheating on his or her partner, I don’t see it as my responsibility to interfere.
183. If I could help out a good friend by donating one of my kidneys, I can’t see why not.
184. I would never jump into an icy mountain lake.
185. I find it hard to say no to tasks. I am getting much better at it though.
186. I haven’t stolen anything as an adult.
187. I would rather spend a month on vacation with my parents than putting in four weeks of uncompensated overtime at work.
188. I could see myself making a substantial sacrifice that could give me fame (picture on a postage stamp, a Nobel Prize, etc.), but I would not do it for the fame itself.
189. I don’t believe it is possible (or ever will be) to clone an identical twin of a person.
190. I don’t think there is anything too serious to be joked about if the context and the intention is fine.
191. I feel real excitement and passion in my work about once a month (on average).
192. If I could know exactly when I was going to die (and nothing could change that date), I would take a look at the date.
193. I don’t spit, clean my teeth or pick my nose in public.
194. I would not want to choose the sex of my child if possible.
195. I would not seek personal revenge outside the justice system.
196. If a friend asks me to tell the truth, and I can do so in a constructive manner, I will do so.
197. I don’t have ideas about what I want to achieve that I would give a lot to accomplish.
198. I don’t know what I have brought into the world that would not be here without me. I mean, even the most ambitious inventions and accomplishments would most likely see the light of day at some point if it wasn’t for the inventor who got the credit.
199. I would like to know my risk for an illness, even if it has no effective treatment.
200. I would not do anything to satisfy whatever needs an eccentric millionaire might have.
201. If I could get an inflation-adjusted lifetime stipend of $150,000 per year, even if I couldn’t earn or inherit additional money, I would be fine.
202. The last time I cried in front of another person has most likely been while watching a sad movie.
203. If I was attracted to someone of another race, I don’t think my behaviour would change.
204. I don’t want to wear a smartwatch.
205. I don’t believe in ghosts or evil spirits.
206. I judge others by higher standards than I judge myself.
207. If I had to consider putting in the work to become the best runner in the world, I would first of all look into whether I had the best characteristics to make it (which I am 100% sure I do not have).
208. I would not be interested in giving up on the Internet for five years.
209. I prefer to have a few great friends rather than lots of good friends.
210. The COVID-19 lockdown gave me a good sense of who I would like to spend 2 years with in a small, fully provisioned Antarctic shelter.
211. If I learned that I was going to die in a few days, I would regret not having done more to myself to not die at the age of 33. If there was nothing I could have done, I would have no regrets.
212. If I had a car I would turn off any potential features that I would collect data on me as a person (including body weight).
213. I prefer a stable level of happiness than a greater average level of happiness with more variation.
214. I would – with no hesitations – shave my head for $20,000.
215. If I knew that my child would die by the age of 5, I would want to abort.
216. If someone would commit suicide if I left them, I would do whatever I could to convince them to seek help.
217. I will never berate a server at a restaurant about some trivial problem.
218. I would not under any circumstances watch a public execution in person.
219. If advanced technologies enabled everyone to enjoy the material benefits of an upper-middle-class lifestyle without having to work, I am sure we would still continue to work in order to strive for the material benefits of the upper-class lifestyle. That’s human nature.
220. I would never accept a bribe for privileged information about one of my company’s products.
221. If I could take a one-month trip anywhere in the world, I would most likely spend it in Japan and travel a lot by train. See different places, get some work done, sleep on the train, etc.
222. I don’t like the idea of every person in the country being in a DNA databank.
223. I would not do something boring and unsatisfying for five years just to obtain inner peace for the rest of my life.
224. I wouldn’t mind being physically ugly if it meant I could live for 100 more years. However, on average, there should be a strong correlation between longevity and beauty.
225. I don’t think it makes any sense to consider life without a body.
226. There are things too personal to discuss with others.
227. If I come upon a last wallet with a name and address inside, I would return it. Especially if it contained $1,000.
228. I would rather be deaf than blind.
229. I don’t think I would be better able to raise myself than my parents would be if they had to raise me again.
230. I don’t believe in the perfect marriage.
231. I would not want to eat a bowl of live crickets for $5,000.
232. I would never take anything a fortune teller at a party told me serious.
233. I don’t think I have much impact on the lives of people whose paths I cross.
234. I have no opinions on what kind of children other people should be allowed to have (or not have).
235. I would not give up a friendship to achieve success. I have had a friend who would give up a friendship in order to get a decent academic paper into a decent academic journal though.
236. I would never – even if possible – force anyone to love me.
237. I would not want to replace any of my memories, good or bad.
238. I have not – as an adult – disliked someone for being luckier or more successful than me. I have had feelings of jealousy and whatnot, but nothing that has ever made me not like another person for that reason.
239. I believe I have experienced most new activities in life at the right time.
240. I don’t know what I like best about my life. I do appreciate the fact that I am not religious and that I am (relatively) open to new ideas.
241. If I was given $1 million to donate anonymously, I would most likely donate it to an organisation working with climate change.
242. I will rather live in a country with a social safety net than a country where it is easier to get rich if you succeed (if it even makes sense to work with such a trade-off). And I am aware of the irony of me writing this when living in the UK.
243. If I had to pick between saving 100 people where 5 will die or an even chance of saving everyone, but if it fails everyone will die, I would pick the former.
244. I have no attitudes towards child rearing.
245. I would not want to take a pill that would let me eat food without absorbing calories or nutrition.
246. I have no strong opinions towards IVF and what is possible. I would not have any problems with using artificial chromosomes to increase a kid’s life expectancy.
247. I would rather be given $25,000 for my own use than $250,000 to give anonymously to strangers.
248. Most of my friendships have lasted more than 10 years.
249. I don’t answer weird hypothetical questions about what happens in old converted mine shaft with little oxygen left.
250. I wouldn’t do anything differently if I could be more outgoing and uninhibited.
251. I wouldn’t want to be quadriplegic, paralyzed below the neck for more than a few minutes to save the extinction of the blue whale (seriously, some of these questions are … weird).
252. I seek routines in my life.
253. I would rather be unhappy and creative than happy and unimaginative.
254. People can usually count on me to do what I say I will do.
255. I would appreciate to live closer to my family than I currently do.
256. I appreciate a certain physical distance in the company of others.
257. I would not like to travel into the future if I was unable to return.
258. I don’t think any specific death among the people close to me would disturb me more. I think I would be somewhat equally disturbed (as long as you of course adjust for age and related factors).
259. I don’t think schools should have cameras that allowed parents to monitor their kids while in school.
260. I don’t cancel plans if something more exciting comes up.
261. I don’t have a specific situation, experience or failure that I consider my biggest disappointment in life.
262. If computers could think and feel, people should still be able to own them.
263. I wouldn’t react strongly if I found out that I was selected by my parents from 100 of their embryos because of my likely traits and temperament.
264. I prefer to live in the harsh realities rather than in wonderful dreams.
265. I don’t think any country should embark on a eugenics program.
266. I don’t want to be hypnotized to make my biggest worry fade away.
267. I listen more than I talk (I think).
268. I would not want to return to any previous point in my life and change a decision I made and pick up from there.
269. I like space.
270. I would not commit perjury for a close friend.
271. If a housekeeping robot could do every household task for me, I would not want to do anything myself.
272. I rate my integrity better than the population on average. However, I acknowledge that this might simply be the better-than-average effect in action.
273. Five years from now I would like to be a British citizen and … be on the same path as I am on now, I guess. What I need at this point is to not know where I will be in five years.
274. If I found out that my great-great-grandfather had done something wrong, I would most likely not try to make up for it.
275. If I had to pick among negative events, I would pick a plane crash at a local airport rather than an automobile accident that would kill a friend of mine or a large earthquake in Chile.
276. I find myself saying things I don’t mean just to be polite. I don’t see a problem with that.
277. If I had a near-perfect lie detector, I would only use it on myself.
278. I would not stop to watch a terrible highway accident just after the ambulances arrived (especially not if there is nothing I could do to help).
279. If I could be cryonically frozen after I died instead of a burial or cremation, I guess I would be fine with that, especially if the costs were identical.
280. If I had to tattoo my arm with a message to myself, I would write ” “. I don’t really want a tattoo at all and the fewer characters the better.
281. I would not want to ever monitor another person’s car.
282. If I ever break my leg on an icy sidewalk, I would not consider suing anyone.
283. If I could choose the manner of my death, I should pass away in my sleep.
284. I think it’s possible to cheat on a partner online.
285. I trust my intuition in most cases because the stakes are low. For bigger decisions, I don’t trust my intuition – even if it turns out to be right.
286. I would not like to be the president of the United States.
287. I have no preference for taking a pill that would make me feel glad.
288. I don’t see governments as a force for good that should be expanded at any cost.
289. I don’t want for the military to assassinate anyone – with or without drones.
290. I look to the future more with anticipation than anxiety.
291. I don’t believe in 100% honest questions and answers. It’s possible to lie – especially to yourself.
A few reflections now that I have answered all questions. First, it has been fun to see how I could answer very personal questions in a way that is honest but also not providing too many private details of my life (that I would never post here). Second, some of these questions are stupid – and stupid questions get stupid answers. Third, I doubt my answers will change a lot over the next decades, but I will be happy to return to the questions and take a look in, say, 2041. Stay tuned.