“Thought experiments are devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things. They are used for diverse reasons in a variety of areas, including economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, and the sciences, especially physics.”
Thought Experiment #1: Money to Burn
Say you give a workshop on social justice
to thirty well-intentioned New Age aficionados
racially, socially, culturally diverse, consisting
of the requisite teenager and senior, a mass
of middle-aged women and a liberal handful
of enlightened men, all standing in a circle.
They have already sung Pennies From Heaven
while emptying their pocket change into the paper mache
wishing well sitting next to an iron bowl
on an opulent silk scarf spread to form an altar.
You ask them all to donate one dollar bill-
a dollar for which they get nothing in return.
It must be given freely,
no strings attached.
You will never get it back.
AGREE! they shout happily in unison.
Men slap each other on the back,
teary-eyed women hug.
Chanting an unintelligible mantra,
you pile the bills in a the iron bowl,
flick your Bic, and set them alight.
What the HELL! snarls a mild-mannered SNAG*
turned Raging Bull. Someone vomits on the grass.
A woman screams, the lady dressed in green hugs
an oak and sobs as if her heart will break.
You begin to think you’ve gone too far too fast.
You’ve lost control of the class, but it’s too late.
Little Goth girl grins a feral grin- the mob
moves as one… JUDAS! TRAITOR!
They string you up on a make-shift rope
made of leather thongs, twisted panty-hose
and the purple altar cloth. What did you think
would happen? You slew a god.
WARNING: It is illegal to burn, tear, deface or mutilate US currency. Do not try this experiment at home.
*SNAG Sensitive New Age Guy
©2015 Christine Irving