Klosterememe II

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series will feature these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments! It will also challenge my recollection Roman numerals.

And so…

Think of someone who is your friend (do not select your best friend, but make sure the person is someone you would classify as “considerably more than an acquaintance”).

This person is going to be attacked by a grizzly bear.

Now this person will survive this bear attack; that is guaranteed. There is a 100% chance that your friend will live. However, the extent of his injuries are unknown; he might receive nothing but a few superficial scratches, but he also might lose a limb (or multiple limbs). He might recover completely in twenty-four hours with nothing but a great story, or he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

bear attackSomehow, you have the ability to stop this attack from happening. You can magically save your friend from the bear. But his (or her) salvation will come at a peculiar price: If you choose to stop the bear, it will always rain. For the rest of your life, wherever you go, it will be raining. Sometimes it will pour and sometimes it will drizzle – but it will never not be raining. But it won’t rain over the totality of the earth, nor will the hydrological cycle be disrupted; these storm clouds will be isolated, and they will focus entirely on your specific whereabouts. You will never see the sun again.

Do you stop the bear and accept a lifetime of rain?

My answer: This is indeed a challenging question. On the one hand, if you know you have the power to stop the bear but do nothing and your friend ends up a quad amputee, you would probably feel pretty bad. On the other hand, if I never get to see the sun again, I would probably kill myself because 8 months of S.A.D a year is difficult enough to deal with. But if I look at it from a utilitarian standpoint, if it rains around me everywhere I go for the rest of my days, I will probably be ruining a lot of people’s lives. If I do nothing to save my friend, I will potentially only be ruining one life. Or maybe no lives at all. Therefore I choose NOT to intervene and let the bear attack.

Klosterman Theory: He would also let the bear attack.

Your answer goes in the comments!



  1. If I didn’t let the bear attack my friend, I would then have some weird power where I could bring rain to drought-parched areas. I could, in fact, become one of the most important people on the planet. That’s a pretty big deal – governments, farmers and maybe film crews needing a rainy shot might pay me millions for my powers. All that, AND I’d save my friend from an uncertain bear fate. Worth giving up the sun? I’d be bummed, but yes. I’d give up the sun. I’d move to Seattle, where nobody would know the difference for much of the year, and I’m sure my friends up there would like that. Then I’d go elsewhere for the summer to give the Seattleites a break.

  2. This is a very healthy way of looking at it. You are indeed a good and thoughtful person.

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