Higgins Versus Klosterman XV, Special Edition: Revealed Knowledge

Another one of mine, I think; it’s possible someone else told me a version of this somewhere along the way. It’s a quick one. I just watched Wristcutters: A Love Story and it kinda reminded me of this, in an oblique way.

You are dead, and you live in Heaven. You are very happy there. Heaven has movie theaters, where people sometimes pass the time. These theaters play normal movies, but they also sometimes play things like “Your Top Ten Moments”–everyone who goes in to the movie will see a different montage of glorious touchdowns, epic views, walks down the aisle, etc. You are walking past the theater one day when you see that the theater is showing “The Top Ten Most Attractive People Who Were Attracted To You (And You Never Knew).”

Would you watch this feature?

This is always a fun conversation piece, and it amazes me how many people say “no.”

The first reason people say “no” is that they feel that the list is a lose-lose situation. If they are impressed with the individuals in the list–and perhaps even nursed lifelong secret crushes on them–then they are going to feel that they missed out during their lifetime on some potentially awesome experiences. If they are unimpressed with the individuals in the list, they feel that they will feel personally denigrated, as well–if the people who are attracted to me are unimpressive, then I must be unimpressive, goes the thinking. While this thinking is understandable, it fails to take into account a number of points:

  • The first case pivots on the assumption that you will feel that your life could have been better. I don’t think this will necessarily be true; while I’m sure most people go to the grave with regrets, many also pass happily married, convinced they are with the best person in the world for them. That person could be ranked higher, in their mind, than the #1 person on the list, and therefore they’d feel no remorse (or less).
  • The second case pivots on the assumption that unimpressive people like unimpressive people, which seems reasonable but could be untrue for all sorts of reasons–for example, if the person lived in a remote and boring place and just never knew that many impressive people at all.
  • The second case also assumes that this revelation can have an effect on you–again, if you were already perfectly pleased with your life/partner, I find no reason why this would take away from that.

As you can probably tell, I am in favor of watching it. I am generally in favor of knowing rather than not knowing. I think it would be interesting if nothing else.


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