When confronted with that well-known lifeboat test, who would you choose and why?
Are you looking to save others, for others to save you or for some harmonious combination of both?
Or perhaps its not all about saving. Perhaps its about those you would choose to go down with.
One thing is surely certain, you would only pick those you could trust. Wouldn’t you?
Ah yes, you might say, if there were 12 places, I could risk taking 2 bad eggs if they were good at sailing, the others would keep them in check if they misbehave. Maybe. You would leave 2 good guys behind so the other 10 have a better chance?
Calculations follow. What is the ratio of good guys to bad before there is too much risk to the mission?
Despite the hard-headed rationalism of these calculations, in the end it will come down to a judgement rather than a calculation. What’s the difference you ask?
It boils down to the role played by instinct, that mysterious animal quality which overrides logic when the chips are down. If there is a calculated ‘truth’ it is now overruled.
The choice returns to trust. Trust in our instincts as much as in the character of those you invite into the lifeboat with you.
At the end of Infinite Dream, the first part of the Infinity Trilogy, Jack Hallis, the ultimate human calculator, has a simple choice to make before he dies: who can he trust to complete the Lodestar mission?
For him it was easy, not because of her ability to run the company, not because she understood the intricacies of Lodestar but because Helgar Osmath was the one person alive he knew he could trust.
As Infinite Truth, the second part of the trilogy opens, Helgar knows she has no such luxury. How can she decide who to trust?
(image courtesy of Bravadi Malangjoedo on Unsplash)