Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

The Lightning Game

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Imagine you are the stickman above on a big blank white space. 5 lightning bolts will strike randomly on the blank space within the next 10 minutes. You have no idea when and where the lightning will strike. If you get hit by a lightning bolt, you will be dead. What will you do to ensure your maximum chances of survival?

1. Will you be staying put in one position or will you keep moving around the blank space?

2. If you are moving around, will you walk or will you run?

<……. If you are interested in this mini-game, give a thought about it first before continue reading……>




I asked my friends of these 2 questions and all of their answers are similar.

1. They will be moving around.

2. They will run.


Most people perceived there is a difference between staying stationary and moving around the spaces. Instinctively we believe, if we move around, we will have less chances of getting hit, thus able to dodge the bolts and remain alive. And the faster we run, the higher our chances to survive. But how true is that?

Logically however, there are no differences whether you move or not. Because whether you are running around or stand in a spot like a statue, you are occupying one space. Running will NOT shrink and halved your body size. Hence, you will have no choice but to purely rely on good fortune for your own survival in this scenario.

So, why do we instinctively believe that running will save our ass? I do not know exactly why, but i’m pretty sure the answer is tied to human’s biological (Evolution) and psychological reasons.

Perhaps, we are inherently wired to afraid and run away from threats and danger?  (That’s the reason why people honor heroes who do not fear death? And also worshiping God? And reading comics/manga of super heroes who have heroic personality and superpowers to overcome problems?) Perhaps, we have a natural tendency to avoid problems and be pessimistic of our own abilities? (Hence people love reading self-help and motivational books because they give them new ‘insights’? And that’s also why people ‘worship’ Law of Attraction which gives them ‘hope’?)

I do not know. The more i learn about human mind, the more strange it gets to me.

PS: I pondered about this while i was on the street after my lunch on a cloudy day.  I get frightened by lightning and thunder easily, so i guess the fear provoked my imagination a little. (and my computer’s motherboard got struck down by lightning on last Saturday! ZzZzzZzzzzZ)


Written by elan85

January 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Psychology

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