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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Yet another danger facing Clydes of the world...

    I'm sure everybody in here knows about optical illusions, but you might not know that these aren't the only systematic ways to fool your brain. There are grammatical illusions ( "More people have written about this than I have." ) and even moral illusions, like the one outlined in this experiment:

    You're standing on a bridge and taking in the scenery, when you see the driver of a street car suffer a heart attack and die. The trolley is racing down hill, and no one is controlling the brake. Down the hill, five people are standing on the tracks, unaware of the train coming at them. Next to you is a fat man, looking in the other direction, standing near the end of the bridge. Will you push him over the ledge, knowing that his weight will stop the street car, killing him in the process, and saving the five people below?

    Everybody says no, they won't; it's repulsive to think about. But now change the question in an insignificant way: Will you pull a lever, opening a trap door below the fat man, which will dump him onto the tracks, killing him, stopping the train, and saving five other people? Suddenly, things aren't so clear, and without the salient moral reaction, people think rationally, and most of them suppose it's better to save four "net" lives.


    But my point is that every man in this forum needs to lose some weight, because we're the braking system of last resort for runaway trains everywhere! They're even building in trap doors to catch us. So, get out and put some miles on the bike, but in the mean time, watch yourselves around bridges and street car tracks!

    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If the dude is big enough to stop a runaway trolley, chances are that I couldn't possibly shove him in front of it, no matter how hard I tried. Seriously. That would have to be a guy the size of a city bus if his mass could stop a downhill runaway trolley car.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    Retro-guy
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    Memo to self - remember not to ever stand next to Seattle Forrest, especially on bridges!

  4. #4
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    It depends on how big the trap door is: )

  5. #5
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    I'd just stand back and photograph it with my IPhone. I could then sell the pix to the news for big bucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    If the dude is big enough to stop a runaway trolley, chances are that I couldn't possibly shove him in front of it, no matter how hard I tried. Seriously. That would have to be a guy the size of a city bus if his mass could stop a downhill runaway trolley car.
    Yeah, that bothered me, too.

    Still, ever since I found out they're plotting against Clydes, I've avoided standing on man hole covers.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    1. Watch as the trolley crashes into, and kills, all 5 people on the tracks.
    2. Wait until everyone has their attention focused on the bloody aftermath.
    3. Push fat guy over railing to his death.
    4. ???
    5. Profit.

  8. #8
    Mainer in Exile
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    "damn.. usually my malcontents are skinnier. would you mind coming back later when my fat malcontent trapdoor will be completed?" - adam west in Family Guy

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himurastewie View Post
    "damn.. usually my malcontents are skinnier. would you mind coming back later when my fat malcontent trapdoor will be completed?" - adam west in Family Guy

    Along with my zombie apolcalypse theory of body fat retention, this is another reason for me to stay above the 15% mark.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  10. #10
    billyymc
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    Five people stupid enough to just stand there on train tracks for no particular reason? I'd say they're a lost cause, so don't save them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I have just started a company that manufactures trap doors. or better yet a company that manufactures portable trap doors. So the people, standing in front of the trolley, can pay a fee to have me place the trap door under the fat man.
    Anyone remember the whale that blew up in Japan?
    Anyway i need to get ready to ride

  12. #12
    Senior Member callmeclemens's Avatar
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    I've just convinced myself that, the more I lose, the smaller target I become for cars.

  13. #13
    half fast Pupsocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshsc View Post
    1. Watch as the trolley crashes into, and kills, all 5 people on the tracks.
    2. Wait until everyone has their attention focused on the bloody aftermath.
    3. Push fat guy over railing to his death.
    4. ???
    5. Profit.
    Psychopath Gnomes, I like it. Do you have a song?

  14. #14
    Junior Member
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    So you have time to see the driver of the trolley car have a heart attack and die, notice that no one else sees it and are therefore not controlling the break, notice five people standing on the tracks in opposite direction, and either push a fat man in the way or pull a lever to accomplish the same task, but yet somehow you are incapable of yelling at the people to get off the tracks? This must have been written as a morality question specifically for mutes.

  15. #15
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    I've got to go with natural selection on this one... The five people standing on the tracks not paying any attention to what the trolley is doing, are obviously too stupid to live... ergo natural selection. Much like the people who rush to see a volcano erupt, or run to the beach because they have heard a tsunami is coming, or even the people that go out in the backyard to watch the tornado go by. These people are too stupid to live, so it's natural selection... Just my views on it...
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  16. #16
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
    Five people stupid enough to just stand there on train tracks for no particular reason?
    Paying no attention whatsoever to their surroundings and moving vehicles no less. I think I pass more than a few of these five people and then some along the MUP on the afternoon commute home!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Hey! It's no fair to say "Letting the train hit them will make my MUP safer." Besides, there are more than five people blocking the MUP for fun and profit. ( There was a thread, in A&S I think, about a photographer who took his model to an MUP for a photo shoot, and was surprised when he caused a bike to crash - but insisted he doesn't need liability insurance to do this. )

    While the fat man question ( which is the text book example ) has got some attention, and hopefully a few laughs, I'm surprised ( but probably shouldn't be ) that no one else is interested in the grammatical illusion. The question there is why "More people have lost weight using their bikes than I have" is so good at pretending to be coherent, when it's really meaningless gibberish.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rockdog's Avatar
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    Me on my bike with 20 pounds of crap in my panniers hurtling down a hill out of control is a much more likely scenario than the trolley car thing, that's what the people at the bottom of the hill should really be worried about.

  19. #19
    Aluminum Convert jbman100's Avatar
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    The folks on the track not paying attention to whats is going on around them is typical of the area I live in. Everyone has ostrich syndrome (head buried in the sand) around here. Well except those on the bike path I use for my commute. Except for the Lance wanna be's who think they own the path because they are going faster and shouldn't have to slow down but thats another thread.
    Jay B
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  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    Me on my bike with 20 pounds of crap in my panniers hurtling down a hill out of control is a much more likely scenario than the trolley car thing, that's what the people at the bottom of the hill should really be worried about.
    I have a hilarious mental picture of people on the tracks diving for cover, with you (any of us, really) flying down the hill yelling "MAKE A HOLE, FOOLS! NO BRAKES!"
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  21. #21
    Mainer in Exile
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
    Me on my bike with 20 pounds of crap in my panniers hurtling down a hill out of control is a much more likely scenario than the trolley car thing, that's what the people at the bottom of the hill should really be worried about.
    I heard bowling alley sounds when I read this.

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