Professor Cynic Simple performs a simple experiment. He offers $1 and $10 to some participants. In 10 out of 10 experiments, participants pick $10.
Professor Cynic then writes a paper, “People prefer $10 over $1.”
The result is disputed by Professor Complex.
Professor Unnecessarily Complex also performs experiments. To save budget, he take out the $10 choice. So, he offers $1 or nothing to many participants. In 990 out of 1000 cases, participants pick $1.
Professor Complex writes a paper, “People prefer $1.”
According to Professor Cynic, Professor Complex got the wrong conclusion. “All these people that pick $1 do so not because they prefer $1 over $10. They do so because they don’t have a choice to pick $10.”
“Choices of people that don’t have choices are irrelevant in deciding their preferences. You can’t say people prefer $1 over $10 if people don’t have the $10 choice,” explains Professor Cynic.
Professor Complex agrees. He changes his theory.
In the new theory, people still prefer $1. However, an option to pick $10 will change people preferences. If they can’t choose, they prefer $1 and hence will pick $1. If people can choose between $10 and $1, they will prefer $10. Hence, they will pick $10 instead.
“An option to pick $10 changes people,” says Professor Complex. “Without such options, people prefer $1 compared to any other option. However, once people can choose $10, they are spiritually reborn and transform into Homo Greedicus and their preferences changes. Hence, they pick $10.”
“That seems to be a very unnecessarily complex theory,” says Professor Cynic. It’s much simpler to conclude that people always prefer $10 over $1. That preference never changes. That simpler theory correctly predicts people behavior in all 1000 experiments.
Professor Naïve then reviews the theory. According to Professor Naïve, most people always prefer $1 in all cases. The ideas that people prefer $1 correctly predict 990 out of 1000 cases in the experiments. Those who choose 10 must be a fluke. Maybe they are psychopaths, says Professors Naïve.
“If those 10 people are psychopaths, then everyone is,” says Professors Cynic. “All those 990 people would also pick $10 if only they have a choice to pick $10.”
Professor Naïve then starts some businesses. He’s selling an option to pick either $1 or $10 for $5. “Because people prefer $1, chance is I’ll make a killing here,” says Professor’s Naïve. Unfortunately, virtually all people prefer $10 and Professor’s Naïve lost a lot of money.
Professor Naïve then changes strategy. He’s selling the option, but this time with terms and condition that only those who prefer $1 to $10 should buy the option. All people come and say they prefer $1 but then pick $10. Again, Professor’s Naïve lost tons of money again.
How can this be? 990 out of 1000 participants prefer $1 yet the one buying my options happen to prefer $10. “Ah, maybe you just hang out with the wrong greedy crowd,” say his friends.
Life goes on.
Professor Cynic discovers that virtually all government officials in third world countries are corrupt. Professor Cynic then writes a paper, “Humans are assholes.”
“Most people are selfish manipulative bastard that’ll max out their profit through any mean, no matter what the costs to others,” says Professor Cynic.
Professor Complex disagrees. “Most people are not corrupt government officials. Most people are nice productive businessmen or programmers,” says Professor Complex.
Professor Complex points out to millions of population that are not corrupt government officials. Professor Complex then writes another paper, “Power Corrupts.”
“That seems to be an unnecessarily complex theory,” says Professor Cynic. “By simpler model, namely that humans will max out their profit through any mean, we can explain all humans’ behavior. We explain why most people are not corrupt government officials. That’s simply because they’re not government officials at all and hence can’t be corrupt government officials. That also explains why most government officials are corrupts. That’s because humans are assholes.”
Professor Naïve tends to agree with Professor Complex. “Humans are nice guy. The few that become government officials are just flukes. Maybe they are all psychopaths. All we need is to pick correct people to be our overlords,” says Professor Naïve. Again and again, tyrants after tyrants, dictators after dictators, the one people pick are always mass murderers’ assholes, exactly as Professor Cynic says.
After all, which humans would kill millions just for profit?
“Everyone,” says Professor Cynic.
“Only those in power because power corrupts,” says Professor Complex.
“Nobody,” says Professor Naïve. “Those who do it are not humans,” says Professor Naïve, adding further complexity to species status and genetic compatibility in mating and breeding fertile offspring of pretty much everyone.
The three professors study more and more humans’ behavior.
They found out that most people want to prohibit ganja. Those people claim that ganja is dangerous.
“It’s really a simple case,” says Professor’s Cynic. “Humans are power hungry. They want to prohibit ganja so they can control this lucrative drug. To gain support they come up with bullshit that ganja is dangerous, even though any cursory research should show that it’s not obviously true.”
“Humans are not power hungry,” says Professor Complex, “Their voting power corrupts them. That’s why they want to control ganja. Give a man some right to run other men’s life and they’ll all want to be the overlords of all. In this case (they want to be), drug lords (with their own drug tzar).”
“You are all wrong,” says Professor’s Naïve, “People are not assholes. They honestly think that ganja is dangerous. All we need to do is to educate them and tell them the truth backed by data and evidences.” Professor Naïve then goes through many failing campaign of exposing the truth. He ends up being quite frustrated seeing why it’s so difficult for voters to change their mind to something that’s so obvious.
Then they meet voters wanting to prohibit organ trading.
“Humans have little regards of others’ life. Even your organs are not yours. They want to be the one having power to decide where your lungs, livers, and kidneys go. They want to ensure that terrorists, rapists, burglars and robbers have the same chance to get your organ with hard working businessmen so they can kick the productive out of the gene pool. They do not want organ donors to be well compensated so they can get organs for free instead. They don’t care that many people will die due to lack of organs due to this trade restrictions because people actually hate each other. Then they come up with nonsense to justify their action. They would say that organ trading make organs very rare and demean life. The first is wrong. The second is not even wrong because it’s so vague.” says Professor’s Cynic.
“Humans are not like that. Humans do value others’ life. Their voting powers just corrupt them. Give people power to restrict trade and they’ll be murderous bastard denying anything to those most able and willing to productively earn it,” says Professors’ Complex.
“No, humans are actually nice. They honestly think that organ trading demeans life and would cause rarity of organs. All we need to do is to educate them,” says Professors’ Naïve. Of course, that doesn’t work.
Then they see many religious bigots wanting to prohibit porn. They claim that porn causes rape.
“Humans are bigots. All men watch porn. However, those men want to prevent other men from being happy and enlightened. So they want any glimpse of happiness to be censored. That way they can ensure that all people would live in a sad drape life. Of course, this are justified by nonsense such as the stupid idea that porn cause’s rape. That’s not true. Even if it were true so what? We don’t prohibit greed simply because greed causes bank robbery?” explains Professor Cynic.
“Humans don’t prevent others from pursuing happiness. Only those who can do,” explains Professor Complex.
“No you are all mistaken. Humans are not bigots. They honestly think that porn causes rape. If we can show them that porn reduces rape, I am sure they will all want to make porn mandatory instead,” according to Professor Naïve. For some reason Naïve effort fails to persuade people to make porn mandatory.
Then they see many ugly women wanting to prohibit prostitution and women trafficking.
“Ugly feminazi bitches are power hungry psychopaths. Just like everyone else,” explains Professor’s Cynic. “Their own assets are not attractive, so they want power over real hotties. That’s why they restrict trades. There is no way ugly bitches can compete against hotter babes willing to offer sex for less. So they prevent superior specimens’ supplier from entering competition and getting better offers,” explains Professor’s Cynic.
“Humans are not power hungry. Their capability to influence government policy corrupts them,” says Professor’s complex.
“I think all of you are too cynical,” says Professor’s Naïve. “I think those ugly feminazi bitches honestly think that porn, prostitution and women trafficking can’t possibly be consensual. All we need to do is to educate them. Perhaps we should bring in some popular porn stars explaining to elementary school children how awesome porn is.”
Professor’s Naïve then found out that not only nobody wants to listen to the obviously sound arguments. Many actually try to censor his honest attempt to explain truth.
“Why not show our children both side of the argument. If the argument doesn’t sound they can choose not to believe right?” ask Professor’s Naïve confused.