A day late, a trolley short
Gonna keep it short today and talk about something lighthearted - existential choice-making!
This past week for me included a handful of tough decisions, personally and professionally, that didn't have clear "winner" choices. In moments like these, it's always helped me to remember the trolley problem. Buckle up!
For anyone needing a refresher, the trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics about a fictional scenario in which an onlooker has the choice to save 5 people in danger of being hit by a trolley, or by throwing a lever, can divert the trolley to kill just 1 person. (there's an interesting online trolley game here)
I use this in the real estate world all the time, especially when working with real estate developers. 👇
Now, I know that decisions like "where do you want to eat lunch?" and "should I risk running out of gas in order to save $0.03 a gallon?" are NOT existential dilemmas. But even for smaller things in life where I'm faced with two seemingly good or poor options, putting those in a trolley problem reminds me:
- Waiting and indecision won't stop the trolley
- I don't know the future, and trying to know is futile
- There will be another trolley, I'll get another chance
Maybe next time you get stuck on a tough choice, try drawing your own trolley problem for it?
Now for the lighthearted part...
I like creative jokes
There have been countless "edits" to the trolley problem, some of them funny, others really profound. Here's a few that have made me chuckle over the last few years (slightly political but get over it):
That’s it for today. Throw me any funny trolley problems you find!