resolved Oct 30
Black pill
Yellow pill
Green pill
Blue Pill
Orange pill
Red pill
Pink pill
Grey pill

I will include a question on my upcoming survey asking which pill you will choose, from the meme that inspired "...And I'll Show You How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes."

Which pill will the plurality of respondents choose? If there's a tie, resolves to the tied options equally.

This question will be included after the questions that determine /JosephNoonan/what-is-manifolds-favorite-short-st, so as not to influence the results. See Plasma's Manifold Survey for other questions about the survey.

The survey is officially out! You can take it here: https://forms.gle/xZqWVxuY5irgLigu9

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@JosephNoonan so what did they choose?

@EvanDaniel I'm still getting through all the survey results. This is on the last section of the survey, so I haven't released the results yet, but I will soon.

The survey is officially out! You can take it here: https://forms.gle/xZqWVxuY5irgLigu9

Originally, I was thinking I would choose the black pill, but then I realized that I could just simulate the black pill, and do so much more, with the blue pill. Since the blue pill allows you to teleport, you can use it to go faster than light, but if you can do that, you can also travel through time. Just teleport to a planet that's far enough away and moving fast enough with respect to the Earth that its hyperplane of simultaneity intersects with whatever part of Earth's future or past you want to travel to. Yes, the teleportation presumably keeps you at your current speed, but if you go to the right location so that the planet slams into you, you won't be harmed because you're impervious to physical damage. The only thing you would really have to worry about is the planet hitting you so hard that you go all the way through it and end up on the other side without ending up traveling at the same speed as the planet. But if that becomes an issue, you can just find a planet that's farther away but slower to produce the same effect, or utilize multiple trips to a planet that gets you partway there.

@JosephNoonan 💙💊💪

@JosephNoonan I would actually guess it adjusts the speed to target reference, otherwise long range inter-planetary teleportation would be were unaesthethic

@CodeandSolder Well, then it's even better. You automatically end up in the planet's reference frame, where simultaneity has shifted.

@JosephNoonan The problem with this is you’d have to pair the teleportation with slower-than-light travel to get back from the past to the present or from the present to the future, and you’d age normally (or at least a finite amount) during that. So you’d die an early death depending on how often you utilized this.

@BenjaminShindel Why would you have to pair it with slower-than-light travel? Sure, if you only used teleportation one-way, you would have to do it, but you should be able to form a closed loop by teleporting in different directions.

@JosephNoonan I typed out a long explanation but now my head hurts from thinking about relativity and none of it makes any sense anymore XD so maybe not

However, practically wouldn’t you have to time your teleports with extreme mathematical accuracy so you didn’t waste a ton of time traveling a few weeks/months/years forward and then backward in the future to get the exact time?

@BenjaminShindel Yes, you would have to do it very accurately, which is the main drawback of this method of time travel. And maybe that's a big enough drawback that it could be argued that the black pill, despite being more limited, is ultimately better because it's easier to use. My plan would be to impress some astronomers with my teleportation powers and use them to help them make observations (e.g., "Hey, want me to go teleport to a black hole to take some pictures?") in exchange for them helping me figure out where I need to go to time travel.

@BenjaminShindel Actually, now that I think about it, traveling to a planet is unnecessary anyway, and just makes things harder. All I need to do is get a small thruster or projectile launcher and teleport far enough away that a small change in my velocity will shift the hypersurface of simultaneity enough that it intersects Earth in the time I want to go to. The only difficulty is making sure I propel myself in the right direction.

Oh, one more thing, it says "which pill will the majority of respondents choose" I assume you mean plurality.

@ShadowyZephyr YES, not sure how I didn't catch that one.


Gives you the ability to instantly master any sport, job, activity, martial art, etc. that a human can do.

I like that it doesn't say that you can master things that a human can master—you can master any activity that a human can do.

(Incidentally, in the world being postulated, humans can apparently do some pretty interesting activities, like flying and seeing into the future....)

Those don't count. Humans can't do any of those things unless they take the pill for it, which is void unless you take that pill. If you take orange, none of the other abilities are human abilities.

@ShadowyZephyr Depends if the pills are being given to other people.

I think the three scenarios "your pill is the only pill the world gets (make it count!)", "exactly one of each pill is being given to the world (choose your role on the superhero team)", and "one pill is being given to each person who answers the survey (have fun with it)" might produce different enough answers that if there's an intention it should be specified.

@Muskwalker The survey is just going to show people the meme and ask which they choose. There is no prescribed interpretation, it will be interpreted by the respondents however they want.

Black is the best for altruists. It's the most powerful and you can make the most difference to the world. But it would be a hell of a burden.

Blue is the best for you personally (probably, depending on what you're into). Live somewhere beautiful. See your friends and family whenever you like. Visit beautiful places. (Scott's story suggests this would get old very quickly. I strongly disagree.) Soar through the air and enjoy the view! I'd also take the opportunity to pursue my favourite sport (rock climbing) but without any of the need for ropes and other safety equipment.

For what it's worth, I definitely think green includes humans. It says "any animal". Humans are animals. It also doesn't say "any species of animal", but "any animal". You can turn into a particular human and be a spy. But for anybody not suffering from gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, or any similar condition, blue is still better.

@Fion I still think it depends on how black is interpreted. Some of the variations are probably not as strong as orange/blue from an altruistic perspective. Since with blue you can maybe teleport anything. Also it's not clear if the flying requires energy, if it doesn't you could break the laws of physics?

@ShadowyZephyr Yeah, if you can teleport anything, blue becomes pretty useful. I'm not convinced about orange though. I think we've already got some remarkably skilled people trying to make the world better. Adding one person who's admittedly better than any of them, but still bounded by normal human abilities, doesn't seem that impactful.

Blue and black both allow you to become arbitrarily rich (depending on your morals) which seems more useful to me than being extremely competent. You can hire competent people. (Much easier to become rich with black than blue, it's worth noting.)

Tbh I think pretty much all of these break the laws of physics.

  • Yellow transmits information faster than light

  • Green breaks conservation of mass

  • Blue allows faster than light travel and breaks conservation of energy (even if flying does require energy, teleportation breaks it for sure)

  • Orange is maybe fine

  • Red breaks laws of thermodynamics (at least in SA's reading, which I think is reasonable)

  • Pink is maybe fine

  • Grey might be fine, but it sounds like it probably breaks conservation of energy, and possibly speed of light

  • Black breaks casualty!

my problem with most of these is that they kinda make life boring. Like creative mode can be fun for a little bit you can never get the true experience of life with it. Blue is the best option as it just gives you something fun you can do without dramatically changing how your life has to be lived (even if you choose the black pill but you decide to not use it you still have that ability in the back of your mind). BLUE GANG RISE UP

@Wobbles also how easy is it to activate said ability? what happens if i get in a car accident and lose my memory, i need logistics

@Wobbles The meme doesn't specify this, so there is no fact of the matter about what would happen if you lose your memory. This is resolving based on s survey, so it's up to survey respondents to decide what they think if edge cases like that matter.

@Wobbles A lot of the kind of people who say "x or y makes life too easy" are people who already have a relatively easy life. If you were starving on the street, you'd be grateful for any opportunity you were given, even if you'd be bored because of it. Also I don't even think that's true. I think orange could get annoying depending on the ambitions of the person using it, because what is there to do when you're already good at everything. The others aren't boring at all though.

@ShadowyZephyr I'd think that if the people who don't want an easy life are the ones who have experience with it, that's evidence that it is not actually desirable

@ShadowyZephyr IMO, orange is only boring for purely competitive / technical activities.

@Frogswap I think that's bad evidence. People who have only had an easy life have no point of comparison for a difficult life. Plus, I don't hear anyone saying that they wish their life was more difficult. People only say they wouldn't want life to be too easy, where "too easy" is always defined at a threshold much higher than the ease of their current life.

@JosephNoonan You don't need a point of comparison to say that an excessively easy life is undesirable any more than you need one to say that starving to death is undesirable; they aren't comparative claims. I concede that it is weak evidence, but my concern was that it was being used as evidence of the opposite.