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The Parachute Paradigm

How would members of various groups behave if they found themselves
on a malfunctioning airplane with two passengers but only one parachute?


You refuse the parachute because you might die on the jump anyway.


You refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before and someone else will have a chance that way.


You play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.


You order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under Code Red conditions.


You charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.


You tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.


You sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

Internal Revenue Service

You confiscate the parachute along with their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.


You make another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.


You give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on how well it worked.


You refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.


You ask how they know the parachute actually exists.

English major

You explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

Computer Science

You design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.


You plot a demand curve by asking them at regular intervals how much they would pay for a parachute.


You ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.


You tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.


You hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.


You refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Sports Fan

You start betting on how long it will take to crash.

Auto Mechanic

As long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.

Surgeon General

You issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Tobacco Growers Association

You explain that, despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies show that jumping out of a plane is not harmful to your health.