Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dilemma of the Day: Life or Glory

In the Iliad we find an excellent example of a two-dimensional dilemma. During the Trojan war Achilles has to choose between life and glory,

If I stay here and fight it out round Ilium [Troy], there is no home-coming for me, but there will be eternal glory instead. If I go back to the land of my fathers, my heroic glory will be forfeit, but my life will be long and I shall be spared an early death.

The dilemma is somewhat similar to the choice Neo faces in the Matrix: blue pill or red pill. Note, that in the Matrix the writer makes it easy for us to remember the difficult choice by labeling opposing options with different colors. We don't remember what they mean, but we do remember the colors.

tags: dilemma, story

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