Sunday, February 1
#5 - solitude
A wealthy industrialist knocks on your door one day, prepared to offer you a million dollars to participate in yearlong social experiment. He gives you two options on how you can spend the next year to qualify for the money. Another individual of similar age and background has also been selected for this study, and will be enlisted in whatever option you do not choose for the purposes of comparison.
You spend the year alone on a deserted tropical island. A relatively impressive shelter (from a desert island perspective) exists on the island, with a decent mattress and running water. The island is free from both predators and poisonous plants. And though you will have access to different types of fruit trees as well as trapping and fishing equipment, you will be able to make special food orders once a month. Additionally, though you are separated from civilization in many ways, you will be free to write letters, which will be collected for speedy delivery once a week. Any messages addressed to you will also be be dropped off at this time.
You spend the year confined to a large glass case in the middle of Manhattan. The case contains all of the features of a small loft-type apartment. The bedroom and bathroom areas of your dwelling are hidden from the outside, but otherwise, you are in full view of passers-by and vice versa. You will be provided a weekly stipend to use as you see fit to place orders for food or other consumer products (and copies of the Sunday Times will be dropped off once a week). While in your glass house, you will be unable to communicate with those outside. No e-mails, letters, or phone calls. Someone could easily enough stop by the outside of your dwelling, but the walls are designed to prevent any transfer of sound.
Under either option, your health and mental well being will be monitored throughout the year. You will have checkups once a month and will be returned to society at large if you require urgent medical attention (though this will mean forfeiting the $1,000,000).
You will have a 24 hour phone connection to a concierge of sorts (who you have never met). This person can pass along any of your requests and will respond in case of emergency, but will not engage you in conversation. Attempts on you part to "chat" with the concierge will disqualify you from the study.
You will also be allowed to bring a packed suitcase to the island or the glass case, filled with clothes or other items you think will be of benefit during your 365 day seclusion.
Do you accept the offer? Which option do you choose?
Posted by Matt at 2:23 PM