How would your life be different if you were 30% more attractive?

Come on, clearly the right side of this chart with the upward-bound line should be the side with acne. This must have been done by one of those *sexy* chart-makers.

Of course, of COURSE I clicked on this Atlantic article about a study that says teens with acne do better in school. How could you not want science to tell you it was all worth it?

Mialon and Nesson found that having acne in high school was associated with a higher overall GPA—as well as a greater likelihood of earning an A in math, science, history and social studies, and English—and a higher chance of earning a bachelor’s degree. The academic differences between teens with skin problems and those without them weren’t dramatic, but they were statistically significant. For example, acne increases a student’s chances of getting an A in science by 1.8 percentage points.

Now that that’s settled, it did make me think back to my high school self. And college. And early professional self. And current self…

But no, the point was, I started to wonder what might have changed if I had been acne-free (or taller, stronger, thinner, etc). Which is a much more interesting, less scientific, line of inquiry.

How do you think you would have turned out differently if you’d been, say 30% more attractive throughout your life?

Do you think that you’d rather have that life, or do you like what you went through, and where you ended up, just the way you are?

hypothetical: would you support brainwashing away racism?

We're not even talking full hive-mind assimilation or anything.

We’re not even talking full hive-mind assimilation or anything.


Rick and Morty practically deserves its own section on this site; every episode raises a deep existential question or moral dilemma then skewers it mercilessly through insane sci-fi comedy.

A recent episode in particular dealt with a hive-mind called “Unity”, which assimilated all the individuals on a planet, where they lived peacefully and prosperously. The kids, thinking they were liberators, freed some of the assimilated… who then went on to spark a race war. Tricky stuff.

In light of the current racial violence plaguing the country, it’s tough not to wonder if a little reprogramming would be helpful enough to make it worth the obvious violation. So:


Scientists discover a foolproof way to brainwash/reprogram the minds of every American to eliminate racism. It’s painless and has no other side effects. To make all our lives easier, they want to make this mandatory, as long as it passes as a ballot measure in the next election.


Would you vote for this measure?


Would you feel like you were giving up some meaningful freedom by doing so?


If for, how would you convince those resistant? If against, how do you defend your side?