Parable of the flooding mountain range

by RorscHak1 min read29th Mar 20199 comments

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A mountaineer is hiking in a mountain range. There is a thick fog so he cannot see beyond a few meters.

It is raining heavily and so the mountain range is being flooded, the mountaineer has to climb to a high place so he won’t get washed away.

He will climb towards the highest point in his sight, and if he sees another higher point he will change his direction towards there.

Now the mountaineer is standing on the top of a hill, and to his knowledge every direction is downwards, and there is no higher peak in sight. He sits on the hilltop, anxiously watching the rain and hearing the water raising.

The water floods the hill and drowns him, washing his dead body into the abyss.

Is he on the highest peak of the mountain range? Unlikely

Can he ever get there if he cannot see beyond a few metres? Very unlikely.

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A band of mountaineers are hiking in a mountain range. There is a thick fog so they cannot see beyond a few meters.

It is raining heavily and so the mountain range is being flooded, the mountaineers have to climb to a high place so they won’t get washed away.

They elected the most experienced mountaineer as their leader, in the fog he can see a couple metres further than everybody else, and so he is the best guide possible for anyone.

The band all followed him onto a hilltop, every direction is downwards so they stayed there, anxiously watching the rain and hearing the raising waters.

Until the water floods the hilltop and drowns them, washing their dead bodies into the abyss.

This band is functionally the same as a lone mountaineer.

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A band of mountaineers are hiking in a mountain range. There is a thick fog so they cannot see beyond a few meters.

It is raining heavily and so the mountain range is being flooded, the mountaineers have to climb to a high place so they won’t get washed away.

They spread out and walked away from each other, then went on to search for a place to stay.

They end up on different hilltops, some higher than others. They individually yet simultaneously watch the rain and hear the water raising, anxiously.

Until the water floods some hills and drowns many mountaineers, washing their corpses into the abyss. A few mountaineers end up on the higher peaks and are left unharmed by the flood.

After the flood recedes and the fog dissipates , they go down to search their fallen friends to mourn and to bury them.

And of course, to scavenge supplies from their dead bodies.

Is this the best strategy for the band, if it wants to maximise the chance of someone surviving the flood?

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It's my first time posting here, please give me some support and suggestions if you can.

Ask me any questions you have if my story seems unclear/vague/confusing because it probably is, I'm not a good writer and I didn't really have an idea what I wanted to write. It initially started as an analogy about evolution, but perhaps it also works as a vague discussion about some future choices facing humanity as well.

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