THE PARACHUTE PARADIGM:
You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute.
Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die in the jump anyway.
Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived jumps just like this before.
Procrastinator: you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.
Bureaucrat: you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.
Lawyer: you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.
Doctor: you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.
Sales executive: 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.
Advertiser: you strip-tease while singing that what they need is a neon parachute with computer altimeter for only $39.99.
Engineer: you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.
Scientist: you give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on how well it worked.
Mathematician: you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.
Philosophy: you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.
English: you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.
Comparative Literature: you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.
Computer Science: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.
Economics: you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals, how much they would pay for a parachute.
Psychoanalysis: you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.
Drama: you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.
Art: you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.
Republican: as you jump out with the parachute, you tell them to work hard and not expect handouts.
Democrat: you ask them for a dollar to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.
Libertarian: after reminding them of their constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.
Ross Perot: you tell them not to worry, since it won’t take you long to learn how to fix a plane.
Surgeon General: you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.
Association of Tobacco Growers: you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between airplane crashes and death.
National Rifle Association: you shoot them and take the parachute.
Police Bigot: you beat them unconscious with the parachute.
Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.
Objectivist: your only rational and moral choice is to take the parachute, as the free market will take care of the other person.
Branch Davidian (David Koresh): you get inside the parachute and refuse to come out.
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.