Back story: In class this past week, we discussed something called “The Experience Machine”, a thought experiment originally conceived of by Harvard Philosophy professor Robert Nozick. As he originally described it in his text, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, we are given the following scenario:

“Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain. Should you plug into this machine for life, preprogramming your life’s desires?…Of course, while in the tank you won’t know that you’re there; you’ll think it’s all actually happening. Others can also plug in to have the experiences they want, so there’s no need to stay unplugged to serve them. (Ignore problems such as who will service the machines if everyone plugs in.) Would you plug in? What else can matter to us, other than how our lives feel from the inside?” (43)

Challenge: Would you plug in? Why or why not? What circumstances would/could change your original response?

Length: 7+ sentences


82 responses to “SEM2, W1, #2: WOULD YOU PLUG IN?

  1. True, I wouldn’t know that none of it’s real, but I’d kind of like my life to actually be real. I plan to become an author (and I hope the books I write will be ‘great’), and I can make friends, and I can read interesting books myself. Why commit to something so permanent when you can do everything in real life, where it actually IS real?

    Besides, plugging in would be like selling out. You’re agreeing to pleasure and safety and an easy, contented life. If there is a Heaven, I’ll get to have that when I’m dead.

    Then again, I have it pretty good. I have everything I need, and my life is basically perfect for me. I can see how a homeless or starving or miserable person would snatch up an opportunity like this in a heartbeat.

  2. I would not plug in since you would have to be in there forever. I would however go in it if I could go in it for like a couple weeks just as a vacation or something. The reason I would only do it for a vacation is because I would want to come back to all my friends and family. Also it would be really scary to go in there and know that you could never come out. And I think the fact that I would know it was not real before I went in is what would turn me off for life. But if it was possible to experience it for a week then I would know that even tho its fake I would get to come out again. Also that would be weird to not see your friends again. Yes they could program your friends in but then your brain would just think everything good about them. The thing that makes your friends fun is that you are all different with good and bad and your brain might program out the bad which wouldn’t be realistic.

  3. I would plug in. That would be great; to get anything and everything you want as soon as you want it. It doesn’t matter that you don’t get to come out, everything you could ever need or want are in there. You won’t miss your family because they will be in there in your mind as well. Some people think it would be selfish to plug in and leave family members behind who don’t. However, you should just be selfish, it’s their loss they didn’t do it, and since you never come out you don’t have to take responsibility for it. You also won’t feel guilty once you plug in because you won’t remember and you’ll be having such a good time you would forget anyway. It’s not leaving them alone; it’s pressuring your family into improving their lives by going first. The only that would make me not is if I found out about a catch. However, if this catch didn’t outweigh going in, or there was no catch because there was no catch specified in the directions, I would plug in. It is a lie if someone says they want to not plug in. Human nature makes you an opportunist trying to get as much as can for as little as possible. Also, no one really wants to be one the ten people left living in a broken down apartment eating microwave food until they run out of power. These are the people who want to say “I told you so” after something bad happens, but the beauty of it is, if you never come out then you don’t have to listen to them.

  4. In all honesty I probably would, not to sound selfish or anything. I mean sure there are downsides saying “What about the people you leave behind?” and what not, but it’s almost like heaven if you think about it. No pain, suffering, just calm and relaxing and peaceful in every aspect. But if you’re so uncomfortable in most cases, you could just make the “world” in the simulation just as you see here except with minor perks or some advantages just to help make things seem a little bit more like home. I would most likely do that because I’m still thinking, ” Would I really plug in?” and if I did could I make seem less like a fantasy that could get old real fast. That’s another thing that would have a downside to plugging in, would the things you experience get old fast enough to the point where it’s just boring. I’m pretty sure I got my point across because I don’t want to ramble on and on incoherently for 5 paragraphs worth.

  5. No, I wouldn’t plug in. I don’t think I could live my life knowing that the events I had experienced were never real in the first place. At some point in my life I want to travel to many different countries and experience new cultures. I wouldn’t want to only experience those places in my head, even if it felt like real life. I wouldn’t feel the same sense of gratification as I would in the actual world. Also, everything I had ever wanted would be handed to me. I know that sounds great the first time you hear it, but I would want to know that I earned my rewards because of hard work and dedication. I don’t think that living in a fantasy world would be as wonderful as its held up to be. Different circumstances would change my mind though. If I could be plugged into the machine for a week or so, I would enjoy it. It would be great to have super powers and be immensely rich for a week. It would be a great vacation for whenever I felt stressed. But that’s probably the most time I would want to spend being plugged in. If I could return to the machine, maybe once a year, I would. It would be a fun way to spend some of my summer vacation. So overall, I wouldn’t want to be permanently plugged in, but rather take my chances and enjoy life in the real world.

  6. It’s a hard decision, but I would plug in. I would plug in because I like the idea of getting to have all my life desires. Plus I won’t know its fake because once I step in I will forget about it. My body will think and feel like its real, but its not. That what I wonder though. If I am to live in this “Matrix”, what will happen to my body outside. Will it stay healthy and normal while I live my experiences? Thats the only question I have. Another reason I would really want to plug in will depend on my real life situation. If my regular life is not that great then I will definately plug in otherwise I would not. That’s the only circumstance that would make me not want to plug in. I like this idea of a world where I get all my desires, but its basically a virtual world that I control. Like entering cheat codes or hacking in a videogame. Look pluging in sounds cool, but the only reason I would ever plug in is if my life stinks. So far my life is going ok, so I think I will stay. If however my life goes wrong then feel free to plug me into “The Matrix”. Oh and when I plug in, I want to be rich, be kindof important, have Neo’s fighting skills and flight abilities, have lots of videogames, and be happy.

  7. I’m not sure if I would plug-in. I don’t think that I would at the age I am now because I have alot of experiences left. If however, I were to be older and more world weary, then I might. Whatever people may think there is always a time in their life when they want to escape from reality. Whether they had a bad relationship ending, or they find something that is to hard for them to do. I think that an escape from reality is and interesting idea, but I don’t think that I would trust it that much.

  8. Many people want to be realistic and want to know the truth. While it is important to know truth in this realistic world, what is there to lose in the unreal, but real to one’s self, world? Being plugged into a tank and having a realistic world in the mind reminds me of the Lucid Dream death plan in Vanilla Sky. David (Tom Cruise) agrees to the Lucid Dream because he realizes that he might as well live his life (dream life) to the fullest. Sometimes I would have these dreams, in which I knew that I was asleep dreaming, but I did not want to awake; I wanted to live that dream life instead of my school life. I, in truth, cannot find a reason why one would not want to live a plugged-in live.

  9. If I was asked this question tonight, I would say “no, I would not plug in.”
    Although the idea seems very cool, and interesting to try, I would not want to spend the rest of my life just on my imaginations and desires.

    If I had everything I wanted, I wouldn’t ever be able to just day dream…

    If I “thought” I wanted to go to Japan, and I ‘actually’ went to Japan, I wouldn’t be able to just imagine about how that experience would be anymore. It is kind of like the feeling that Wordsworth had with nature. Once we leave that state of ‘daydream’ and ‘playfulness’, we can’t ever go back and it wouldn’t mean the same thing to us.

    My answer is also ‘no’ because I still have a lot of my life to live. I know I could live the same life, but just in an ‘incubator’ if you will, but I don’t want that. I would never remember/know that I was in it, but just the thought right now kind of gives me the shivers. I want to live life how it was meant to be; and I accept whatever comes.

    We can’t truly appreciate the good until we meet the bad.

    In this “alternate world” of mine, I wouldn’t automatically think of putting something devastating into my ‘life’. I would begin to take the lucky happenings and extremely good things for granted.

    I wasn’t meant to run this life of mine. I am messed up. I really don’t want to be completely in charge on my life. This doesn’t mean I can’t be independent, but it simply means that my God has massively greater things in store for me than what I could possibly even comprehend much less imagine. I wouldn’t want to ruin that.

    If this “machine” was having a 1 month special where we could take a “vacation” and get plugged in for a month, I would probably take it. It could be detrimental in the fact that I would want to go back to my ‘perfect life’, and that the world I once knew would seem old, and boring; completely different.

    I think a little imagination for anyone is never a bad thing, so I would consider taking a “1 month vacation” to my dreams, but it would depend on my schedule and what I would be missing at the time.

  10. I would definitely plug in, but not immediately. I would wait until I was older and forgotten. Even though other people can plug in as well, that doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to plug in. I realize that while I was plugged, I would be completely unaware of anything from my previous ‘life’, but the issue isn’t what I’ll think while I’m in the tank, but what goes through my head on my way to the tank. If what I thought while I was in the tank was the only problem, I would be there in a heartbeat. No matter how much I reassured myself that I will forget that I was ever leaving my friends or family, I would have to take the step of leaving them while I WAS aware that they existed. I don’t think I’m strong enough to handle deliberately leaving the people I care about. If everyone I cared for decided to plug in at the same time/died, I would plug in as soon as possible. Without the people I cared about, life would be lonely and pointless and I would want to forget.

  11. I would never plug in to the experience machine. My reason for not wanting to plug in does not stem from moral issues or concerns. I don’t care about the morality of it and whether or not it is ‘morally’ wrong. I am also not basing my decision on how plugging in could affect the others around me, because I am sure that plugging in and leaving your life behind you would also be abandoning your family, friends, and your responsibilities. However, this fact does not form the basis of my decision. I would not plug in because I find the idea of myself floating in a tank with wires attached to my head, while I am living a dream, to be revolting. Yes, I know that once I was plugged in, I would never realize that everything was fake. I realize that my life could be infinitely better by plugging in. Everything says to plug in, but my gut feeling and core instinct make me turn away from this and not even give it a second glance or consideration. I don’t think anything could change my feelings about this machine. If I had cancer and I was going to die, my body would still die in the machine, leaving me dead at the same time I would have died if I hadn’t plugged in. I might begin to consider the machine if I was the last person left on the world. If every single other person had plugged in, leaving me alone, I might give the machine a second glance. Outside of that, I would never plug in.

  12. If I were not considering things like leaving family and friends and I lost all Memory of plugging into the machine I believe I would plug in. This would make my life easier and it would all feel and look the same to me. Things like death and diseases would be a thing to that I don’t have to worry about. There would be no poverty and wars or any other horrible things that are in this world. Many would say that they would like to know the truth, but I won’t know the truth. All that I will know is that everything looks, tastes, and feels real. I would rather be happy in an artificial world than to be sad in a real one.

  13. I would not plug in. You create your own destiny in this world. Plugging in would be would just be an easy way out. It is the struggles that makes your accomplishments enjoyable. I also could not leave my family. How would you feel if one of your loved ones plugged in? God did not create a perfect world, and I belive he would not want us to take the easy road by plugging in.

  14. No, I wouldn’t plug in. I really don’t think much could change my mind. The only that could make me plug in is if I could go in and out. I could not live myself in a surreal world. I wouldn’t know it once I was there but I couldn’t go into it knowing it. I just couldn’t live in a world where nothing was genuine. I believe Three Days Grace said it best; “I’d rather feel pain, than nothing at all.”

  15. Like someone said in class, I would probably wait until I got very old to plug in. I wouldn’t plug in until then, though, because I think living life should actually involve living it, not just being convinced you are. It’s also relgious for me, I think we have to experience life and interact with others the way we were createdto. If we don’t live life, then what is there afterwards. If we don’t interact, we can’t ever help or change others. If I had a terminal illness or the world was going to *ahem* poop, then I would plug in. I just don’t think that getting everything you want is worth a coma.

  16. I most likely would not plug in to the machine if given the choice. The reason I wouldn’t isn’t because it is selfish, though that is a factor I suppose. The reason I wouldn’t plug in is because of the fear I would have before I would plug in to the machine. Sure, while you were in the tank and plugged in to the machine you would not know that you were in a machine, but before plugging in you would be able to see the bodies who had already decided to plug in and know that right now they were all somewhere else, somewhere else not real. You realize that lifeless body floating in the tank could be you, and I don’t think I would want to be looked on as lifeless and uncontributive to society. Also, there is something about the word “forever.” Knowing I could never go back to “real” life would definitley not persuade me to go into the machine.
    Second, like you said in class regarding a totally diffrent topic, people start taking things for granted. Like you take for granted a lightbulb because it is so familiar to you, I think that after a while of only having everything you want and only pleasure, it would be as obsolete to you as the lightbub, it would get boring. The bad things in life are what make people appreciate the good so much more, and I know you can “program pain” but it is not quite the same if you have a say in the type of pain expirenced.
    Now, if I had a terminal illness or I was at a very old age, of corse I would plug in. Finish all the dreams I had before I died. Therefore my life would be “real” yet also everything I would have hoped it to be.

  17. I would not plug in.
    I believe that part of the mystery of life is not knowing how things will turn out, if we will be successful and happy, or poor vagabonds hitching rides on trains. It is the up and downs that make life so interesting and enjoyable. I know that you said that we could plug in the doubt and the struggle to achieving what we wanted, but we would still achieve out goals. Part of the glory of winning a Super Bowl is the number of losses and tears and blood that the players have sacrificed. I would want to crash and burn miserably before I won, to make my victories truly sweet. If I were to add those losses/rejections into the experience machine, wouldn’t it just be the same as the life I am living now?
    Second, if we were to get everything we ever wanted, would we still want it? Or would we take everything that we had and loved for granted? In the story about King Midas, he wishes that everything he touches turn into gold so he can be massively wealthy. That’s great and all in theory, but once he started turning his loved ones into gold, he started to realize that maybe this wasn’t such a cool thing. I believe there is more to life than achieving what we want and how shallow would our lives be if that is all we had? If we surrounded ourselves with materialistic goods, would we be any smarter or wiser? Could we say that we had truly lived and experienced all that this one life has to offer? I think not.

  18. I do not think I would plug in. However, every time I think or say this in the back of my mind, I think that I probably would. My original response always blocks the momentary thought and I stick with my original answer. When I first think about plugging in, I think I would. The idea that I would never experience any pain, struggle, and all I would feel is happiness is a great thing. I certainly would not mind experiencing life like that. However, we can’t really judge pure happiness without experiencing pain or sadness. I’m not saying that you wouldn’t be happy without sadness, but I am saying that you would not have anything to compare the feeling of happiness to and without knowing its polar opposite, you don’t really know the difference. This thought helped me decide my answer but the factor was the overwhelming element of selfishness. To plug into this machine sounds like one of the most selfish things you could do to your family and friends. Yes, you would still be able to ‘see’ them, they would never see you again and deserting them like that is inconceivable to me.

  19. I would not plug in…now. The thought of ending my (real) life at a point of such potential and possibilities nauseates me. I don’t want to have to dream about what my life would be. I’d like to truly live it, even if the dream would be better than and feel like reality. I believe the only reasons I would ever plug in would be if I was really old or very sick. In either case I would not have much time left on earth and by plugging in I could experience things that I never had time for during my life like traveling to faraway places etc. But still then I would be uncomfortable with the fact that I was being so artificial. Which makes me realize that we don’t know if we are truly living right now, we could all be plugged in and our lives just figments of our imagination. But that is a super existential thought which I do not believe in.

  20. No, I would not plug in. I would not plug in because you would not be able to experience real life’s joys. Also, part of real life is actually making mistakes and learning from them, having fun all the while. If you were to plug in, you would not be able to make mistakes. I would definatly plug in if you were allowed to plug in and pull out whenever you would like. I think that that would be a cool experience to have. Also, you could plug in just to get away from life’s stresses for a while. However, I would have a great fear if I were to think about plugging in for life. Part of the reason I would not plug in is because I have a hard time making decisions already, and if I were to have to decide to plug in for the rest of my life, I just couldnt do it. I have a hard time picking a simple candy bar, but this is a life changing decision that I could not bring myself to do.

  21. Yes I would indeed plug in!!! Most people say that they wouldn’t plug in, only because they think it’s the right answer. Me on the other hand, I would definitely plug in because I feel as though I could experience things that I would not be able to experience in the real world. Also all my dreams and aspirations would come true and I would have everything I had ever asked for which would make me a very happy person. The only scary part about this is the fact that you cant just leave anytime you want, its like a permanent situation and you don’t get a choice if you want to stay in the experience machine or not. But there is a way that you could get your loved ones and friends to plug in also. I would just simply ask them to plug in so I wouldn’t be separated from them which would make everyone happy in the end.

  22. No I would not plug in. I would not because the randomness and unpredictablity of life would disapear. These are the things that may people live for. Also after a while of being plugged in your brain would run out of thing to use, you would become board and have nothing new to do. The only things in encyclapedias would be the stuff that you know, all the knowledge you could learn in the real world would become unacessable to you. In the end you would feel stupid for plugging in and do somthing that you m9ight regret or not even have the chance to regret.

  23. I don’t think I would plug in. I think that getting everything you want wouldn’t be a good idea. Everything that you want may not be good for you. I know that you would be living in your little capsule thing so that wouldn’t really matter, but to me it does. I honestly don’t know everything that is good for me. I’m only 16! If I knew everything I needed to know, I wouldn’t be in school, and I wouldn’t live with my parents. Honestly I think that the disappointment of not getting something you want is a good thing too. It teaches you that things don’t always go your way. Of course if you plugged in things would always go your way, and you wouldn’t ever have to deal with reality again, but I just think that the thrill of life is not something to give up. Also, if the machine didn’t get your wishes absolutely correct, wouldn’t you be disappointed? But at that point you would be stuck in the machine, and you could never get out. The only thing that might change my mind would be if I were to become so sick that I would die very soon. I think in that situation that the happiness might be the best way to go.

  24. I think that after I began to become bored with life ( I don’t know when that may be), I would definitely plug in. I know that it would be irresponsible and the thought of floating in a tank with a metal cord attached to my head seems utterly disgusting, and I know that plugging into a fantasy world while remaining inactive is just lazy and sad, but I would totally do it. I really don’t see myself being able to resist having whatever I could imagine, and I can imagine quite a bit. I think that I’d feel a lot like Cypher in the Matrix. I would know that the steak isn’t real, but the computer would tell me that it is juicy and delicious. After all, ignorance is bliss. I mean hey, if hardship is what people want, go for it! I would probably program some obstacles to overcome in my fantasy world, just to make it a little more interesting. Plus, did anyone else think of what the real world would become if these machines were offered to the masses? Some food for thought.

  25. This is a very hard decision to make. To either experience everyting you ever wanted for your entire life, or stay in the real world with people you know. I would rather not plug in, not now. Ending your life that you have come to enjoy, to experience everything doesn’t sound so well. I would hate to leave my family and home. If I already enjoy my life now, why would I plug in? I could enjoy similar desires in the real world instead of a simulation. It may sound reasonable to go near the end of your life to exeperience things you never got to do in your lifetime.

  26. I would but only when I have nothing else to live for. That way I get the best of everything, a fake world and a real world. With the real world I could get some years of experience on me. After a few decades of real life there probably won’t be much to live for or do. Plugging in only makes sense. I’ll finally be able live life on my own terms. Thinking about the sentence that I just wrote I think that maybe I’d plug in as soon as I could. I’ve always wanted to have true freedom, to be able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I know I’ll probably live my whole life under someone else’s control. Whether whatever I feel is fake or real as long as it feels real it might as well be real.

  27. I don’t think that I could ever plug in. It is not because I feel like I would be missing the ability to earn my successes or anything like that but simply out of fear. In all honesty I am disgusted by the thought of floating and being plugged into a machine. Even if I could forget this reality once I was in the machine there is no way I could force myself to do this. Also I would be concerned that if I were to plug in I would miss important things in the lives of my loved ones. Though I could program it so that I could be there when my sister got married or when my parents have their 50th wedding anniversary it would not be the same. I would be overcome with guilt plugging in because I would feel as though I was abandoning my family and loved ones. I suppose the only circumstance in which I would plug in would be if everyone I knew and loved plugged in and then I would because I wouldn’t have any thing to live for without them. Also I don’t believe that every thing I experience in my life could be reproduced with a machine, the love and compassion in my life is something I can’t imagine any machine could reproduce.

  28. Truthfully I have no idea if I would pug in. I want to say yes because it would be awesome to be in a perfect world I created. This world would be specially made for me, making it the perfect place to spend my life, but at the same time, I find the thought of being plugged into a machine revolting. I don’t really want to depend on a machine for my life. Also what if something happened to the machine? Where would I be then? If this situation was truly presented to me in the future I think the decision would depend on what my life was like at the time. If my life was going good and I had found happiness I think would stay, and reject the offer to plug in. I see no reason to plug in if there is nothing to escape from and if I was already happy and considered my life perfect as it already was. If I was miserable and hated my life and in a state where all I wanted was to get out, then I probably would plug in. I also think that my age and state of health would affect the decision. If I was really old or coming to the end of my life for some other reason I would probably accept the offer then too. I would plug in so that I could do everything in my life that I had always wanted to do, but either never given the chance or wasn’t brave enough to try. So truthfully I have no idea if I would plug in or what I would do if ever truly given the chance.

  29. Yes i would plug in. I think it would be great to be able to have whatever you want and to do whatever you wanted. And as you are given the opportunity to go back out i see no reason to not plug in. Some people say that they wouldn’t plug in because they wouldn’t experience real feelings. I think thats a good point but if the machine could erase any memories you had of going in. If you were to die in the machine it would be the same as dying in the real world so theres really no difference in the two worlds

  30. I personally would not plug in, not saying I have anything against others plugging in, it’s a personal opinion.

    But for me what throws me off is the feeling that you get when you fall in love, when you get married, have kids, and all those other wonderful experiences out there. Although you can put in the machine the feeling, or put in that others feel the experience too. But they really don’t. I can’t picture getting married in this little ‘world’ and the one I am marring has absolutely no idea. It’s strange even picturing it. It’s all a dream and I don’t want my whole life to just be a dream I never wake up from.

    I don’t think I would plug in ever, no matter what new perks come up. I love my life, and I think that I always will. What life has ahead of me I forever want to experience, good or bad.

  31. I’m trying to be realistic, and so, thinking long and hard about it, I decided upon an answer.

    It depends.

    I would like to think that I would refuse forever, doing the noble and selfless thing. But how many of us are really that noble and selfless? I think we should look really hard at this, because it isn’t a black and white situation. My decision would probably depend on the actions of others, among other things, even though I’d like to say it wouldn’t. If all of my friends and family plugged in, I would feel like there wasn’t anything left for me here, which is depressing, but kind of the way I think. My friends and family are everything to me, and the main reason I would stay. So, if they all plugged in, I would probably lack the backbone to refuse. Also, if I had lost everything I cared about (more than just my family and friends). If I was old and tired of life, I might.

    Otherwise…I just care way too freakishly much about the contact I share with other human beings. I talk quite a bit. I go crazy if there isn’t anyone to talk to (obviously if I plugged in I wouldn’t have that problem, but let me finish). I know that if I plugged in, I wouldn’t know that I did it, but that idea scares me silly. One of my biggest fears is forgetting things. Forgetting people, forgetting places, forgetting important memories…I recently moved, and it’s been hard from that aspect because forgetting is so scary for me, and I don’t want to forget. So if I forgot that I’d plugged in, I realize I would be care-free and without worry. But the idea that I would forget…would scare me from plugging in, I think.

  32. I will not plug in, because this question just like in some story or comic books, the people that want the power than trade his soul to the devil, maybe i dont need to think that way, but this is very good question that confused me. Maybe just like some of other people said, that is not real, it just a image that you think is real. But my answer is the “fate”, i think everybody had the fate had their own destiny, maybe you can change your fate, but you can’t “make” your own destiny, in the machine maybe you are a god, you can make your own fate, you can make you in your little story, but everything is follow you even your destiny, that was boring, that is not fun at all, it doesnt have surprise, i always so expect the next second to come, because “i dont know what will happen next”, everything that happen even it is bad, it will change my feeling, when you lived a long times in the machine you will lose your feeling, become a person that only can lived in the perfect world.

  33. If I was asked to plug in I wouldn’t. Yes it would be hard to turn down something that would always make me happy. I would get whatever I wanted and did what I wanted. But there is no sastifaction in getting everything you want and having no limits. You would gain nothing because everything would just be given. It would be a boring life in my opinion.

  34. i would not plug in. It is not going to help you at all, people need to learn something at all the time. The machine maybe will make everything more easier than it is before, but it wont teach you anything. I will like to do everything by myself. Maybe it will take more time, but i think it is going to be fun. Everything is a lesson for you. You won’t understand if you plug that machine in, you won’t able to get out from the machine. Your life is going to be a dream. If i can plug in for a two days, it will be fine for me. But i wont spend rest of my life on my imagination.

  35. At first glance… I would not plug in.
    The fact that you’re trapped in a tank, doing absolutely nothing and floating in a virtual reality throws me (halfway).

    The point of life is progress. Civilization is useless without development. In this experience machine, there is nothing happening – no progress or advancement. Nothing will ever be gained or developed for your life if you sit in this machine.
    There are two sides to my argument. To prove my point above, let’s say, if Person A plugs into the machine and spends two years of their life inside of it, and comes back out to preprogram their next two years, they’d be hit with the reality of the real world once they come back out. (In class, we talked about this two-year break for preprogramming.) The natural human instinct is to withdraw from the harsh and attract to the pleasurable. Person A would indefinitely be overwhelmed by the ‘realness’ of reality and jump in the machine again and forget they ever were in a machine. This cycle will continuously repeat, and eventually their entire life will be wasted with virtual happenings. Nothing has ever changed for them, and they will have gained nothing. Let’s pretend Albert Einstein’s generation actually had access to this great machine, and Einstein himself stepped into it. He’d never come back out, and we’d never have the developments we have today.

    The one case scenario where I would plug in is when I’m old and nearing the end of my life. When you’re old, there isn’t much to accomplish anymore. You’ve already set your mark on the world and you’re ready to move on. I would plug in then… and also die in the machine as well. If there isn’t anything I can do when I’m old, I might as well experience something that offers that mobility when I’m about to die. That way, I spent most of my life in the real world and can live my last moments believing I’m still in it.

    Just remember what happened in The Veldt. Don’t depend on technology too much for your reality or it will bite you back.

  36. Honestly, i would plug in. Since it is an experience machine, you could have everything with you that you would need. Even if someone says “But what about your family, aren’t you going to miss them?”, you could still imagine them and then they would be there. Same with everything else. And because you wouldn’t know that it’s not real, i don’t think that you would even miss anything. Although there are some not so good things about it, like controlling your life by having everything you want and already knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, i would probably still go in, because i could have everything i always wanted. But, like many other people said, it would all depend on how my life is at the time i was being asked. If i’m happy in the real world i would probably say “no”. But if i’m at a lowpoint in life, i would say “yes”.

  37. NO, I would not plug in. I would have to be extremely selfish to do so. Yes, in the machine I could recreate anything I wanted, but I could not leave my family. Although I would not personally miss my family, they would never be able be with me ever again. I would love to plug in, if I could exit, but because it is forever, I could not pull myself to do so. If somehow we could connect my family in like a giant tank instead of an individual tank I would plug in. I wish I could be like Whit and plug in and not think twice.

  38. I would plug in. You could become a superhero who has a dragon (?). If you were some old or a terminally ill person you could be young and healthy again. There are very few reasons not to plug in. There are people who say that it would be bad and wrong to plug in or that plugging in is running away from responsibilities but I think that is just fluff. Get that person away from the spotlight and you would probably get a different response. (Sorry about the weird little rant there… moving on) I would not like it to just be a vacation because I would be depressed when I came out. Plugged in, there is no sickness and there in no death other than what you imagine. Outside, there is sadness everywhere. I like to be happy so like I said I would most likely plug in.

  39. It is very tempting to say I’d plug in, just because I feel the impulse to be daring sometimes. A totally new, good experience is promised by the machine. But give me a minute and I will think about what is the catch, what is the downside? The downside is that whatever excellent experience I might have will not really be “real.” That downside is too much for me at this point in my life. Right now, whatever good or bad experience I have must be real. Otherwise, my life (and all the effort I put in) doesn’t count. I feel like I am too young to just sit and not “really” go through life. The machine promises all the joy in life without any effort on my part. It makes sense that that joy is not real and it is essentially worthless. It is not enough that I just feel great in my own mind. For me, life must be real and it must count.

  40. I would plug in and have that little exception of “waking up” every 10 years or so and changing what my life would be like. It would be alot of fun doing anything you wanted and being so “free” that you could do anything and get away with it. At the same time though, I can understand why some people wouldn’t they just have different morals. But if someone was so restricted, I’m sure they would plug in, in a heartbeat. All they want to do is what they want and if they had a chance to do just that then I’m sure they would take it with no doubts. So if I could plug in, I would if there was that rule about “waking up” every 10 years or so and change our “life”.

  41. I would not plug in because even though the world isn’t perfect and life isn’t fair, reality physically can not be better. It’s physically impossible. Any attempt to make reality more in your favor upsets the balance of what is good in your life and what is bad. For example, if you were to get $100,000,000 handed to you everyday, life would lose all excitement after about a week. To life where you control the world and can do anything would be a dream come true until you had done everything you’ve ever wanted. Not that you would run out of things to do, but you wouldn’t WANT to do anything. You’d be bored being a god. We need things that we don’t want. We need sadness, pain, and anger, otherwise happiness, pleasure, and peacefulness could not exist. And after an eternity of living in the machine, life would really stink.

  42. No, I would not plug in simply because I want to live my life to its fullest. I believe that each and every one of us has a life planned out for us and we should not be able to plug into some fantasy world to escape the harsh reality. With every bad thing comes a good thing around the corner. With respect to that fact, I would not plug in to the experience machine, and throw my whole life away for something that would be perfect and flawless. The only thing that would alter my decision would be age. If I were approaching my final days, I would most likely plug in, just to be able to accomplish things I had always dreamed of. But, besides this, I would not plug in.

  43. Although it is tempting to plug in, I still wouldn’t. The main reason for this is that plugging in would cut off the bond between everyone I’ve know in the ‘real’ world. I would never want that to happen especially because I know some great people out there that I need to keep in touch with. I know that I won’t know I would be plugged in if I do (if that makes sense), and I also won’t feel the guilt if I do get plugged in. But I just don’t like that feeling of guilt of separating myself from the world before I get plugged in. It almost feels like I’m dying but still alive. Now there are a few factors which well cause me to jump at the chance of plugging in.

    1. If everyone that has ever known me (that actually acknowledge my existence, not just somebody I’ve met) were to plug in, then I would definitely plug in. It would be pretty awesome being in a world where I get anything I want.

    2. If I was someone with no home and no family living on park benches, I would plug in too.

    3. If I could choose however long I can stay in and stay out of the machine, then I would plug in. Of course, that would defeat the purpose of the whole question.

  44. I would not plug in because it would be too fake for me. I love the heartbreaks, the successes, the rewards, and all the other emotions you get from real life. I believe that no matter what you did there would always be something wrong. There isn’t a single thing that could change my mind about plugging in unless I was the last human on Earth. I wouldn’t even go in for a month or a day because every moment you are in the machine is a moment lost with friends and family. You also would start to fall behind in school and that would just distance you further from loved ones. After the experience in the machine everything would be dull and boring so all the joy you get from life would be gone.

  45. I would not plug in for several/a couple of reasons. One reason is that I know my mom would not plug in and she would be sad if I leave. Second, I do not like the idea of being in an artificial world forever. If I could go in it for however long I wanted and come back out as though it was a vacation, I would give the machine a second thought. The third reason is that I am still young and have yet to experience things and live out my life although even if I’m older, I don’t think I would plug in. Fourth, I do not like the idea of electrodes attached to my brain and having no control to what happens to my body in the real world. As long as I am alive, I do not like the idea of anyone having control over me or being dependent on someone else although the idea of being in the machine sounds like I am only half alive like being in a comma. The idea of not wanting anyone having any control over me and wanting to be supreme may seem ridiculous and unrealistic unless I become a dictator or something but I am not a total extremist and you do not have to become a dictator to have control. One can just have control indirectly. Anyway, I would not trust the people in charge of the machines.
    The only chance that I would ever consider to plug in, by my own will, would probably be if I did not have to live the rest of my life in that tank or if I was born a poor, uneducated kid. I don’t think even the situation of being the last person on Earth would make me plug in even though there does not seem to be anything to hold me back. I am not too sure why I would not in this situation but I think it has a little bit something to do with being stubborn but I do know I would be reluctant to do so and I would not be completely alone since I could always bond with an animal or something.
    Also, how I understand it is that you have the option of not knowing that it is actually not real. At least, that is what I thought you said in class. If that is the case, I would make sure I knew it is all not real if I was suddenly forced to plug in right now. One reason is I that I do not want to be ignorant of what is actually going on. The second reason is that I just feel like being stubborn and unrealistic right now.

  46. I would plug in because all u ever dreamed about was staring at you in the face. All you had to do was plug into a computer and you could have it. You wouldn’t lose anything because all you ever had was programmed into the computer. Once you plugged in you wouldn’t even know you were plugged in. I dont think anything would change my descion. The only hard part in this whole thing is making the descion becuase once your in you wouldn’t know your were in except for the fact that you got what ever you wanted. You would live our life to your fullest because you achieved all of your dreams that you had.

  47. No, I wouldn’t plug into the machine. Something about it just feels really.. wrong to me. I think that I’ve been put on this earth for some reason. If I was just floating in a tank, how could I fulfill my purpose? Perhaps then, floating in that tank would be a selfish thing to do. Even if your contribution to the world was ever so tiny, plugging into that machine would deprive the world of your donation. Plus, you are an entire person with a world of possibilities. Plugging into some form of artificial pleasure would be wasting yourself and everything you can do. I wouldn’t want to take all of my life’s accomplishments and hard work and throw it away. And what about your family? Would you just leave them for some kind of dream state? Make them suffer a loss before they had to? And is plugging into that machine basically killing yourself? Maybe not killing yourself but ending your life. I mean, if you can never reverse that state you’re in, you would die in there anyway, and you can’t live out anymore of your actual life, that’s basically the end, is it not? It just doesn’t seem right to me.

  48. No, I would not plug in. If I plugged in its not reality its something fake to trick your mind into thinking its real. You could relate plugging in to many things, I believe that when your plugged in your just getting a false sensation its not real. I would not be living life the way its supposed to be lived. In life your supposed to overcome difficulties and it makes you stronger as a person. Throughout life you find happiness, also with that comes difficulty, problems, and sadness. When I die I want to be remembered and not just remembered but to also leave a mark on all of mankind. I want to do something that I will always be remembered for, but if im plugged in, no one will ever know about me. There wouldnt be any circumstances that could change my thoughts, plugging in I believe is a waste of time because its not real. I could be doing better things and actually be functional in society and work my way to leaving my mark.

  49. No i wouldnt because of my real life, I have friends and family that would grow old and die while I was gone. I would have so many things in the real world to do I couldnt. I would want to know that it was really me earning these things. But it would no doubt be a tempting offer. Imagine your down in a realationship in life, you lost your job, and your about to lose your home? In that case who wouldnt do it?

  50. Late entry

    The only reason I would plug in was if I about to die or if I was very old, living a nostalgic life. I don’t want to plug in right because it would, in a way, take away all of the possibilities of my life. Sure you could program the machine to randomly shuffle everything that happens in your life everyday you’re in there, but it still wouldn’t be as real as actually living. I want to be able to not predict what is going to happen to me as my life goes on and take each situation as it comes at me. Besides, what fun is there in life if you never have to work to achieve your goals. Sooner or later, you’re going to become bored of the machine since you’ve done every possible thing you could do. Then what? You’d be stuck in a world that you’ve already lived.

  51. Late entry

    I wouldn’t plug in and it wouldn’t matter how many great reasons you gave me i wouldn’t. I love the life i have and even if i plug in and every reason i have for not wanting to is fixed i would still say no. Because before i plug in i would know that it is all a phony. I am a person who would rather get nothing than everything without working for it and in this magical life i could live i honestly think i would have no interests in it. Yes there are a gazillion good reasons to but i dont think that those interests me.

    Also this life changing decision would have me so crazy i would probably say no because of the stress. I just think that it would be great for the people who want to do it but for me if i did it it would be because i was forced not because i wanted to. I just think that the idea of being in a perfect world is crazy.

  52. I would not plug in. There are a multitude of reasons for this including reality, desire, success, and legacy. The reality you experience inside the machine is not the reality of the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter wether you realize it or not. If you are not affecting anything outside or even inside your little world you have no meaning; you are dead. A person’s reality is based on how that person affects and changes the world arround them. A person’s success is the mesure of their legacy: what they create and what they leave behind; the feeling and memories of the lives they touch. A person without a reality or a legacy is not a human. Past that it would not even be enjoyable, because people frankly do not know what they want. Human desires are shallow and fleeting, the greatest happiness in life is often attained through unexpected occurances and a series of unplanned events. A machine that permanently denies you reality and legacy is tantamount to a coffin. So no I would not plug myself into a machine that kills me.

  53. Student Response #1

    Responding to student #9.

    I don’t know for a fact but I don’t believe that you would not go in if this was actually invented.

    Why would you ever want to ‘just’ daydream, when you could live your daydream. The only reason to daydream is either to imagine yourself doing something you want to do or because you want to imagine you’re not doing what you’re doing right now, when you’re daydreaming. Even if you really just want to daydream, the machine will let you daydream. If you just want to sit and think about Japan instead of going there, the machine will let do just that. You would never know that you went in there, so you would never have to worry you made the wrong decision. What do you mean, “Live life the way it was meant to be lived,” there is no person who has set what life is meant to be like. Each person decides how they want to live their own life, so you pick how your life is meant to be lived, but there is no set way each person’s life should be lived. You are right that we can’t appreciate good things if we don’t experience bad things, but if we are in our own world where nothing bad can happen and that will never come back and bite us, what’s so bad about not appreciating. If God truly had other plans for us, would he really have allowed this machine to be created if he didn’t think we should have it? If you got in the machine for life instead of just for a month you wouldn’t have to worry about what else you had going on.

  54. Student Response #2

    I’m responding to student #3.

    First off I would like to say good job on choosing to actually plug in. You are one of the few that I’ve seen who really truly want to plug in. Which is why I’m writing this. Your decision stand out pretty well. I like the some of the sentences especially these 2: “Human nature makes you an opportunist trying to get as much as can for as little as possible. Also, no one really wants to be one the ten people left living in a broken down apartment eating microwave food until they run out of power. ” This is true, and I agree with you. Though I have to think about it more if I want to plug in or not, I may join you. You actually make a good argument, and back it up pretty well. Keep up the good work.

  55. Student Response #3

    This, actually, is in response to anyone who decided that they wouldn’t plug in:

    When I was first reading all of these arguments saying how selfish and nauseating it would be to spend your life in a dream world, I grew even more adamant in my decision to plug in. I mean, who are they to call me selfish? Then as I kept reading, I started to further ponder my decision.

    The result: I don’t think I would want to plug in. That breaks my heart to say so, because being able to live in a world where I could be able to have whatever I can imagine is like a dream come true. I would, however, plug in if I was terminally ill. But even if I was really old, I don’t think that I would plug in unless my life was just really depressing.

    There are several reasons why I wouldn’t plug in now. One of the bigger ones is just how massively hypocritical it would be of me to plug in to a dream world while the real one is perfectly acceptable. A lot of people say that they would plug in because life isn’t the same without hardship, and I honestly don’t see how anyone can say that. I mean, if you had a natural life where everything came easy to you, would you really complain? I would just like to live my life KNOWING that everything was real; instead of living my life being DELUDED into thinking everything was real. Being that ignorant of what’s really happening in the true world is a big deal-breaker for me. Also, I don’t think I could deal with how useless I would feel to be floating in some tank doing nothing with my life. When I died, not only would I have nothing to show for myself, but I wasted valuable technology flying around in my brain; I would feel like a literal waste of space. Besides, those mechanical tubes attached to Neo’s head in the Matrix definitely grossed me out. That’s just not right.

    I apologize to all who decided to plug in, but I decided to switch ships. Although I would love, love, LOVE to be able to have super powers and fly between galaxies battling alien warlords and evil crime syndicates, I am just going to have to stick with what I got. Its not much, but hey, at least its real.

  56. Student Response #4

    I am responding to student number 7

    I totally agree about plugging in towards the end of my life. Of course my first pick would be to do a vacation type thing. But if a vacation plug in was not available I agree I would want to live out my life normally and then when I got real old I would consider it. However my only thing with that is age. Would you have to be a old frail person in your ‘dream world’? You see I’m not sure if that would make if appealing any longer if I had to be old in the dream too. Of course inevitably my physical body would be old but to me it would not be worth while if I had to be old in the dream too. So there are still so many questions that in the end make the option to ‘pug in’ even less desirable to me.

  57. Student Response #5

    I am responding to student 3.

    I respect your decision to plug in, I believe that everybody has a right to think what they want to.

    One thing about your response puzzled me. You mentioned a ‘catch’ that would make you not want to plug in. How is spending the rest of your life in reality by floating in a tub with wires attached to your brain not a catch? To me, that is the biggest catch there could be and probably the reason that my gut instinct would be to walk away. Also, to say that it is a lie if someone would not want to plug in is disparaging. Just like you are entitled to have an opinion and that opinion is assumed to be sincere, other people are entitled to have an opposite opinion in which it can be thought that they actually believe in it. People that don’t want to plug in are not lying, they have reasons for not wanting to do it just like you have reasons for wanting to plug in.

  58. Student Response #6

    I am respondidng to student #2

    i agree with that almost completely. I would be afraid to plug in knowing it’s fake. Something about just going into a fake world really scares me. I would love to experience it. It would be fun for a while, but then just get weird. The thought of everything just getting programmed into you doesn’t excite me at all. As a matter of fact it just really scares me to death. I’m fine with where I’m at now. Part of life is the challenges you have to overcome. That’s what makes life great.

  59. Student Response #7

    Responding to student #34.

    I like your idea with the connection to Einstein. I, myself had thought about if everyone just plugged in, then there would be no one left to continue the human race. I imagine that if this machine was ever built, there would be a word-wide debate about it being legal to use. If it does become legal, there would probably be extremely strict on restrictions, as well as signing a huge load of paper work, and having high security.

    I am not sure if I would plug in when I am old. Although it appears that I do not have much to accomplish anymore, I am quite sure I can find something else to do without being annoying and getting in peoples’ way. At least right now, there never seams to be enough time in the world, so you have to make sure you spend your time wisely. I do know that I will make sure that I have done everything I am capable of and had made my mark before I ever get into that machine for the rest of my life.

    I am also glad to see that you mentioned The Veldt. I had also thought about it but only for about a second because I had a bunch of other thoughts that I was wanting to type in my blog and decided to perhaps add that later. However, it seams that I ended up forgetting to add that in which is definitely not the first time I have forgotten something.

    To Mr. Long,
    I am confused on whether you said you don’t have to or you won’t remember that it is all fake. Of course, there is always the possibility of not hearing you correctly, but I thought you said we can have it programmed that way but everyone else is making it sound like it is not a choice.


    From Mr. Long: You’d only know/remember what you had ‘programmed’ in. Thus, if you didn’t program the memory of ‘plugging in’, you’d just assume it was all ‘real’.

  60. Student Response #8

    I am responding to student number 3.

    This student is the first one who responded yes to the question and caught my eye because of this. I really like the fact that this student was honest and, definitely can’t criticize them for that. This was a very rational response in many ways because it was stated that if someone was upset with you for plugging in, they also had the same opportunity as you so no guilt should be felt. Also it was correct in the fact that every one does strive for the perfect life so in all reality people would probably jump at the opportunity for a perfect life. I completely agree that our society does create a land of opportunists by the competition and the amount of opportunities given to students and even underprivileged children. The whole idea of our society is that if a person works hard enough and seizes all the right opportunities they can be successful it’s the ‘American dream’ concept. However though I agree with this response in many ways personally I would not make the same decision. If my family and friends are against something not only would I feel guilty doing it, but I would really thing hard about my decision and if it was truly not right. I admire this person for being able to potentially go against what their family wants because I don’t always go the way my family says but in major life decisions I take their opinions into serious account. In all honesty it is just very difficult to believe that this student would plug in without some kind of family consent, and disregard their feelings completely. However if this is realistic then to be sure enough of your own judgment to make a decision of this caliber independently is a great quality, for anyone to have.

  61. Student Response #9

    In Response to Student # 40

    Almost everyone here has said the same thing over and over again. About their moral issues about leaving family, it being an easy way out and what not. Sure it seems selfish to plug in, but it’s a machine to simulate your life with perks. Either with a few or a lot. Could just be exactly like the life out here with its ups and downs just with a few nudges here
    and there for you.

    You’re implying that, for you, this simulated fantasy world is one without hatred, violence, sadness and what not, but that is only if you choose it to be that way. You think that a fantasy (I’m assuming including yours) is a world of perfection. Where you get everything you’ve ever wanted.

    Why not just choose a world just like your ‘real’ life except a little bit in your favor at times. I don’t see the problem in that, relieve some stress off of whatever you’re stressed out about. Keep living life the way you want it, with pain, sadness, and every other emotion, but at times where you think you’re mistreated, have it lean to more in your favor. For example you take a test now which you studied for so vigorously and for all that hard work get a C on. In the simulated world study the same way, but instead of a C you get a B-. That’s within reason right? Not like where you don’t study and you should’ve gotten an F on and change it to an A.

    Who says the simulated world has to be a version of communism that works. You can say it is, but hey if that’s your fantasy then role with it.

  62. Student Response #10

    I’m responding to Student #6.

    That is a great analogy, “like entering cheat codes or hacking in a videogame.” If you do that, the game’s not fun anymore.

    I remember when I first got the Sims game on my computer. I played that thing CONSTANTLY – I’m talking like seven hours a day! I would make the virtual people get up, go to work, fill their needs, study cooking so they wouldn’t burn their house down when they used the oven, and pay their bills, virtual day after virtual day after virtual day, gradually building up their money so they could buy nicer things. I was sucked into it. Then one day a friend told me about a cheat code: if you typed in a certain word at a certain place, you instantly got all the money you wanted. I used the cheat code, my Sims had the nicest house anyone could ever imagine…and I’ve never played that game since.

    Life’s not special unless you work for it.

  63. I am responding to student 4!!!

    I think thats its really cool that they said they would plug in but then give their downsides to it. I think that leaving the ones you love behind would be the hardest thing. I think that they make a good point about that life would easy, relaxing and simple but to me i think life should be a challenge. I like the way they use a good reason and a bad reason on every answer. They had a great answer it was great to get to comment on.

    Part 2: I think that also when one person can say they are sure they would plug in they never think of the other side. I like how student 4 they look at from both sides and they make both reasons make sense.

  64. Student Response #12

    I am responding to student #3:

    I think this is a straightforward and honest response to the question. I chose this entry because it was my favorite out of those who disagreed with me by saying they would plug in. I think it is a very valid point to say that all your moral dilemas will disapear once you plug in. That is; if you were to accidentally or purposefully plug in you would never once regret it. You would be incapable of regretting it or suffering for shirking any responsibilities.

    However, I still believe that your morals and obligations before hand can prevent you from plugging in. Thus, I reject the idea that anyone who says they would not plug in is lying. None the less the entry is an interesting and valid arguement to plug in.

  65. Student Response #13

    I am responding to Student 9.

    I thought it was really interesting how they talked about the imagination in their response. In the part where they talk about thinking versus traveling to Japan, they used the line, “I wouldn’t be able to just imagine about how that experience would be anymore.” It seems like if we were to enter the experience machine, even though our lives would be based on our imagination, part of our imagination would die because there would be no depth to it.

    I also like the line “we can’t truly appreciate the good until we meet the bad,” because I totally agree with it. I personally believe that life is not worth living if it is perfect- that is why there is the concept of Heaven.

    I also thought it was interesting where the student talked about how they do not want to run their life for fear they would not experience the same great things they might in the real world.

  66. Student Resonse #14

    Note: The response offered here by one of your classmates has been deleted by Mr. Long due to its inappropriate/impolite nature. The student will receive no credit for the entry and will have a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Long this week to discuss his/her ability to continue with this project in the future.

    Please keep in mind that it is never appropriate to attack the character of another student within this blog, esp. given the anonymous nature of all entries once they are published. It is OK to disagree with ideas, but insulting others will never be accepted.

  67. Student Response #15

    I am responding to student number 43.

    I really like how you mentioned the fact that you “love the heartbreaks, the successes, the rewards, and all the other emotions you get from real life.”

    I too said I would not plug in, but that point is really fascinating. I have never looked at it like that, but it is absolutely true. I also found it very interesting how you incorporated family into your reason. That was a very valid point that you made.

    But the most amazing part of your entry was the last sentence. You had an excellent point when you said “all the joy you get from life would be gone.” I totally agree with you because if you were to enter this flawless life, life now would plummet in comparison. You made so many valid points and if I would have chosen to plug in and then read your entry, you would have most likely persuaded me to see it your way. Good job!

  68. Student Response #16

    I’m responding to student #5

    The fact that you wouldn’t plug in because you want to achieve things through hard work and dedication, and that the fact that you wouldn’t really experience things doesn’t really seem like legitimate reasons. Did you ever think that you could program your life so that you did earn everything through hard work and dedication and program it so that it all felt real? I don’t mean to support the act of plugging in, I’m just challenging your opinions. But I agree with you on the rest of your opinions. I would also plug in if I could only stay in for a week, or use it as a vacation.

    My one question is though, what if you got addicted and you couldn’t resist the ‘perfect’ life that the machine offered you? I also agree that different circumstances would change the decision made.

  69. Student Response #17

    I am responding to student #6.

    I like some of the points this student has made for example “what will happen to my body outside”. This is an excellent question, one that would present many problems. I liked the reference to video games saying “entering cheat codes or hacking in a videogame”, I thought that was amusing. It does make a good point though because you aren’t supposed to get everything that you wanted and I know if i got everything by these means I would feel as if I had cheated. The reasoning this student presented for not plugging in or plugging in is pretty hard to disagree with. I mean originally I said there was no way I would plug in but I can see now why I might like if my life isn’t going so well. I still think there isn’t a chance that I would plug in except for if there became too many things that I regretted doing and I wanted to go back and fix.

  70. Student Respone #18

    In response to Student 34:

    I completely agree with your opinion, especially your idea that the whole point of life is to progress and develop. I too think that there is no point in plugging into the machine in order to live in your own fantasy. Even if you think that nothing’s changed, anything that happens to you while you’re in there is just that. It’s only happening to YOU. While you may think that everything occurring is real it’s all in your head. All of the joy, sadness, pain, suffering, and happiness that you go through during your time in the world created by the machine would only affect yourself. Nothing would change in the actual world; it’s basically as if you just lied down and did absolutely nothing because that’s exactly how the world would see it. Why live in a world where anything you do has no effect on the real world?

  71. Student Response #19

    I am replying to student #23.

    I agree with student number 23. I would also not plug in because I agree that in life nothing comes easily and not everything is fair. Life wouldnt be fun if everything was perfect and nothing bad happened…or would it? I dont think it would, but thats my opinion. Thats why I agreed with student number 23. I think we both mainly agree with the same things because I would also only plug in if i was very sick and about to die. Otherwise I dont see a point to plug in. In life you shouldnt want to take the easy way out, be brave be courageous and live life to the fullest!

  72. Student Response #20

    I am responding to student #11

    I’m with you. I would choose not to plug in also. The idea of living a dream doesn’t spark my interest. Even though having everything I have wished for sounds good, I still wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it simply because life itself has more to offer than what your brain can think of. Life in the real world and life in the “plug in” world would not be the same at all.

    I agree though when you said that “I might begin to consider the machine if I was the last person left on the world”. I would probably plug in if that was the case.

  73. Student Response #21

    Im responding to #13

    I have read all the blogs for this topic because I couldn’t remember which one I wrote so that I wouldn’t respond to mine. When I read yours I thought that I had written it. Its something that I would say and I believe strongly in. I like how you put that we decide our own destiny and that God gave us choices.

    God gives us life and by plugging in you are cheating life
    I also agree that going through struggles is more rewarding than everything being easy. If life didn’t have struggles there wouldbe no happieness.

  74. Student Response #22

    I am responding to Student #3:

    “Some people think it would be selfish to plug in and leave family members behind who don’t. However, you should just be selfish, it’s their loss they didn’t do it, and since you never come out you don’t have to take responsibility for it. ”

    I absolutely love this line! I’m not really sure if it meant to be funny but I find it hilarious. This person mentions selfishness that many of the other students were worrying about. I don’t think this student really understands the concept of being selfish. When you’re selfish, you are simply worrying about your needs and ignoring the needs of those around you. They simply justify being selfish by blaming them for not plugging in and saying it really doesn’t matter because you’d never have to deal with it. I see it as especially selfish because you wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt while they would still have to deal with the grief. I think this person really doesn’t care what others think around them and just do things without thinking. In some ways, I am jealous of this quality.

    Although I respect their views and choice, I still strongly disagree. This entry seems like it is supposed to convince others to plug in, but this did the opposite. It showed me how reckless and selfish plugging in would be, no matter how you tried to justify your choice.

  75. Student Response #23

    I’m responding to student #3.

    I really like this response; no regrets, no hesitations: just do it. Reading it also let me rethink my opinion on the matter. It’s true that plugging in rids all regrets and responsibilities and work. You know how great that is? In the position I’m in right now, I would probably plug in. Another good point is that if I plug in, my parents would probably want to plug in too so they won’t have to miss me so much. However, it is sort of selfish to only think about personal comfort and not that others would feel said if a family member disappears. All in all though, maybe I should plug in… or maybe not.

  76. Student Response #24

    I am responding to student #1!

    This response is one of the greatest things I have ever read. The idea of wanting something actually real is a crucial part of not plugging in. I hope that you become a successful author in the real world. I really like that you bring faith into the picture. In being a strong Christian, I believe that heaven is the place for the “dream life.” I also believe that if nothing is wrong, why try and change it. So, with that, plugging in would be perfect for a person with nothing to live for, not for a someone with family.

    Why sell out for unreal perfection when you can achieve perfection in the real world.

  77. This is a response to Student #3

    It was a good argument to bring in the part about human nature. I can’t deny that just a fraction of my being would want to plug in. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to abbandon my family and friends, especially my little brother. He needs another role model besides my dad, and at this point, I’m the only one suitable for that position. Plus, if anything were to go wrong with the machine, you’d wake from that trance, and realzie you’ve had no effect on the world at all. This would lead to extreme depression and eventually suicide. So, I’d rather take my chances on the real life, not some computer-generated fantasy, thank you very much.

  78. Student Response #26

    I am responding to Student #3 .

    I respectfully disagree with a major part of your entry… the fact that plugging into this machine is not leaving your family but “pressuring them into improving their lives”. There is no other referance I can use that is less offensive, so I am sorry if this comes across offensive for anyone.

    The point that Student #3 brought up is like the following scenario. You have a miserable life, poor and haggard, and your family does too. However, they appreciate it, but you don’t. You’d rather die than live your current life. Student #3’s point is like saying that committing suicide is not leaving your family, but pressuring them into killing themselves as well to end their misery. This may be a terrible example, but the main point is put across. (Originally I had planned to use a religious example, but I don’t think that was too appropriate.) If everyone based their actions off the hopes that they would convince or drag other people with them, I’m sure this world would be full of drug-addicts and criminals. It is true that we are opportunists, but we also recoil from the idea of major change and picking between two big decisions. Plugging into the machine definitely falls under these two categories. Realistically, yes, if you were dying in a shack, the machine would definitely appeal to you because you have nothing else to lose. When you have a family, or a life you appreciate, the choice won’t be so easy.

  79. Student Response #27

    I’m responding to student #27

    I like your ideas that you propose. I agree with you that if I was older and on my death bed, I would probably be more prone to say yes, than right now. I am still thinking about if my life was going through a difficult moment, would I plug in then?

    I’m more leaning towards the ‘no’ part, still. I would feel that I would be running away from my problems, not trying to work around the differences I might have with someone. Just like how you said that you don’t know what you would do in that situation, and I feel the exact same way. I think it would be really cool to have a chance to ‘go anywhere you want’ or anything that I wanted.

    If I want something that bad though, why couldn’t I just strive to achieve that want in real life? I think that would be way cooler that breaking down into just plugging in for my own amusement.

  80. Student Response #28

    I am responding to student #19

    I would never plug in, a disagree with the entire concept of the machine.

    However, your idea of waiting until your life is near an end is a very logical a reasonable plan. I would not plug in, but if I were to I would wait like you said. I wouldn’t want to end my actual life so early, but once I had lived a real life, a simulated life would be nice. It would kind of be like retirement. I’d done everything I wanted to do in life, so I would do things in the machine that I wouldn’t want to do in life. I would live a second life.

  81. Student Response #29

    i am responding to student #1

    you had said that you wanted everyting to be real, this computer generated world will be real to you. you say that you want to be a writer, and in this world many writers fail. but in that world everyone will think your writing is great. you say tht pluging in would be ” agreeing to pleasure and safety and an easy, contented life” but is that the life that everyone wants. Every day poeple go to work to make it just a bit esier to support themselves and thier families. by doing this you wont need to go through all of that.

  82. Student Response #30

    I am responding to Student #3.

    I don’t agree with your point of view. I don’t think that leaving your family and calling it “their loss” is a very friendly life to lead. It seems selfish to me to care only for your own happiness and perception. I would either plug in when I was very old, or not at all. The only point to human existence is to interact and affect the people around you. Getting into the machine, which may be fine in your mind, doesn’t really help you change others and others change you. I’m not saying that the only way to do things is to not plug in, but it may help to weigh your effects on others before doing so.

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