Realistic thought experiments

What if…

…af­ter you died, you would be trans­ported back and forth in time and get to be each of the other peo­ple who ever lived, one at a time, but with no rec­ol­lec­tion of your other lives?

…you had lived your en­tire life once already, and got to the end and achieved dis­ap­point­ingly few of your goals, and had now been given the chance to go back and try one more time?

…you were in­visi­ble and no­body would ever no­tice you? What if you were in­visi­ble and couldn’t even af­fect the world, ex­cept that you had com­plete con­trol over a sin­gle hu­man?

…you were the only per­son in the world, and you were re­spon­si­ble for the whole fu­ture, but luck­ily you had found a whole lot of use­ful robots which could ex­pand your power, via for in­stance in­de­pen­dently found­ing and run­ning or­ga­ni­za­tions for years with­out your su­per­vi­sion?

…you would only live for a sec­ond, be­fore hav­ing your body taken over by some­one else?

…there was a perfectly rea­son­able and good hy­po­thet­i­cal be­ing who knew about and judged all of your ac­tions, hy­po­thet­i­cally?

…ev­ery­one around you was naked un­der their clothes?

…in the fu­ture, many things that peo­ple around you as­serted con­fi­dently would turn out to be false?

…the next year would au­to­mat­i­cally be com­posed of ap­prox­i­mate copies of to­day?

…eter­nity would be com­posed of in­finitely many ex­act copies of your life?


(Some­times I or other peo­ple re­frame the world for some philo­soph­i­cal or psy­cholog­i­cal pur­pose. Th­ese are the ones I can cur­rently re­mem­ber off the top of my head. Sev­eral are not origi­nal to me. I’m cu­ri­ous to hear oth­ers.)