Russian Roulette and 2,000 islands

According to financial markets’ folklore, a very rich financier from one of the Eastern European countries – can’t remember which one - made a very interesting offer a few years’ back to test the claims made by some namby pamby human behavior researcher at one of the State’s major universities.

The financier said he would give US$1 million to anyone (barring the mentally ill or socially deprived) willing to play a round of Russian roulette (6 chambers, only one of which is filled with a bullet).

Noone came forward.

He then upped the prize money to US$5 million, and some optimistic soul stepped forward, saying he was willing to play the game because he knew from his “karma” that he was going be all right.

The contest went ahead, the optimistic guy didn’t blow his brains out, and is now living a life of luxury on a small Mediterranean island surrounded by female hardbodies and the envy of everyone around him.

Good for him. But while the people of the island may admire him was it really such a wise decision to make? Well, with six chambers and only one bullet that ain’t bad odds. You certainly are very likely to come up a winner if you play this game.

But if everyone were to play this game trying to emulate this guy’s success, things would start to go horribly wrong. The graveyards would get filled up quicker than a Glenn McGrath delivery. Cos some unfortunate blighter is going to draw the short straw from time to time, isn’t he?

Recently, a leading American scientist warned of potential catastrophe if governments around the world don’t respond to climate change:

"If we're going to be risk averse … we cannot dismiss the possibility of potentially catastrophic outlyers and that includes Greenland and West Antarctica (ice sheets breaking up), massive species extinctions, intensified hurricanes and all those things.

There's at least a 10 per cent chance of that. And that to me for a society is too high a risk … My value judgment when you're talking about planetary life-support systems is that 10 per cent, my God, that's Russian roulette with a Luger."

As for Indonesia, we’re probably gonna lose around 2,000 islands by 2030.

Game of Russian roulette anyone?


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