Home > Uncategorized > The Road to World Conquest: No friends in leaky lifeboats

The Road to World Conquest: No friends in leaky lifeboats

Don’t count on people who call themselves pals when you’re huddled in a lifeboat that’s slowly – or maybe not so slowly – filling with water.

Oh, sure, maybe you dined together at the captain’s table before the ship breached its hull on that stray iceberg that everyone saw coming. That was a lifetime ago. Survival is serious business. No room in that little boat for camaraderie. It might sound cynical, but it’s true: It’s you or them.

When the lifeboat engineer walks up to you after the ship starts sinking and says you can take X number of passengers with you, don’t haggle to bring extra. Take only what you can carry. Save only what the lifeboat can hold.

If you ignore this advice, you really shouldn’t be surprised when that extra passenger turns out to have a naturally cynical outlook, a healthy sense of self-preservation, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make sure that if the lifeboat sinks, they’re going to be the last in the water with the sharks.

When other sensible passengers share clear evidence that the boat would stay afloat longer with fewer people and more buckets, don’t dismiss this as panicked exaggeration, even if another passenger that you might trust says it’s nothing to worry about.

While you’re floating along, bailing salt water and searching the horizon for signs of rescue, pay attention when a passenger pipes up with a seemingly hypothetical question, such as: “If you were presented with the opportunity to toss someone else in the deep blue if it meant you’d last longer in the lifeboat, would you?” Don’t toss this aside as harmless ethical musing. That passenger probably wants to use your leg as a paddle and the rest of your corpse as a pontoon.

Start looking for land.

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