The following is an excerpt from Gregory Stock's "The Book of Questions" [Workman, $8.95], a collection of thought-provoking conversation starters and opportunities for self-reflection.
1. Would you rather watch an Olympics that outlawed performance-enhancing drugs OR one that embraced them and let athletes use medical pit crews to jack up their performances?
2. Technology has become almost a part of us. Would you rather lose the use of all motorized vehicles, all telecommunications devices and computers, or one of your hands?
3. For $50,0000 would you put to sleep a healthy pet you love? How much more or less money would it take to change your answer?
4. If you could anonymously and safely destroy any one person's reputation online through various postings, would you? If so, who and why?
5. If it were the only way you could remain with the love of your life, would you be willing for both of you to wake up tomorrow as native speakers of foreign languages, knowing that within a week you'd permanently forget the languages you now speak and largely be cut off from your friends and culture? If so, what new language would you want to speak, and why?
6. How would you react if you learned that a sad and beautiful poem that touched you deeply had been written by a computer?
7. Would you completely rewrite your child’s college application essays if it would get them into a better school? If so, how would you explain to your child the difference between this and cheating?