Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the metaphorical scale hand

I was having a conversation with Taylor Hughes yesterday at a basketball game. As usual we were having an in depth discussion about an insignificant topic, so while we were debating the different theories behind time travel, a pretty interesting concept was brought up. Surprisingly it had absolutely nothing to do with time travel, but it's still interesting. Here's the question:

When people use their hands and do the whole metaphorical scale hand analogy to talk about weighing out different options, is the hand that ends the highest the one they are choosing, or are they supposed to choose the hand that is the lowest?

The reason this is so confusing is because you could argue on behalf of either hand. I mean the hand that's the lowest is the hand that weighed the most, because obviously the side of the scale that sinks is the side that had the most weight placed on it. So in the metaphorical scale world, wouldn't the fact that the substance placed in the hand that sank signify that there was something about that substance that made it the most important? And if that is true, then wouldn't the decision represented by the hand that sank also be the decision that carried the most weight, making it the best decision?

But at the same time, the hand that is highest is "on the top". Think about all the energy that would be used to reach down and pick up the decision resting on the lower metaphorical hand. Not to mention the fact that if you picked the decision on the lower hand you'd have to carry around the HEAVIER of the two objects, which would be more of a burden than if you had selected the higher of the two metaphorical scale hands. Obviously if you had to choose two things to carry around all day you would choose the one that weighs the LEAST.

So I guess what it all boils down to is this final question: Is it the pros of the substance placed in the metaphorical scale hand that causes the metaphorical scale hand to sink, or is it the cons of the substance that causes the metaphorical scale hand to sink?

We may never know.. but I think I've landed with the highest metaphorical scale hand being the hand in which the best decision is resting.


  1. Great thoughts. You also have to consider that if the base of the scale is not solid then it could all come crashing down regardless of which hand you have chosen.

  2. What about the phrase "if you wish in one hand, and poop in the other, see which one fills up first". Does that apply to this conversation?

  3. dude how do you get into talking into these things ha ha. i like the topic though. i dont know how to phrase this, but the hand that is up is the one that decides the subject. DUDE i didnt know you had a myspace! add me at