Saturday, August 12, 2006

Creating "What if?" questions: the trigger

Considering the following "What if?" questions:

What if animals became more intelligent than people?
What if we had edible clothing?

I could conclude that, if these events were actualised, the results would be:

Animals are more intelligent than people
Clothing is edible.

What's the source or origin of these changes? I could consider that the origin is me -- as a god, omnipotent being, possessor of magical powers (or whatever) I would be able to effect the changes. I would be the trigger of the changes. I can rewrite the WI? questions thus:

What if I make animals more intelligent than people?
What if I make clothing edible?

Other triggers can be considered:

Ation triggers

An ation is simply any action carried out on an object. So, with the "What if?" question:

What if committing a crime makes you smell bad?

The ation is "committing a crime". I can opt to create a word for the ation. With "committing a crime" it could be something like "CC-ation". So CC-ation is the trigger that makes you smell bad. Here are some more ations:

Riding a bike
Meeting an old friend
Brushing your teeth
Buying a car

Any of these could be used as the trigger for a WI? action:

What if riding a bike makes the rider ill?
What if brushing your teeth makes your teeth smell unpleasant?
What if buying a car makes the car increase in value?

Random word triggers

I can also opt to make any single random word a trigger for the changes. With nighttime, shouting, and viruses:

What if nighttime makes people fall asleep instantly?
What if shouting makes your IQ double?
What if viruses make you psychic?

Specific categories for triggers

I can also create triggers based on the following categories:

Time (duration), Place (area), Person(s), Thing, Object, Activity.

I can use one of these categories in a WI? question:

What if a time makes your legs paralysed?

and then name a specific time (or duration) for the "time". Thus:

What if the midnight hour makes your legs paralysed?

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