There is an old writing prompt that goes if you were stranded on a deserted island, what five things would you want to have with you? I updated that a little when it came up recently as a Word Press prompt. If you were stranded on an asteroid, what five things would you want with you. For this to work, you would have to assume that there was sufficient air on the asteroid for you to live. Otherwise, it would be pointless to want anything – you’d be dead in minutes. Three things that I would want would be food, shelter and water. We can assume those are present for our purposes.
I would want something to read, some way to communicate with earth, or the nearest planet with people on it, something to write with, a piece of exercise equipment, and a source of puzzles to keep my mind occupied.
Having a form of communication might be construed as a way of getting off the asteroid, but I don’t think I would want to do that right away. I do like to be alone sometimes. However, I will admit that I wouldn’t like it all the time. Humans are social animals and we do need some kind of interaction if we are to remain sane.
In my case I would have to have something or someone who can cook for me, as I often have trouble boiling water. That would be six things, so I would have to give something up in favor of the thing or person to do the cooking. I think I could easily trade the exercise equipment for a person. I could always take walks for exercise. I like walking. To me, that’s the best form of exercise.
So I would choose a robot to cook for me, an endless supply of books, an endless supply of puzzles, some form of communication and writing materials. That would keep me happy. I’d view it as a vacation until I got bored and called for transport off the asteroid. That’s what I would like. I don’t know how long it would take me to get bored enough to call for transport off the asteroid, but I think it would be an interesting experiment, rather like Thoreau and Walden.
Of course, Thoreau didn’t live completely cut off from the rest of humanity. He did go out and about, meeting with people and talking with them. His experiment was to see if he could live off the land for a year and that’s what he did. I think everyone should think about doing something like that. I think it would be healthy. I’m not saying that everyone should actually do it – I don’t think that would be practical, but thinking about it – yes I could see that as healthy. So, think about it. If you were stranded on a deserted island, a space station, or an asteroid, what five things would you want with you?