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If I could be Joe Black

I had a funny thought when I remembered the movie Joe Black’s Love. The movie was released in 1998, but the subject matter is memorable.

Joe Black (Brad Pitt) is a grim reaper. He takes on the body of a young man in a coma after a car accident and appears before Mr. Parrish (Anthony Hopkins), the man he’s supposed to take in sooner or later. Mr. Parrish is a man who has all the riches and honors of human life. Joe Black wants to see for himself what it’s like to have the kind of wealth and fame that men want so badly. And he becomes the only thing the president fears, controlling his decisions.

Here’s what I imagine. Here’s what I’d do if I were Joe Black, the Grim Reaper, and I could control someone’s behavior through the medium of his death. First, I’d show up in front of Putin, punch him in the face with a heart attack, and tell him to end the war in Ukraine immediately. If he doesn’t listen, I’ll give him another punch. Next, I will appear in front of Biden and give him a big punch to the heart and tell him to end the war in Ukraine and stop the hegemonic competition between the US and China. And I will also tell the leaders of North and South Korea to stop snarling and start cooperating with each other.

The way for the world to live in peace is so simple. It’s all in the words of the prefect. What I don’t like to do, Don’t to do others. If we could do this, the future of humanity would be bright, or not we would suffer from war, hunger, disease etc. History has taught us that powerful people are overly loyal to their own interests. They have little regard for the good of the community, even at their own expense. The more educated and intelligent they are, the better they know how to pursue their interests. In The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, there is such a story. Genes don’t care whether gene carriers choose to compete or cooperate, as long as they keep replicating themselves. In other words, it doesn’t matter if they’re black cats or white cats as long as they catch mice. But we, the gene carriers, suffer less if we cooperate rather than compete.

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