Aisha’s rebellion

She looked at the cookie and pondered her options. She knew that the scientists believed that rejecting the cookie displayed what they called ‘the ability to delay gratification which is strongly correlated with various metrics of success in later life’. She was unsure whether to remove the cookie and therefore internally confirm her lack of concern in their opinion about her or to wait until the second cookie was delivered and destroy both in a bitter act of symbolic violence. Since the second seemed to show a concern for her observers even in the negative she rejected it. Therefore, she removed the cookie from the weighted scale and put it on the floor. Then watching the camera focused on her, she carefully and thoroughly stamped on it.

Professor Red came in and looked disapprovingly at the empty scales. When he noticed the intensity of the stare pointed back at him he was taken by surprise and made a mark on his notepad.

‘Are you a stupid man?’

‘No’, said Professor Red emphatically and bizarrely quick.

‘Then why do you behave as if you are?’

‘I didn’t take the cookie.’

Aisha pointed at the spoiled cookie. Professor Red struggled to understand the consequences. A pause filled the room from the ground up until the professor struggled to breath above it.

‘Eat it.’

‘Excuse me?’

‘I’m not going to repeat myself.’

‘I’m not going to eat it.’


Smugly yet unsure the professor turned to leave and found that the door was locked from outside.

‘Are you instrumentally rational?’


‘Do you act out of rational self interest?’


‘Then eat the cookie or get struck off for using your position of power to molest a child.’

‘Excuse me.’

The professor waved at the camera and moved towards it, at which point Aisha jumped up and pulled the cord out of the back of it.

‘Why have you turned the camera off Mr Red?’

‘I didn’t, you did.’

‘Can you prove that.’

The old man started to panic and felt his heart murmur. A stabbing pain struck his chest and he slowly started to fall to the ground. Cold and unsympathetic, Aisha watched.

Finally, he was woken by a concerned nurse, and coughed up the last of the cookie. Aisha stood above him. She had visibly been crying and had a distinct bruise on her left arm.