The Internet is a beautiful place; it is possibly the only place where you could lose to a chicken and walk away with a smile. But first — how do you lose to a chicken?
Take a look at the picture below:
Before we move on to the intricacies of what makes this game unwinnable, here’s something to ponder over: there is no way to win this game, unless you have already lost once. The first bout always (not 99.9% of the time, 100% of the time) goes to the chicken. The million-dollar question then becomes, “Did I really lose this game?”.
Confused? Here’s another similar game, called The Game. The game is simple — do not think about The Game. I just lost it, and so did you. The kicker is to announce “verbally” to everybody when you lose The Game; the snowball effect is a wonder to watch. Similar to the game of chicken above, the million-dollar question is still in effect — did you (or I) lose anything? What does it mean to lose something?
Loss (n.): (from the verb lose) a feeling of deprivation or non-retention.
Ignoring personal relationships, and geographical and rational limitations, let’s say I ask you to not think of an elephant. Usually, the first thing that pops into your head is an elephant — but it cannot be helped, because we are required to process the question in order to comprehend the challenge; in order to not think of an elephant, we are required to think of an elephant at least once after the question has been posed. And The Game exploits this in-built biological mechanic in a fun manner — in order to not think of The Game, you have to think of The Game at least once in order to process what to not think of.
You must think of something at least once in order to not think of it, hence you cannot not think of anything — unless you have Blank Mind Syndrome.
The Chicken Game is fundamentally different, subjectively. As far as I have researched — by which I definitely mean scouring through the first page of Google’s results for “why did I lose the game” — I have not seen any interpretations of what we gain by losing something, and what it means to be fundamentally human. Oh boy, here I go interpreting again.
The Chicken Game is representative of curiosity; it is a symbol of the consequences of our natural inclination to ask not “why?”, but rather “why not?”. But … why?
The image is a clever design of peripheral visual teases — when your eyes focus on the first word of the challenge, your visual field covers the chicken’s head, and most of its body; however, by the time you finish reading “chicken”, your peripheral picks up on the white rectangle at the middle of the chicken. What’s interesting is the thought process almost everyone goes through before their eyes flick onto the capitalized statement — GAME OVER.
“Chicken game — do not look at this chicken. Easy. But I already see a part of the chicken. There is a white rectangle right there. There is something written inside the shape. I want to know what’s written there. But that means I have to look at the chicken. But then I lose the game. But what’s there to lose? Nothing! Materially, at least. Maybe a few seconds and a little bit of guilt. But I’m curious! Alright, I’m mentally prepared to look directly at the chicken and lose this arbitrary game if it means I get to know what’s written in the chi- “game over”? Uh oh, they now know. Wait, who’s they-”
Either that happens, or you look smack right in the middle at the chicken and lose before you are made aware of what you are about to lose.
That, right there, is approximately a twenty-rationalizations long chain your mind goes through within the span of a millisecond, maybe ten. In comparison, the average human’s neurons fire two hundred times every second — while that sure is fast, it equals out to one neuron being fired every five milliseconds. Almost immediately after, you are rewarded with endorphins for satisfying your curiosity — the perfect bittersweet moment.
You are now more conscious of your thought processes, and you will be — for a while. Before the spell breaks, have one last ponder: if Schrödinger was curious enough to open the box and peek a look at his cat and finds it dead, did curiosity kill the cat?