(from a piece of mine published over at Pajamas Media)
The question “What if…?” is arguably one of the most important questions humans have ever asked, right up there with “How come..?” By posing the problem “What if…” man allows himself to discover answers. Even a failed “What if…” provides the attentive viewer with information. Early Man may have asked “What if we poke that Saber Tooth Tiger in the testicles with a stick? Go ahead, you do it.” So he asked and so he learned. But “What if…” can also provide you with unexpected solutions, such as “What if a bunch of us Australopithecines teamed up against that mastodon,” which lead to the invention of the first all-you-can eat buffet, the benefits of which we enjoy even down to modern times.
Buffets aside, one of the problems of our modern times is the complexity and technological entanglement of the civilization we’ve built. The need to ask “What if…” is more important than ever, if for no other reason than the desire to protect family and clan. Because of the enormity of the factors to consider, the layman questioner could be overwhelmed with scenarios and data. That is where both Dr. James Jay Carafano and I (Roy M. Griffis, who IS the Prince of Whitebread) come riding to your rescue, albeit from opposite directions. The good Doctor hales from the direction of facts and experience, and myself from the land of fiction.