I want to try a little experiment today regarding something I’m curious about. This test is valid on whatever day you read this post, not just on the day I originally publish it.
This is a simple obedience test. I’m going to command you to do something – just a simple command with no extra reward or punishment – and I just want to see if you do it. The only reason to do it is because you choose to obey the command I’m going to give you.
This is a test with just two core options. Either you obey the command, or you don’t. Let’s see what you end up doing.
Here it is:
I command you to read 5 other articles on my website. Go to the Archives page, scroll through the list, open up 5 or more articles whose titles attract your attention, and then read them one at a time. Read all 5 articles today.
It’s okay if you want to read more, but read at least 5 more articles today.
If you bring up a video or audio, just open another page till you get 5 text-based blog posts to read.
So it’s a binary test: Either you read 5 more articles, or you don’t. Either you obey the command, or you don’t.
If you run into any ambiguity, like if you lose count, then the command is to keep reading more articles till you’re 100% certain you’ve read at least 5.
You’re welcome to choose which 5 articles you read.
While you’re reading those articles one by one, pay attention to the fact that you’re doing this because you were told to do it.
After you’ve read them all, send me a message afterwards telling me what it was like and how you felt about the experience.
I don’t need feedback on the articles you read, although you’re welcome to share that too if you want, especially if you encountered some interesting synchronicities in the content. I just want feedback on the experience of what it was like to follow through on this, if you actually did it.
How did it feel to do this just because you were told to do it?
Did your mind resist at first, such as by internally complaining that five is too many?
Did you try to talk yourself into doing it for some other reason, like maybe you were going to do it anyway or maybe you’d gain some useful insights?
Did some part of you actually like being told what to do?
Were you surprised that you did it?
Were you tempted to quit partway through?
If you chose not to obey and still want to send feedback, you’re welcome to do that as well: Was it easy to dismiss the command? Were you tempted to just obey?
Did you initially choose not to obey and then later give in and decide to do as you were told anyway?
This isn’t a trick by the way. At least I didn’t intentional try to make it one. It’s a straight-up test for you to see if you obey or not.
You have 5 more articles to read now. Better get started.