Twin Conspiracies

In a twin conspiracy, a pair of identical twins would pretend to be only one person. For example, in college each twin could specialize in, and then ace, half of the classes; their GPA would soar.  They might together make partner in a law firm by handling a lot more work than other lawyers.  They could cheat on their spouse while offering that spouse a near-constant video of “their” activities.  In fact, they could always have an alibi for anything they did.

This strategy seems tempting in “winner take all” areas of life where small productive gains are given huge rewards, or where secretly having more time can make you seem a lot more productive.  For example, high level managers attend a great many meetings to connect different parts of their organization.  A secretly-twin-CEO could attend twice as many meetings, and make twice the connections.

Of course if this actually happened often our institutions could easily adapt to check for secret twin conspiracies.  They don’t now look because they don’t expect them.  It would be interesting to search for such secret twins.  For example, one might take a list of top CEOs and compare the ratio of non-identical to identical twins in this group. If that ratio was substantially larger than in the larger population, that might suggests many secret twins hiding among CEOs.

One twin told me the loss of autonomy in this secret twin scenario would make it unacceptable to her, no matter what worldly success it produced.   Do people really care that much more about autonomy than success?

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