The Desert Island

What use would a magician have on a desert island? Someone posted a detailed thought experiment on a magic discussion forum, probably hoping to start a heated argument then sit back and watch the ad hominem attacks start flying.

The scenario was a bit more nuanced. Assume you were to be stranded on a desert island and could choose ten people to join you. These people would share the responsibility for survival. His contention was that a magician wouldn't make that list.

His conclusion: magicians didn't serve a useful purpose in the world.

While I agree that he should take people that aren't magicians (and therefore not me) with him to deserted islands, I think the conclusion is backwards. Because most of us don't live on desert islands and have no plans to wind up there. In fact magicians can exist and earn a living precisely because we are not struggling for survival. So the existence of magicians becomes, by contrast to the original conclusion, a celebration of our success as a species.