1) If you could save any one dead person, whose death had a major effect on history (eg: Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, King Harald), who would you pick? Why that particular person, and what effect would that have on future history?
Because I can't think of anyone more important right now, I would have to say Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His assassination provided the impetus that sparked the Great War, so maybe if he hadn't died, things would've gone a bit more rationally. Of course, this is tempered by the knowledge that Ferdinand's death was only the tipping point for a whole bunch of other stuff that had been building up in Europe since at least 1870, so.
I guess it's kind of a Hobson's Choice, if you think about it. On the one hand, the Great War chucked the 19th Century into the trashcan, and perhaps a bit later than it should've been discarded. (I don't hold with a lot of 19th Century ideas, but that's the subject for another entry altogether.) On the other hand, the war also killed 40 million people and ushered in the age of genocide, totalitarianism, and mechanized death. (And, I suppose you could make the case that it also would've happened sooner or later, no matter what.)
2) Is it more important to be honest, or to be compassionate? Are these necessarily incompatible, and if they are, why?
I don't see these things as incompatible, actually. In fact, at its best, honesty should be compassionate because honesty should be the best thing for a person at whatever point in time.
However, there is a difference between being honest and being a prick about being honest. Truth hurts, so the saying goes--but it doesn't necessarily mean that the corellary is "it hurts, therefore it is the truth." To use an example--let us say that your best friend is doing something you see as self-destructive. I feel it is better to say "Look, this is what I see you doing, and this is why it's going to end up hurting you"--and pay attention to what your friend says in response, because s/he may know something you don't--than it is to say "You're fucking your life up, you stupid fuckwad! Why the fuck won't you listen to me?!?" And unfortunately, it's my perception that the latter is what characterizes a lot of popular self-help discourse (as well as political discourse, but that's another subject) nowadays.
3) How much of the music of your past do you think will be still be listened to (outside nostalgic other members of your generation) in twenty years? Who do you think should still be listened to?
I think the stuff that they play on "Back from the 80s" shows still might be around in the same format in 20 years, much like the "oldies" (i.e., music from the previous generation's past) are today. And who knows, maybe everything will shift up a notch-- Limp Bizkit, Korn, Britney Spears and so on will be on the "Hey, remember when?" shows; Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, and Tears for Fears will be the "oldies," and Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis, et al. will lie forgotten except in a few specialty niche markets, much like big band, jazz, and swing did. Which kind of implies that in about thirty years or so, they'll start coming back the way big band, jazz, and swing did a couple years ago. History, I suppose, goes straight from being Farce into being Retro.
...I swear, that made sense to me.
As for who to keep... hm. Pixies, definitely, because they had so much of an effect on bands that came afterward. (What's that quote? "Not everyone listened to the Velvet Underground, but everyone who did started a band." I think it's the same way with the Pixies.) Everyone else, though, I'm not sure yet.
Anyone wants to jump on this bandwagon meme while it's still going, go for it.