kottke.org posts about logic

Open-mindednessApr 08 2009

This video explains how to counteract the "you're not being open-minded" argument that atheists and scientists sometimes get when confronted by those who believe in the supernatural.

Trying to suggest that a lack of explanation is evidence that supernatural powers are at work is actually a contradiction. In effect what it's saying is, "I can't explain something, therefore I can explain it."

(via buzzfeed)

Logical, linguistical, and infographical analysis of the #1Apr 06 2007

Logical, linguistical, and infographical analysis of the #1 single on the Billboard chart, This Is Why I'm Hot by Mims. "Mims is hot because he's fly. But it raises the question: Does being hot guarantee one's being fly? [...] It would appear that fly and hot are interchangable. If you are one, you are both; if you aren't at least one, you are neither." (via khoi)

I posted the answer to the ropeNov 27 2006

I posted the answer to the rope burning logic problem from last week. Note: the answer does not involve time travel or impossible knots.

Rope burning logic problemNov 22 2006

Last week, Abbas Raza of 3 Quarks Daily posed a list of logic problems to the site's readers. I'd seen some of these problems before and I didn't have the time to work through the unfamiliar ones, but my favorite was the very first question:

You are given two ropes and a lighter. This is the only equipment you can use. You are told that each of the two ropes has the following property: if you light one end of the rope, it will take exactly one hour to burn all the way to the other end. But it doesn't have to burn at a uniform rate. In other words, half the rope may burn in the first five minutes, and then the other half would take 55 minutes. The rate at which the two ropes burn is not necessarily the same, so the second rope will also take an hour to burn from one end to the other, but may do it at some varying rate, which is not necessarily the same as the one for the first rope. Now you are asked to measure a period of 45 minutes. How will you do it?

For those in the US, this is a little something to keep the conversation at the holiday dinner table interesting. I'll post the answer here this weekend...good luck.

Update: Alright, here's the answer. Light both ends of rope A and one end of rope B. After 30 minutes, rope A will be completely burned up and there will be 30 minutes of rope B left. Light the other end of rope B; it will burn up in 15 minutes. Total time elapsed since starting the ropes on fire: 45 minutes.

this is kottke.org

   Front page
   About + contact
   Site archives

You can follow kottke.org on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Feedly, or RSS.

Ad from The Deck

We Work Remotely

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting