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BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?

Mr Red 10 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM
number 6 10 Apr 13 - 12:31 PM
Crowhugger 10 Apr 13 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,DrWord 10 Apr 13 - 01:43 PM
Megan L 10 Apr 13 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,DrWord 10 Apr 13 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,DrWord 10 Apr 13 - 01:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Apr 13 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Grishka 10 Apr 13 - 05:54 PM
number 6 10 Apr 13 - 06:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Apr 13 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Grishka 10 Apr 13 - 07:12 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 13 - 09:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Apr 13 - 09:41 AM
Becca72 11 Apr 13 - 10:50 AM
Mr Red 11 Apr 13 - 11:05 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 13 - 11:10 AM
Mrrzy 11 Apr 13 - 11:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Apr 13 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Apr 13 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Apr 13 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM
mayomick 11 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM
Little Hawk 11 Apr 13 - 05:47 PM
mayomick 11 Apr 13 - 06:11 PM
Little Hawk 11 Apr 13 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 11 Apr 13 - 06:46 PM
gnu 11 Apr 13 - 07:39 PM
frogprince 11 Apr 13 - 08:08 PM
number 6 11 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM
gnu 11 Apr 13 - 08:21 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 13 - 09:23 PM
gnu 11 Apr 13 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Apr 13 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Apr 13 - 08:03 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Apr 13 - 09:45 AM
Mr Red 12 Apr 13 - 10:47 AM
gnu 12 Apr 13 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM
frogprince 12 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 11:45 AM
Jeri 12 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM
frogprince 12 Apr 13 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Apr 13 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Apr 13 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 13 - 01:47 PM

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Subject: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM

I don't believe this! Can anyone explain it to me?
from the New Scientist
Consider the following question, which tests the ambiguity effect: Jack is looking at Anne but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried person? Possible answers are "yes", "no", or "cannot be determined". The vast majority of people will say it "cannot be determined", simply because it is the first answer that comes to mind – but careful deduction shows the answer is "yes".

My confusion - married looks at indeterminate
indeterminate looks at unmarried

without any more data I can place unmarried behind married so how can married see him? Even if indeterminate is married to married (unstated) we cannot determine it without that data and it is not stated.

Confused - you will be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: number 6
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 12:31 PM

Ann could be married ... then yes, since a married is looking at an unmarried.

Ann if not married ... then yes, since a married would be looking at an unmarried.

so ... from that we can say a married is looking at an unmarried.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:29 PM

I follow Mr Red but not number 6's 2nd statement or conclusion. The answer yes means "yes" doesn't it, yet number 6's reasoning takes me to the conclusion only that "it's possible to be yes".

I don't find it confusing, I find it simple: Cannot be determined. So I further conclude that the statement that the answer is "Yes" is mistaken or untrue or deliberate obfuscation to test people's willingness to submit to perceived authority.

All that certainty of mine is not to say I'm correct--only that it's what I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:43 PM

RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?

yes
the answer is yes
the logic is perfectly straightforward. Not rocket science. Not neurosurgery. Answer the question whether Anne is married OR not.

keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Megan L
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:51 PM

It took me a while but think of placing the three people at the points of a triangle with Anne at the apex.

The Known points are

Jack is married
George is not married

The unknown quantity is Anne.

The question asked was is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

Therefore lets look at each possibility and its outcome:

Jack (married)       looks at    Anne (unmarried)          Outcome True
Anne (unmarried) looks at    George (unmarried)       Outcome False

Jack (married)       looks at    Anne (married)             Outcome False
Anne (married)      looks at    George (unmarried)       Outcome True


Therefore whether or not Anne is married the statement "A married person is looking at an unmarried person" Is TRUE


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:56 PM

I suspect that this is the point of the ambiguity effect referenced in the OP.
You are not being asked to determine whether or not Anne is married. biLL is right. Read his answer. The "it's impossible to say" response is to a whole other question.

keep on pickin'
dennis


riddles is riddles


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 01:59 PM

thanks for putting it in a table for all, Megan.
dennis


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 04:53 PM

I can't see the difficulty. It seems pretty obvious to me that the answer to the question "Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?" is indeed "Yes". If Anne is married, George looking at her meets the criterion,if she isn't, Jack looking at her does.

If the vast majority of people don't see that it's a bit perturbing. But not surprising I suppose. Thinking logically isn't all that common.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 05:54 PM

I am not convinced. Anne may not be a person at all, e.g. a dog. And even if she/it is a person, "unmarried" may not mean the same as "not married", depending on cultural or juridical definitions in her society (widowed, divorced, ...).

Thinking logically isn't all that common, even among New Scientists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: number 6
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 06:48 PM

Actually Anne is Chongo in drag .... and I don't think Chongo is married ... maybe he was I dunno ... Hell, maybe he's married to Little Hawk.

Regardless of any logic/unlogic ... "Is a married person looking at an unmarried" ... yes

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 06:50 PM

You suggesting that dogs don't count as persons, Grishka?

And it doesn't matter whether Anne is counted as married or not. If she's married, her looking at George counts as "married person looking at an unmarried person", if she's unmarried, Jack is the "married person looking at an unmarried person".


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 07:12 PM

Usually dogs are not referred to as persons, and neither married nor "unmarried". Also, persons who are (currently) divorced or widowed are certainly (currently) not married, but are often not called "unmarried" either; the latter word is often considered to mean "not currently married and never before".

In other words: if Anne is not a person, or currently not married but divorced or widowed, no married person (in that setting) will be looking at an unmarried person. Thus, the correct answer is "cannot be determined". It could be determined if you additionally knew that all three are persons, and that the word "unmarried" is used in the meaning "not currently married".

Scientists, New or old, can become bloody fools when they condescend to use the language of non-scientists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:33 AM

Here's are some more details: Anne was married to Christina in a ceremony that is legally recognized in Washington State where it took place, but is not recognized in all states. The question arose when Jack, George, Anne, and Christina all went on vacation together at the Four Corners Monument. Here's a picture of Jack, George, and Anne. (Christina was taking the picture.) At the moment in question, Jack was standing in Utah, George was in Colorado, Anne was in New Mexico, and Christina (if that matters) was standing in Arizona. (The photo doesn't capture the exact moment we are asking about.)

Here's a visual aid that might help.

If you think you know the answer, you should submit an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, which is currently considering the problem.

(Credit to Tripadvisor.com for the photo.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:41 AM

If you are divorced or widowed you are unmarried. If you weren't unmarried you couldn't get married again.

Some unmarried people used to be married and their partners died or they split up. But right now they are unmarried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Becca72
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:50 AM

"I can't see the difficulty. It seems pretty obvious to me that the answer to the question "Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?" is indeed "Yes". If Anne is married, George looking at her meets the criterion,if she isn't, Jack looking at her does.
If the vast majority of people don't see that it's a bit perturbing. But not surprising I suppose. Thinking logically isn't all that common"

I am admittedly dense about these kinds of problems, but when I reread the original riddle I don't see where it states George is looking at ANYONE...


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 11:05 AM

Megan L

I see the logic you table, it is a variation on the two brothers double negative riddle.
but it still relies on assumptions that Anne is human.

As has been said a riddle is a riddle, and assumes we make the right assumptions.

If that was a computer program - believe me - it would crash!

Now let me tell you the - in order to copy & paste the text I went on their website and looked for the article with a heading (in very large font) "Stupid is as Stupid Does" - not to be found!
Only by putting in the exact date and issue number did it offer an article entitled "Stupidity". Looking in the contents page of the paper magazine I found it called "Stupidity".

Now call me a pedant, but the tenet of the article was that even clever people do stupid things. Even editors of scientific publications - I submit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 11:10 AM

Becca: you are not being dense. In fact, you are being sharper than the rest of us by noticing this error.

McGrath was confused. He should have written (and I think he meant to write):

"If Anne is married, Anne looking at George meets the criterion; if she isn't, Jack looking at her does."


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 11:14 AM

Excellent riddle!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 12:45 PM

It doesn't make any difference whether George is looking at anyone.

I can't see how Jim's rephrasing of what I wrote changes anything, except syntactically.

Iif she's married, her looking at George counts as "married person looking at an unmarried person", if she's unmarried, Jack is the "married person looking at an unmarried person"

If Anne is married, Anne looking at George meets the criterion; if she isn't, Jack looking at her does.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 01:58 PM

Jim, such problems may indeed occur in legal practice. I also thought that Jack might be a minister who has just pronounced "I now pronounce you husband" at that moment, thus George is already Anne's husband, but Anne will not be married until "... and wife".

However, we may say that the riddle we implicitly assumes a definite notion of "married" and "look at". Moreover, both notions should be assumed decidable (i.e. it can be found out safely whether Anne is married).

Also, Jack and Anne must be beings capable of looking at something. Jack is in fact married, thus presumably a person.

If we now say "unmarried" means "not a currently married person", George may be yet another dog, or a statue (like "my Oscar") etc. If however we declare that "unmarried" can only be said of persons, which sounds reasonable, we can say that both Jack and George are persons. Anne is still only known to be a being capable of looking, which is certainly not the same as a person. She may be an octopus or whatever.

For the solution as given above, the riddle would need at least two further premises: 1. Anne is a person, 2. "unmarried" is used as a synonym of "not married". It would be better still if they either mentioned that "unmarried" can only be said of persons, or explicitly say that George is a person.

McGrath, consider someone offers on eBay an "unused postage stamp" and then says "it was used formerly, but currently it's unused".


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 03:54 PM

Mr Red, I just read the article, and it is indeed even more arrogant than I expected from your OP. People who call others stupid should make very sure to get their logic irrefutible. And even then it is usually inadequate, when used with respect to formal logic or mathematics. (My verdict "bloody fools" above aims at the arrogance, not at the slip itself.)

A similar example is a sentence attributed to George Carlin, and quoted affirmatively on Mudcat: "Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that." Who finds the flaw? (And I do not mean the questionable comparative ...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM

To Jim Dixon, Becca isn't necessarily being sharper than the rest of us. I suspect I am not the only one who knew what McGrath 'meant', and didn't think it was worth pointing out the mistake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: mayomick
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM

The first answer that came to my mind was "yes" – simply because "yes" was given as the right answer. I've been trying to work back from there for the last half hour and still I don't get it.

The fact that George is identified as "married" is a red herring.He isn't identified as "looking" at anybody and he can't therefore , from the information supplied, be determined as a married person looking at an unmarried person.

There are only two people positively identified as being "lookers"– Jack and Anne .It is only one of these two that could therefore be a married person looking at an unmarried person .

One of these two "lookers" is identified as being married - Jack. He is looking at Anne whose marital status is not mentioned.

Until we know whether or not Anne is married we can't determine whether or not the married Jack is looking at a married woman or an unmarried one .


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 05:47 PM

When I was 16 years old I still gave a damn about solving stuff like this...

Now I just read it. Shrug. Wonder why I would even bother?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: mayomick
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 06:11 PM

You didn't get it either Little Hawk -never mind.lol I was really more bothered by the fact that I couldn't work it out , even with the answer supplied .


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 06:27 PM

No, I used to be drawn to riddles, just like I used to be drawn to playing chess. Can't be bothered anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 06:46 PM

This was all explained in the first few posts but....

J(u*) -> A
A -> G(m*)

* = given

Possibilities:

(1) J(u*) -> A(m) ... YES no need to go on.
(2) J(u*) -> A(u) -> G(m*) ... YES
(1a) But to go on...
    J(u*) -> A(m) ->G(m*) .. YES the little bitch.

Potential pratfalls:

J is not a person
A is not a person

P.S. anyone here own a pratfall terrier?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: gnu
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 07:39 PM

It's a simple logic problem, easily solved using the tautological analysis of simple logic.

I read a few posts. Fact is, I really don't care who's shaggin who. If anyone does, read up on basic philosophy. A hoops B and truth tables and such. Hey... I got an A+ for 9 (NINE!!!!) credit hours at uni for memorizing the 16 basic tautologies of logic which have served me well in many legal disputes on construction contracts and in day to day life. And I are a inguneer so I had to werk reel hard at it.

Fact is, IMO, the only people who come to the correct answer of the OP are two... one who inherently sees the logic and one who is taught logic. Those not taught logic have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. To equate that in any way to intelligence is 0/100 plus or minus the stunned as me arse coefficient of WTF? which varies over time and time of day. Unless further refinement addresses thinking eveyone else is stupid... that situation is 100/0 with ZERO deviation, standard or otherwise, and it don't take any logic to figure who the zeroes are.

As for the answer re the OP... I need another beer. I'll be right back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: frogprince
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:08 PM

Just because Jack is married, it isn't safe to assume that he is human. After all, conservatives have been warning us that if people are allowed to marry within their gender, they will proceed from that to seeking to marry outside their species. Jack may be an aardvark who was married to a woman by a renegade unitarian clergy person.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: number 6
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM

Oh good grief.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: gnu
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:21 PM

I hope you meant that in the spirit intended by previous posts, sIx.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:23 PM

Their eyes are dim....
They cannot see....
None have not brought
The spects for thee's


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: gnu
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:47 PM

Oh... I lied. That's the truth. Postulate me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:36 AM

LittleHawk, is anyone bothering you here? If I wrote a message "I don't care" to every thread for which it applies, I would be busy all day, and scarcely deserve an "appreciation thread" for that.

Riddles as such are meant for entertainment of those who like them.

However, the topics of the article mentioned in the OP are "stupidity", "intelligence", "rationality", and "logic" - concepts that play a prominent role in western societies, particularly in the USA. Other such concepts include "good looks", "health", "success", "morality", "human rights", etc. In order to make good sense of these notions, you have to do really hard work, which most people not only shun, but choose to ignore.

It often turns out that those who hold up such concepts eagerly cannot pin them down at all, and will even run into massive contradictions when they try. The article seems to adopt the very attitude it criticizes, and thus explains nothing. No surprise that members of The Holy Church of Intelligence and Science (with its denominations Atheism and Agnosticism) feel their faith being endorsed: all the others are stupid; behold, my faith hath made me intelligent and thus justified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 08:03 AM

Here is a copy of the article (hopefully correct), and here a reception from the Atheist community. The original source seems to go back at least to 2009 (this much about "New" on 30 March 2013).

Don't get me wrong: scientists and philosophers often do great work, and many deserve respect even if they fail. Smugness in the name of science is un-scientific.

In contrast to science journals, Mudcat BS is BS, and thus all its threads are appreciation threads to all their contributors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 08:33 AM

A postage stamp which has once been used cannot be used again to send a letter.

On the other hand a person who has once been married can get married again, any number of times The only condition involved is that at the time of the subsequent marriages they are no longer married. (Assuming this is not in a place where polygamy is not in vogue and legal.)

That's the crucial difference.

I'm puzzled how this could count as any sort of a riddle, and how it could possibly be that "The vast majority of people will say it "cannot be determined", simply because it is the first answer that comes to mind." Or how "careful dedction" is seen as necessary to get the obvious answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 09:45 AM

McGrath, the possibility to get married again is of no significance to the notion of unmarried, or un-anything. Take an "unused bed" for another example: OK to accomodate a guest, but not OK to return to the seller for full refund, if your mother-in-law had slept on it before you threw her out.

Meanings of words usually depend on the context. If this knowledge is not sufficient, the speaker or writer must disambiguate them. An abstract "logical riddle" has no natural context and must therefore specify a sufficiently precise meaning. There are other, older types of riddle where an assertion is given and the context must be guessed.

You are right that the riddle in the OP, if properly posed, is much easier than most logical riddles found in popular journals. Still people may give a wrong answer, for various reasons which cannot be identified with any notion of stupidity. The "vast majority" may either not understand the question at all (not being used to the language of logical riddles), or feel asked for a quick guess rather than "careful deduction", e.g. during party smalltalk where it is polite to allow the triumph to the riddle-poser.

Science, including psychology, is hard work.

If you feel like a more difficult "riddle", tell us what is manifestly wrong with George Carlin's dictum quoted in my message of 11 Apr 13 - 03:54 PM, apart from the comparison form "stupider" (which is considered tolerable in America).


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 10:47 AM

I called it a riddle because it can be asked as a riddle in the same way that the "two brothers" is put as a riddle - as opposed to a lesson in logic. viz

two brothers at a T junction. One always tells the truth, one always lies. How do you find which way to go?

This is - in a very similar vein, two bit binary logic. You ask: one brother what the other brother would say if you asked the way to go.

It reduces the four binary combinations to one. A lie. And go the other way. In boolean logic this is an "exclusive OR" gate (OK with an invert on one input and probably on the output too). - Who yawned?

Anyway thanks for discussing it and I am sorry if it stirred any discomfort herein.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: gnu
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:30 AM

Those who can't stand the discomort should get out of the kitchen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM

People who don't find the occasinal squabble quite comfortable mst find the mudcat pretty uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM

As Grishka indicates, it's always critically important to define your terms. Suppose, for example, that a friend makes an observation pertaining to automobiles on the highway. But, he uses the word "cars" instead of "automobiles". His statement is utterly meangingless; there is no way to know with certainty that he is not referring to "handcars", designed for travel on railways by pumping manually on levers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:45 AM

The two brothers wouldn't work like that - whichever one you asked he'd be bound to say the other would lie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM

It's not an "occasional squabble". It's most threads.
McGrath, when one has to work that hard to find an angle to argue, it's petty. And stupid. And annoying.

Mr Red, the problem was worth posting.
The asinine arguing and the "hey, I think this is a dumb thread so I made sure to post to it" comments, not so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

There has to be more to it than you gave, Mr Red, or there wouldn't be any problem. Could you give a New Scientist link maybe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 01:15 PM

The question at the fork has to be, "which way would your brother say is the way to South Puddleford". The honest brother would indicate the wrong way; that's what his brothr would say. The liar would indicate the wrong way, contrary to what his honest brother would say. You now know which is the correct fork.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 01:27 PM

frogprince, if one declares those stupid who don't find the solution it is critically important at least to be sufficiently precise and correct in the formulation of the test. Read what I wrote at 09:45 AM.

The "Twins at a Fork in a Road" riddle is well-known (in the style of ancient Greek "Liar paradoxa", but probably much newer) and not all that easy to solve. Here too, a complete formulation is required, e.g.

At a fork in a road, a traveller does not know which way to take. He meets a man, about whom he happens to know that he is one two identical twins who both know the correct way, but will answer only one question per traveller with either "yes" or "no". One brother will always give the correct answer, the other one the opposite, and this fact is known to everybody (including the brothers themselves). What question can the traveller ask to find out the correct path safely, although he does not know whether he is talking to the honest brother or the liar? --

The good thing about Mudcat is that everybody can choose whether to just read a thread, post to it, or neither. This one I find interesting for various reasons, otherwise I would have stayed out of it, as I do with most. Thanks, Mr Red; if there is any discomfort it is certainly not your fault.

The art of nitpicking, squabbling, and BSing is not to take it too seriously, but to find new aspects that are interesting or funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 01:30 PM

McGraw (12:51 PM), see my post of 08:03 AM for links.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stupid riddle but can you explain it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 01:47 PM

Thanks - yes I remember readingnthat, but I'd forgotten the "problem" . I'm really pretty surprised how the writer could describe the 'can't be sure' option as "the one that first comes to mnd" since you have to pretty devious to imagine some nterretatin which could allow you to rule out the more obvious "yes".


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