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  • Paradoxes

    Below are two Wikipedia articles I found interesting - the first on a list of Paradoxes, the second on Paradoxes. I think many of the paradoxes can be recognized as not being paradoxes if a picture of situation or even more so if a "movie" was made of the supposed paradox.

    For example, the barber paradox.

    Barber paradox: A barber (who is a man) shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself? (Russell's popularization of his set theoretic paradox. To me, if someone draws of picture of a barber shaving someone else, and then shaving himself, these are two separate actions which happen to share the same word.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox

  • #2
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Paradox Entries

    Various entries for Paradoxes from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html#p

    I found the article on The Paradox of Suspense interesting.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-suspense/

    I also found the Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic article interesting.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pa...mporary-logic/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
      Below are two Wikipedia articles I found interesting - the first on a list of Paradoxes, the second on Paradoxes. I think many of the paradoxes can be recognized as not being paradoxes if a picture of situation or even more so if a "movie" was made of the supposed paradox.

      For example, the barber paradox.

      Barber paradox: A barber (who is a man) shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself? (Russell's popularization of his set theoretic paradox. To me, if someone draws of picture of a barber shaving someone else, and then shaving himself, these are two separate actions which happen to share the same word.


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
      The barber can either go to another barber to be shaved, or shave himself. Neither is outside of the set parameters. In fact, the statement begins by saying the "barber shaves ALL", thus eliminating the paradox from the beginning.

      The paradox of suspense does not exist either. Although an audience may know the outcome, how that outcome is presented by Hollywood is not known; therefore, the suspense, coupled with our inbred fight-or-flight reaction to sudden stimuli.

      Comment


      • #4
        I found the SEP article on "Vagueness" brings up some interesting points which are relevant to issues of paradoxes.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vagueness/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          The barber can either go to another barber to be shaved, or shave himself. Neither is outside of the set parameters. In fact, the statement begins by saying the "barber shaves ALL", thus eliminating the paradox from the beginning.

          The paradox of suspense does not exist either. Although an audience may know the outcome, how that outcome is presented by Hollywood is not known; therefore, the suspense, coupled with our inbred fight-or-flight reaction to sudden stimuli.
          Yes, but I would still say that shaving yourself and shaving someone else are two separate activities, which different languages handle differently.

          English I am shaving now.

          German: Ich rasiere mich jetzt.

          French: Je me rase maintenant.

          In other words, the German and French languages have a grammar such that shaving is an activity which is done that transforms something ( a beard, an accusative case) whereas English views it as an intransitive verb, as a default. I shave, like I run, or I talk, etc. It is of course possible for emphasis to say in English I shave myself.

          But I would say shaving myself versus letting myself be shaved are different:

          If I shave myself I don't have as good a view - will probably use a mirror. Also, if someone else shaves me (or I shave someone else) the shavee is putting his fate at least in a small way in someone else's hands.

          I guess I still go back to the view that in general a picture describes reality better and more completely than words, and a video or film does so better than a picture. If two videos are shown of two different people shaving themselves, and two videos of two different barbers shaving themselves, I believe most people would pick the self-shavers as belonging together.

          So "shaving" onself and "shaving" someone else are two different activities in my view.
          Last edited by lakechampainer; 28 Oct 12, 16:26.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
            Yes, but I would still say that shaving yourself and shaving someone else are two separate activities, which different languages handle differently.

            English I am shaving now.

            German: Ich rasiere mich jetzt.

            French: Je me rase maintenant.

            In other words, the German and French languages have a grammar such that shaving is an activity which is done that transforms something ( a beard, an accusative case) whereas English views it as an intransitive verb, as a default. I shave, like I run, or I talk, etc. It is of course possible for emphasis to say in English I shave myself.

            But I would say shaving myself versus letting myself be shaved are different:

            If I shave myself I don't have as good a view - will probably use a mirror. Also, if someone else shaves me (or I shave someone else) the shavee is put is fate at least in a small way in someone else's hands.

            I guess I still go back to the view that in general a picture describes reality better and more completely than words, and a video or film does so better than a picture. If two videos are shown of two different people shaving themselves, and two videos of two different barbers shaving themselves, I believe most people would pick the self-shavers as belonging together.

            So "shaving" onself and "shaving" someone are two different activities in my view.
            Agreed. German does make it quite clear in that respect? But is there an actual paradox? Perhaps the barber wears a beard? Perhaps he goes elsewhere?

            All the question asks is: "does he shave himself?"

            All one has to do is say "no" and there is no paradox.


            A better paradox is the classical "Everything I say is a lie." This leads us into a circuitous argument that cannot be settled under any circumstances.

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            • #7
              Continuing:

              If you cut one head off of a two headed man, have you decapitated him?

              No, merely injured him severely.

              What is the maximum height of a short man?

              Whatever his actual height is.

              When does a fertilized egg develop into a person?

              See any OB textbook.


              These again are not examples of paradoxes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                Agreed. German does make it quite clear in that respect? But is there an actual paradox? Perhaps the barber wears a beard? Perhaps he goes elsewhere?

                All the question asks is: "does he shave himself?"

                All one has to do is say "no" and there is no paradox.


                A better paradox is the classical "Everything I say is a lie." This leads us into a circuitous argument that cannot be settled under any circumstances.
                I thought I was wrong once but it turns out I was mistaken...
                One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

                "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
                Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chukka View Post
                  I thought I was wrong once but it turns out I was mistaken...
                  You're right!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A link to and excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Fermi Paradox - which has been discussed in other threads :

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

                    Jump to: navigation, search
                    This article is about the absence of evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. For the type of estimation problem, see Fermi problem. For the music album, see Fermi Paradox (album). For the short story, see The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model.

                    A graphical representation of the Arecibo message Humanity's first attempt to use radio waves to actively communicate its existence to alien civilizations


                    The Fermi paradox (or Fermi's paradox) is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.[1] The basic points of the argument are:
                    • The sun is a young star. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older;
                    • Some of these stars likely have Earth-like planets[2] which, if the Earth is typical, may develop intelligent life;
                    • Presumably some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, as Earth seems likely to do;
                    • At any practical pace of interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in just a few tens of millions of years.

                    According to this line of thinking, the Earth should have already been colonized, or at least visited. But no convincing evidence of this exists. Furthermore, no confirmed signs of intelligence elsewhere have been spotted, either in our galaxy or the more than 80 billion other galaxies of the observable universe. Hence Fermi's question "Where is everybody?

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                    • #11
                      While the Fermi Paradox is a valid question scientifically, I don't see it as a true paradox. The problem set includes estimates that cannot be narrowed even to within a few orders of magnitude. The communications aspect contains such undefined terms as life, and intelligence. The wiggle room in this problem is literally astronomical.
                      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                      Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                      • #12
                        I like Zeno's paradoxes.
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes

                        The resolution is that the universe is quantized at the lowest level and has "Pixels" of space-time on the Plank length of 10e-27 meters-seconds.
                        Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
                          A link to and excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Fermi Paradox - which has been discussed in other threads :

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

                          Jump to: navigation, search
                          This article is about the absence of evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. For the type of estimation problem, see Fermi problem. For the music album, see Fermi Paradox (album). For the short story, see The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model.

                          A graphical representation of the Arecibo message Humanity's first attempt to use radio waves to actively communicate its existence to alien civilizations


                          The Fermi paradox (or Fermi's paradox) is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.[1] The basic points of the argument are:
                          • The sun is a young star. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older;
                          • Some of these stars likely have Earth-like planets[2] which, if the Earth is typical, may develop intelligent life;
                          • Presumably some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, as Earth seems likely to do;
                          • At any practical pace of interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in just a few tens of millions of years.

                          According to this line of thinking, the Earth should have already been colonized, or at least visited. But no convincing evidence of this exists. Furthermore, no confirmed signs of intelligence elsewhere have been spotted, either in our galaxy or the more than 80 billion other galaxies of the observable universe. Hence Fermi's question "Where is everybody?

                          Not a paradox - unsustainable assumptions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            Not a paradox - unsustainable assumptions.
                            Unsustainable assumptions. Like the one we were presented with as kids:

                            "What happens when an irresistible force hits an immovable object?"

                            The assumption is that just because the words can be formed, such a condition or paradox can exist.

                            It can't. Only the words can.


                            Philip
                            "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

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                            • #15
                              The elevator paradox is one I find interesting. link to Wikipedia article on it and excerpt of its statement below.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_paradox

                              The elevator paradox is a paradox first noted by Marvin Stern and George Gamow, physicists who had offices on different floors of a multi-story building. Gamow, who had an office near the bottom of the building noticed that the first elevator to stop at his floor was most often going down, while Stern, who had an office near the top, noticed that the first elevator to stop at his floor was most often going up.
                              At first sight, this created the impression that perhaps elevator cars were being manufactured in the middle of the building and sent upwards to the roof and downwards to the basement to be dismantled. Clearly this was not the case. But how could the observation be explained?

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