Search found 44 matches

by Ermes Marana
Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:56 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Infinite Balls and Jugs [solution]
Replies: 611
Views: 122732

Re: Infinite Balls and Jugs [solution]

It's more intuitive if we put upper bounds on the speed and space involved. Instead, have the higher numbered balls get smaller so that the total volume of the infinitely many balls is finite, and none of the balls ever travel above some maximum speed. Now the volume in the jug is a continuous funct...
by Ermes Marana
Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:10 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Infinite Balls and Jugs [solution]
Replies: 611
Views: 122732

Re: Infinite Balls and Jugs [solution]

I wonder if this situation is not as impossible as it seems. Suppose there exist infinitely many numbered "balls" moving on disjoint paths. Define the "jug" to be the minimal region of space satisfying the conditions. Unbounded speed is not necessary; the conditions can be met if...
by Ermes Marana
Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1576: "I Could Care Less"
Replies: 310
Views: 51654

Re: 1576: "I Could Care Less"

And if you get too caught up in whining about how it's "wrong", you'll end up missing something even more interesting that seems to be going on: "care less" is being reinterpreted with a new meaning. You can confirm this by searching for "don't care less." This is incr...
by Ermes Marana
Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1576: "I Could Care Less"
Replies: 310
Views: 51654

Re: 1576: "I Could Care Less"

I love how hostile and dismissive you are in your complaints about how allegedly hostile and dismissive "could care less" is. (As I've said, if I use it to be dismissive, it's only to dismiss petulant complainers like you who take issue with the phrase. It's definitely not dismissive in g...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1576: "I Could Care Less"
Replies: 310
Views: 51654

Re: 1576: "I Could Care Less"

It's just a well-known one with exposure, like "ironically" and "literally" and "irregardless" and a bunch of others. They're well known enough that people talk about them with other people who are also annoyed about those particular cases and reinforce their feelings ...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1576: "I Could Care Less"
Replies: 310
Views: 51654

Re: 1576: "I Could Care Less"

These don't mean the same thing. The rationalizations are more annoying than the phrase itself. I have almost never heard it said sarcastically or in the form of a question. Such attempted justifications instead serve as admissions of stupidity. They're not rationalizations but attempts to explain ...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1576: "I Could Care Less"
Replies: 310
Views: 51654

Re: 1576: "I Could Care Less"

I don’t give a damn. I could give a damn. I could give a damn (but I don't). I couldn't give a damn. These all mean the same thing. My guess is that people started using "I could care less" because they knew it meant the same thing in other phrases, but didn't realize that it was stupid in...
by Ermes Marana
Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:42 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: The Labyrinth Puzzle (original xkcd)
Replies: 12
Views: 8678

Re: The Labyrinth Puzzle (original xkcd)

So basically, you are all asking me to figure out a way to get out of this impossible situation. Tricky.

One of the guards then kills himself and everyone except me.

I use a spear to scale the wall to safety (only the doors don't lead to safety).
by Ermes Marana
Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:45 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: A New Monty Hall Version
Replies: 27
Views: 10821

Re: A New Monty Hall Version

I worked it out for n=4 and n=5. It looks to become very complicated quickly. n=4. You should stay if p<.5 and switch if p>.5. Then you should switch. For n=5 I'll use approximate values of p. If p<.292893, you should stay, stay again, then switch. If .292893<p<.5, you should switch, then stay, ...
by Ermes Marana
Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:27 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Prisoners in Limbo
Replies: 19
Views: 8153

Re: Prisoners in Limbo

Well, no system can give a probability of 1 to get free within a certain time. But I think I found a solution which ends with probability 1. A small modification to Qaanols n+2-idea: Prisoner 1 will stick with his interpretation. He defines A and B and switches only A. He also defines an "off&...
by Ermes Marana
Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:57 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Prisoners in Limbo
Replies: 19
Views: 8153

Re: Prisoners in Limbo

Assuming the two switches are identical, they can just treat both switches in the same orientation as "on", and in different orientations as "off", and carry on as in the other solutions. The switches may not be identical, so this doesn't work. I don't see how it would work even...
by Ermes Marana
Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:57 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Prisoners in Limbo
Replies: 19
Views: 8153

Prisoners in Limbo

20 people are sent to Limbo. Before they can go to heaven, they must complete the following task: At noon each day, one person is chosen (uniformly at random) to go to a room with 2 switches, each with 2 states.They must switch exactly one switch. The nature of the switches is unknown beforehand (no...
by Ermes Marana
Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1003: "Hitler and Eve"
Replies: 447
Views: 94313

Re: 1003: "Adam and Eve"

At first it was funny because of the play on "Adam and Steve". But then the incest made it too gross to be funny. The comic would actually work with any name in place of Abel (the joke isn't based on incest), but unfortunately there was nobody else around. Otherwise it could be "It's ...
by Ermes Marana
Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0987: "Potential"
Replies: 42
Views: 16241

Re: 0987: "Potential"

The alt text made me laugh. Maybe you have to have worked as a tutor.
by Ermes Marana
Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:42 pm UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: ITT Rank Sonic Youth
Replies: 34
Views: 35637

Re: ITT Rank Sonic Youth

1. EVOL 2. A Thousand Leaves 3. Confusion is Sex/Kill Yr. Idols 4. Washing Machine 5. Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star 6. Daydream Nation 7. Sister 8. Bad Moon Rising 9. Goo 10. Dirty EVOL is the best. Tom Violence -> Shadow of a Doubt -> Star Power to open. The whole album fits so well toget...
by Ermes Marana
Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:04 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: How many prisoners?
Replies: 112
Views: 47190

Re: How many prisoners?

Possible working method: 1. Get an upper bound for the number of prisoners. For the first k days, anyone who has ever seen a light always turns on their light (I turn mine on on the first day). After k days, at most 2^k have seen lights. For the next 2^k days, anyone who hasn't seen a l...
by Ermes Marana
Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: How many prisoners?
Replies: 112
Views: 47190

Re: How many prisoners?

Possible working method: 1. Get an upper bound for the number of prisoners. For the first k days, anyone who has ever seen a light always turns on their light (I turn mine on on the first day). After k days, at most 2^k have seen lights. For the next 2^k days, anyone who hasn't seen a li...
by Ermes Marana
Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:38 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Who am I?
Replies: 16
Views: 5095

Re: Who am I?

Spoiler:
730

I did it in my head, because my first guess turned out to be right (I immediately guessed 3b and 4b would be true).
by Ermes Marana
Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:42 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: The surprise exam paradox
Replies: 217
Views: 66445

Re: The surprise exam paradox

I mean, clearly one can make a smaller set of premises that's obviously inconsistent. If there is only one day in the problem, and our premises include "You know for sure that there will be an exam tomorrow" and "You know for sure that you do not know what day the exam will be."...
by Ermes Marana
Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0862: "Let Go"
Replies: 146
Views: 42354

Re: 0862: "Let Go"

Eternal Density wrote:Why is the title text long, serious, and boring?



Because your face is long, serious, and boring.
by Ermes Marana
Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0857: "Archimedes"
Replies: 137
Views: 35825

Re: 0857: "Archimedes"

You can lead a horse to water, or it'll bite your head off.
by Ermes Marana
Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:25 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: The surprise exam paradox
Replies: 217
Views: 66445

Re: The surprise exam paradox

To me, this "paradox" is equivalent to the "I am telling a lie" statement, just disguised enough to not be obvious. I disagree, because the "surprise exam" statement is a clear, simple, true statement that does not refer to itself. Very different than "I am tellin...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: My write-up of the "Blue Eyes" solution (SPOILER A
Replies: 1368
Views: 424249

Re: My write-up of the "Blue Eyes" solution (SPOILER A

The way I first heard the puzzle was that anyone who figured out their eye color had to jump into a volcano. To minimize the number of deaths, the islanders should all draw straws to chose an executioner (right after the announcement). Then the executioner should kill a blue eyed islander at random ...
by Ermes Marana
Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:12 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: 20 prisoners
Replies: 29
Views: 8522

Re: 20 prisoners

"Random order" is mentioned, but not "random time intervals." I will assume prisoners are aware of how many times someone has been sent to the room. Break up the positive integers into blocks of 50, and distribute the blocks so that prisoner x gets blocks congruent to x mod 20. D...
by Ermes Marana
Thu May 27, 2010 11:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0745: "Dyslexics"
Replies: 143
Views: 49154

Re: "Dyslexics" Discussion

A+

I actually laughed out loud at this one. It was probably more funny to me because I have never heard the "untie" joke before but still got the joke here.
by Ermes Marana
Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:12 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: 2 puppies
Replies: 132
Views: 18713

Re: 2 puppies

The shopkeeper did not say "Yes, we have at least one male, Bowser." Nitpick: Even if the shopkeeper said this, the odds would not be 50%. The probability would be (n-1)/(2n -1) that both dogs are male, where 2/n is the probability that a male will be named Bowser. Nitpick 2: That would o...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: 2 puppies
Replies: 132
Views: 18713

Re: 2 puppies

ocdscale wrote:The shopkeeper did not say "Yes, we have at least one male, Bowser."



Nitpick: Even if the shopkeeper said this, the odds would not be 50%. The probability would be (n-1)/(2n -1) that both dogs are male, where 2/n is the probability that a male will be named Bowser.
by Ermes Marana
Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:43 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Monty Hall Problem
Replies: 116
Views: 53302

Re: Monty Hall Problem

Of course, in the real world, there is no way for you to know whether the host knows what's behind the door he chooses or not. Unless you've seen ~ 8+ previous episodes of LMAD and noticed that Monty never opens the door with the car behind it, in which case you can reasonably reject the possibilit...
by Ermes Marana
Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:10 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle
Replies: 41
Views: 10520

Re: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle

As you figured, there is no solution for the reasonable interpretation of the problem (that the students say the information will not help them only if they can deduce that the information will not help them). However, if you assume that the students magically know whether the information would help...
by Ermes Marana
Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0717: "Furtive"
Replies: 108
Views: 30426

Re: "Furtive" Discussion

Looks like somebody went dumpster diving outside Seth MacFarlane's house looking for rejected joke ideas.
by Ermes Marana
Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:15 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: The Subjective Execution
Replies: 39
Views: 6381

Re: The Subjective Execution

Shaman (to the god): "I am going to ask you a question. If you say yes, I won't punch you. If you say no, I will punch you. Am I going to punch you?"
The god: "NO."
Shaman: *explodes*
by Ermes Marana
Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:44 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Stay of Execution
Replies: 55
Views: 24161

Re: Stay of Execution

It seems to me (apologies to anyone who's said something to this effect, but I only browsed responses) that it's a classic "This statement is false" scenario. No, the chief's statement makes perfect sense and is not self-referential. It also happens to be true. What is going on is that it...
by Ermes Marana
Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:59 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: 2 puppies
Replies: 132
Views: 18713

Re: 2 puppies

I think the easiest way to look at it is to realize how little the information you get helps you. Before you make the call, it is twice as likely that there is one male than that there is two. Okay. Now you make the call. But none of the information you get can distinguish in the slightest between o...
by Ermes Marana
Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:48 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Traveler's Dilemma: What would YOU do?
Replies: 166
Views: 19528

Re: Traveler's Dilemma: What would YOU do?

This thread is about what people would actually do. There are many reasons for choosing 100 in real life: 1. Getting back at the airline for this blatantly unfair method of reimbursement. 2. A feeling of well-being for not harming the other person. 3. Choosing 100 guarantees that at the very worst y...
by Ermes Marana
Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:36 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle
Replies: 41
Views: 10520

Re: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle

I looked at past updates of the original site, and this puzzle was deleted from the page on the most recent update. The rest of the puzzles on the page stayed the same. Perhaps the author realized the puzzle had no solution given the most reasonable interpretation (that the students saying "no&...
by Ermes Marana
Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:55 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0695: "Spirit"
Replies: 337
Views: 221857

Re: "Spirit" Discussion

Hilarious comic. "Oh no! I'm Stuck!" Heheh.

Anthropomorphic toasters are always good for a laugh.
by Ermes Marana
Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:50 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle
Replies: 41
Views: 10520

Re: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle

A discussion from GL actually shed a very important light. The person holding a number may not know whether he's holding N or V. Along the same lines... notice that the functions are numbered. Maybe the person getting the function only gets the number of the function. If so: I think N=111, F=3, V=3...
by Ermes Marana
Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:48 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle
Replies: 41
Views: 10520

Re: An old Bob Kraus puzzle from MathPuzzle

I don't think this is a possible sequence of events. Specifically, I do not believe it is possible that the student who knows the function can be sure the sum N + V will not immediately give him the solution. Say you know the function is PROD. It is plausible to you that the numbers are N = 111 and ...
by Ermes Marana
Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0693: "Children's Fantasy"
Replies: 139
Views: 35377

Re: "Children's Fantasy" Discussion

I'll stick with the real world. A bit of magic isn't enough to make me want to live in the dark ages. How are the libraries in Narnia? What is the toilet situation? Also, I don't really have a desire to hack people to death with a sword, even in the name of peace and justice.

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