## The barber of Sevillegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread |

Bertrand Russell's paradox:

If the barber of Seville shaves all the men of Seville who do not shave themselves, does he shave himself?I propose that Regis Philbin ask this question of Gore and Bush on national TV. Whoever gives the best answer becomes our prez-i-DENTAH. Judging will be performed by the same panel that judges the Miss America Pageant.

A tie breaker bonus question comes from a Greek guy named Zeno.

This contest is only for President. Kathy Lee will NOT be a prize.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), November 16, 2000

http://www.shu.edu/html/teaching/math/reals/infinity/answers/barber.ht mlhttp://www.uncwil.edu/people/stanleym/bewitch/53.html

-- A (pair@o.docs), November 16, 2000.

Sal Maglie - N.Y. Baseball Giants.Rich

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), November 16, 2000.

"A"--Regis has declared you to be the winner. Please report to the White House by Jan 20. Everything is furnished. You need to bring nothing but personal belongings and interns.

Bingo--

Very good. Only the most dedicated trivia freak would remember Sal (the barber) Maglie. Now who was his catcher? (I don't know)

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), November 16, 2000.

>> If the barber of Seville shaves all the men of Seville who do not shave themselves, does he shave himself? <<As stated this is not really a paradox, because it does not define the two sets (men shaved by the barber and men who shave themselves) as mutually exclusive. Therefore the simple answer is yes: the Barber of Seville is shaved both by himself

andby the Barber of Seville.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), November 16, 2000.

Perry Como was a barber before he was a crooner before he had goopy Christmas TV shows while wearing a cardigan before he croaked.

-- (nemesis@awol.com), November 16, 2000.

Brian--Sorry, you are too late. But if you explain Zeno's paradox, Regis will consider you for Mr Congeniality.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), November 16, 2000.

I don't know-third base

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), November 16, 2000.

>> But if you explain Zeno's paradox, Regis will consider you for Mr Congeniality. <<For the curious, here is Zeno's paradox:

A tortise challenges Achilles to a foot race. Achilles laughs and offers the tortise a headstart.

The race starts. Soon, Achilles has covered precisely one half the distance between himself and the tortise. A short time later, he has covered half the remaining distance. A short time after that, Achilles has covered half of

thatdistance, and so on.Because the distance between Achilles and the tortise is

infinitelydivisible by half, it stands to reason there are aninfinitenumber of moments during which Achilles has not overtaken the tortise. Therefore, Achilles canneverovertake the tortise.The essential refutation here is the same as the proof that .9999... repeated as an infinite series, is precisely equal to 1.000... but don't ask me to get more specific than that, because Zeno cleverly cloaked his paradox in fractions, rather than decimals, making it

infinitelymore intractable to simple explanation.Lars - care to go where Regis fears to tread?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), November 16, 2000.

>> But if you explain Zeno's paradox, Regis will consider you for Mr Congeniality. <<For the curious, here is Zeno's paradox:

A tortise challenges Achilles to a foot race. Achilles laughs and offers the tortise a headstart. Big mistake here in Zeno Land!

The race starts. Soon, Achilles has covered precisely one half the distance between himself and the tortise. A short time later, he has covered half the remaining distance. A short time after that, Achilles has covered half of

thatremaining distance, and so on.Because the distance between Achilles and the tortise is

infinitelydivisible by half, it stands to reason there are aninfinitenumber of moments during which Achilles has not overtaken the tortise. Therefore, Achilles canneverovertake the tortise.The refutation here is essentially the same as the proof that .9999... repeated as an infinite series, is precisely equal to 1.000... but don't ask me to get more specific than that, because Zeno cleverly cloaked his paradox in fractions, rather than decimals, making it

infinitelymore intractable to simple explanation.Lars - care to go where Regis fears to tread?

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), November 16, 2000.

No! I wasnottrying to demonstrate that my reply could be posted an infinite number of times. I just goofed up, that's all.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), November 16, 2000.

LOL.This following is not a mathematically rigid explanation of Zeno but it has always made sense to me, a master procrastinater). To me, Zeno is saying "just

doit". The secret of overtaking the tortoise is simply to keep going; just walk right thru those invisible "halfway" barriers.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), November 16, 2000.

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