How do you answer the question...

Discussion in 'Computers and Stuff' started by Cass, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    A slim crocodile living in the Nile took a child. His mother begged to have him back. The crocodile could not only talk, but was also a great sophist and stated, "If you guess correctly what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't predict his fate correctly, I'll eat him." What statement should the mother make to save her child?
  2. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    The crock will try to deceive and complicate things, and try to sound wise. But, I wouldn't believe him for he is not to be trusted. No matter what I would say he would probably get fatter, so I think...I would not listen to what he has to say and that might get my son back. Then, I would stay far away from the Nile. :)

    That is probably a silly answer. ;)
  3. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Man, that croc's a jerk. It ends badly no matter what she says, why torture her like that?
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    There is an absolutly correct answer to the above puzzle...read it carefuly...
  5. Macman

    Macman New Member

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    Circular logic. There is no possible correct answer to this if it's thought through completely. I agree...crocs are mean critters!
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Yes...there is a correct answer to it...
  7. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Tell me. I won't tell anyone. :p
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    The answer is in the question...
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    whisper it...
  10. Macman

    Macman New Member

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    It seems that from the crocodile's viewpoint it doesn't matter if the mother speaks truly or falsely, for if she speaks truly the crocodile cannot return the child without destroying the truth of the mother's statement. Similarly, if the mother has spoken falsely, the crocodile still cannot return the child, because the mother has not fulfilled the agreement. From the mother's viewpoint it doesn't matter if she has spoken truly or falsely. If the mother has spoken truly, then by the terms of the agreement the crocodile must return the baby. Then, too, the mother can be said to have spoken falsely only after the child has been returned. Therefore, whether the mother speaks truly or falsely, the child must be returned.

    To understand the logical inconsistencies buried in the mother's and the crocodile's arguments, it is helpful to sumarize their views.

    The crocodile's argument can be expressed as follows:

    If the mother accurately predicts what I will do, then I will return the baby. If I return the baby, then the mother has not accurately predicted what I will do. Therefore I will not return the baby.

    The mother's view can be expressed as follows:

    If I accurately predict what the crocodile will do, then my baby will be returned to me. If my baby is not returned (eaten), then I predicted accurately what the crocodile will do. Therefore the baby will be returned to me.

    Consider the two premises of the crocodile's argument. As the crocodile states in the first premise, he returns the baby if and only if the mother accurately predicts what he will do. However, according to the second premise, if he does return the baby, then the mother's prediction is false. But how can this be, if based on the first premise the baby can be returned if and only if the mother predicts accurately? The point is that it can't be for as we have just demonstrated, assuming that the agreement can be kept leads to validly deduced contradictory conclusions. A similar analysis can be made of the mother's argument.
  11. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Is Macman right? I need to know these things.
    Macman you would make a great lawyer, :p are you one?

    Maybe, the croc doesn't know of what he speaks. lol
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I think...

    if she predicts he will eat the baby, that would be accurate...

    but, can't be.

    or:

    just that she predicts he will be deceiveful, then that would ensure the return of the boy?
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    To full fill the contract if the mother guesses correctly the crock has to place the baby in the mothers arms and once that is done it is to late to do anything...

    You still haven't understood the question the crock has posed...or you would know the answer...the answer places the crock in the position of having to return the child no matter what and it must go into the mothers arms to complete the transaction...

    The answer stated as the mother would reply is a clue to the correct answer. You are thinking about what she would say instead of answering...
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  14. Macman

    Macman New Member

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    Nah Cookie, no lawyer material here. I'm just a puzzle fiend. This is an old conundrum. The answer I quoted is just the accepted correct answer. There are lots of similar situations which may be presented, which if thought through logically don't have any answer. For example, if I say to you "Everything I say is a lie," what does this imply? If truly everything I say is a lie then that statement would also be a lie. That would mean that at least some things that I say are the truth, which would mean that this statement may be true, or it may not. If it's not true then the statement is false and becomes invalid. If it is true, then the statement contradicts itself and becomes invalid. If you try to make sense of it logically then it never has a resolution, just like the crocodile puzzle.
  15. She whips out this picture,

    [​IMG]


    and exclaims, "You look good on a plate, and you taste like chicken.

    Muwahaaaahaaaaahaaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaa! Now give me my kid back BEOTCH!"


    I just had alligator this past friday, wasn't bad at all.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    answer

    EAT HIM. If he tried to, then her answer would be correct and he has to let him go. If he does not, her answer will be incorrect, but he still cannot eat him without making her answer correct. So he has to let him go. Just a variation on "how are you want to die?"
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    I say she should just own the croc...

    [​IMG]
  18. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    At which point her answer becomes incorrect, and he gets to eat the kid.

    Except he can't, because then she'd be right, and he'd have to give him back...

    and so on?

    To me, the story illustrates the limits of "pure" logic. The resolution isn't that the croc has to give the child back, the resolution is a logic loop. The mom & the croc toss the kid back & forth.

    But in any real-world application, you can fall back on psychology. Which takes you to Cookie's first answer, "I wouldn't believe him for he is not to be trusted". In real life, the croc will say something like:

    "you know when I told you I'd give him back?"

    (CHOMP!)

    "I lied."

    Since when do predators surrender their prey, unless confronted with superior force?


    Cool video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  19. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Macman,

    Since you like puzzles and so do I, their is a key word in the croc story. Did you pick it up? If you studied Homer you should get it. How it is then applied is alittle different. It is interesting.

    Cookie :)
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    logic

    It is similar to the Greek's argument that you can never cross a room and get to the other side, because you go half way, then half of the half, then half of the remainder, etc. and since there would always be a half left you would be stuck. If you mean "sophist" it can either refer to an expert /philosopher, or one dealing in illogical arguments.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
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