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Three Gods


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68 replies to this topic

#31 Rob_Gandy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:04 AM

:)

Correct-a-mundo.

Spoiler for Just to state explicitly


Here is Hint Puzzle 2:
Spoiler for


Spoiler for Answer for hint 2

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#32 mmiguel

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:27 AM

Right, but I'm adding an extra hypothetical random, i.e., one that is not on the sheet of paper, that is hypothetically at some point which is randomly determined (and independent of the random god's 'random') if I ask that question what will he say. I.e. if I randomly pick a point on that paper...

And I don't care how omniscient these gods supposedly are...there are some things that are just unknowable...or do I need herr Heisenberg to let loose the hounds? ;P

However, if you want to specify that questions are could be unanswerable are disallowed, fine...

Spoiler for The less fun method...


Spoiler for


I'll just put the 3rd Hint puzzle here just because
Spoiler for Hint Puzzle 3

Edited by mmiguel, 19 September 2012 - 06:35 AM.

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#33 phaze

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:57 AM

Spoiler for for 3rd hint puzzle

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#34 mmiguel

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:09 AM

Spoiler for


I'll just put the 3rd Hint puzzle here just because
Spoiler for Hint Puzzle 3




Spoiler for Official Answer

Edited by mmiguel, 19 September 2012 - 07:11 AM.

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#35 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:57 AM

How will you choose such a random number?
Will you roll some dice?
What if they know how the dice will happen to land when you decide to roll them?
What if you decide to throw away the first roll and roll a second time --- what if they know how the dice will land at the second time?
What if for each of your possible choices, they know how every coin flip, dice roll, wheel spin, etc will turn out based on having tons of information, the laws of physics, and assuming we live in a world of causes and effects.

Your number can only be 0, 1 or 2 though, since you get 3 questions, and you need to save one question to ask about the sky.

I think trying to find questions that cannot be answered is not that helpful to finding the logical solution to the overall puzzle - but you are doing a good job thinking of possible paths of thought.



It's exactly due to my familiarity with the laws of physics, especially quantum physics, that I assert, as Heisenberg would, that there are things that are unknowable. The future is probabilistic, not deterministic. No matter how omniscient these gods are, they can not know based on the laws of physics and the universe we live in.

The question is not asking about something that will actually happen, it's something that hypothetically could happen. So even if we grant the existence of Maxwell's demon and break the uncertainty rule and allow them to predict the future of any random physical event, the event is not something that actually will occur, it's rather a family of events that could occur, and it is not specified which member will actually be the one in question. It is not a paradox because it not self-contradictory, but rather is not truly answerable in a way that is certain to be either true or false.



And no, I didn't switch around the conclusions. :P

Edited by Yoruichi-san, 19 September 2012 - 07:59 AM.

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#36 mmiguel

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:24 AM

It's exactly due to my familiarity with the laws of physics, especially quantum physics, that I assert, as Heisenberg would, that there are things that are unknowable. The future is probabilistic, not deterministic. No matter how omniscient these gods are, they can not know based on the laws of physics and the universe we live in.

The question is not asking about something that will actually happen, it's something that hypothetically could happen. So even if we grant the existence of Maxwell's demon and break the uncertainty rule and allow them to predict the future of any random physical event, the event is not something that actually will occur, it's rather a family of events that could occur, and it is not specified which member will actually be the one in question. It is not a paradox because it not self-contradictory, but rather is not truly answerable in a way that is certain to be either true or false.



And no, I didn't switch around the conclusions. :P

Paragraph 1
Hmmm...
I've never been totally convinced that quantum mechanics is a proof for the existence of true randomness.... I'm a determinist.
I think that pretty much everything we call random, is really just complexity/lack of knowledge in disguise.
I think the question is philosophical, and not really provable by physics.
The fact that QM predictions are consistent with experiment means that those phenomena are well modeled by a probabilistic model, and all would agree that such a model is useful and definitely a good thing.
Consistency with experiment does not imply to me that reality itself is random.
Is it possible for anyone to say with certainty that there is no possible way that QM could be replaced by a deterministic theory that takes into account some further layer of complexity or requires measurements beyond what we are currently capable of performing?

I think science in general has ignored that as being in the realm of philosophy (why) instead of the characterization of nature (how).

Anyways - if randomness doesn't exist, and we do live a deterministic universe, and everything that appears random to us can be explained by our lack of knowledge, -If that were true- then the gods can predict what Random will do at any given point in time.
This may come down to a difference in belief in something which is not as of yet provable, so I may respectfully agree to disagree.

Paragraph 2
Agree, so this is a question which is not answerable due to ambiguity. I still consider this a not well-formed question.
If I ask you, what is the color of the animal's fur? - you can't answer because you don't know what animal I'm talking about.
I suppose something with omniscience could in that case figure out what you were talking about.
But that's not really the end of the conundrum - because you could deliberately ask a question about no specific object, but rather an abstract object.
What is the weight of a father?
Either way - it is not a well-formed yes-no question.
To not let you get away with answering the riddle too easily - I made up the rule that if you ask a non-well formed question, any god may essentially answer randomly i.e. you won't get anything useful out of them.
(Lol - this is not inconsistent with me not believing in true randomness... Here, I colloquially use the word random to mean that you can not know for sure how they will behave, and you never will be able to unless you are omniscient).

Paragraph/Line 3:
Yeah you're right. It's been a long day.

Edited by mmiguel, 19 September 2012 - 08:30 AM.

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#37 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:37 AM

Yes, it's been a loooonnnngggg day for me too (and oh look it's 2:30 and I have to work tomorrow -_- , so I'm not going to get into an argument about quantum physics. But if you say things can't be truly random, that is a paradox, since then how can the god's answers be truly random?

And my question is a perfectly well-formed yes-no question, just not one that can be answered.either always truly or falsely.

I have no qualms with clarifications/additions...it's usually better to make sure the question is clear before dropping hints. ;) ^_^
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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#38 mmiguel

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:51 AM

Yes, it's been a loooonnnngggg day for me too (and oh look it's 2:30 and I have to work tomorrow -_- , so I'm not going to get into an argument about quantum physics. But if you say things can't be truly random, that is a paradox, since then how can the god's answers be truly random?

And my question is a perfectly well-formed yes-no question, just not one that can be answered.either always truly or falsely.

I have no qualms with clarifications/additions...it's usually better to make sure the question is clear before dropping hints. ;) ^_^


Stubborness is unhealthy for both of us.

Here is how I am not contradicting myself:
Random, as I used it, is a single word that represents two concepts, that in order for successful communication in a conversation where we are splitting hairs, we should distinguish.

True Randomness = What I don't think exists - an effect without a cause completely determining it
Apparent Randomness = What we as humans superstitiously attribute to things that we cannot make sense of due to lack of information and understanding about it.

In the puzzle, every time I mentioned Randomness, I basically meant apparent randomness. This is consistent with the other Gods being able to predict what Random is doing. Apparent randomness arises from lack of information (which is not a problem for the omniscient --- I won't argue here about whether or not omniscience is feasible, since that would start getting religious). Anyway, let's assume you are not omniscient. If that is the case, I can tell you that a coin flip is random (which of course, we should all interpret as apparent randomness), and this is not inconsistent with the non-existence of true randomness.
We are ignorant to the complete list of all the factors that could cause a coin to land one way or another. In our ignorance, we give up trying to characterize and predict it's behavior, and we say ...."it's just random".

In our debate, I sometimes switched to talking about true randomness. It may have been confusing then, but hopefully we have now cleared up any ambiguity.
Anyway, the bottom line is that what I said does not contradict itself, I just used bad communication practice by using the same word for two different things without qualifying.


Well-formed yes-no question - Is there an official definition for that? I assumed there wasn't (it was free for me to claim) and claimed that phrase as meaning basically, a question that can be evaluated as true or false. Maybe I didn't clearly express that.
You have a different idea about what that phrase means....
In the end it doesn't matter - what I was trying to say is that stuff like that ain't allowed.


I copied the original question from George Boolos - blame him for the ambiguity
haha

Edited by mmiguel, 19 September 2012 - 08:56 AM.

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#39 superprismatic

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:42 PM

There is a logical solution.

Yep. I didn't think things through enough.
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#40 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:04 PM

Speaking of defining things differently...what you call "stubbornness" I call "strong will", which has been very healthy for me since it's what drives me to work out and push myself (and run a marathon ;P).

I see. Thanks for the clarification. But I have to point out that what (emphasis added):


Apparent Randomness = What we as humans superstitiously attribute to things that we cannot make sense of due to lack of information and understanding about it.


Sure there is plenty of info we do not have, but my point is, and has always been, that there are pieces of information we cannot have, such as is stated in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Hence the future is unpredictable with certainty, and the more complex an event is, the more uncertainty there is.

Secondly, I was basing "not a well-formed yes-no question" on your example, which was "what is the weight of a feather", which is obviously not a yes-no question. My question was definitely a yes-no question, just not one that can be answered with certainty.

Hey, don't worry about it, I'm not trying to complain about the question, I actually like it :), and found trying to resolve the problem with new parameters fun ;), so thanks for that.
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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.




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