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Best Answer Pankaj Varma, 18 December 2012 - 06:29 AM

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9 replies to this topic

### #1 bonanova

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

Somewhere in the vast reaches of the ocean, there is a very strange island known as the Island of Questioners. It derives its name from the fact that its inabitants never make statements, they only ask questions.

The inhabitants ask only questions answerable by Yes or No. Each inhabitant is one of two types, A and B. Those of type A ask only questions whose correct answer is Yes; those of type B ask only questions whose correct answer is No.

For example, an inhabitant of type A could ask, "Does two plus two equal four?" But he could not ask whether two plus two equals five. An inhabitant of type B could not ask whether two plus two equals four, but he could ask whether two plus two equals five.

I once visited this island and met a couple named Ethan and Violet Russell. One morning Ethan asked me, "Are Violet and I both of type B?" Since I am not an inhabitant of the island, I may now ask you, and you now may answer, What type is Violet?
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

### #2 Pankaj Varma

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:29 AM   Best Answer

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### #3 Prime

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

Poor Questioners. They cannot speak anything but questions and then only those for which they already know the answers. How do they exchange any information at all?

Spoiler for One possible conversation

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Past prime, actually.

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

Violet is type A

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### #5 bonanova

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:59 PM

Poor Questioners. They cannot speak anything but questions and then only those for which they already know the answers. How do they exchange any information at all?

Can we conclude that a request for confirmation of a premise by a type A questioner is equivalent to the assertion of that premise by a truth teller? In answering that question assume that I am type A.
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

### #6 phaze

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

Is it impossible to conclude that a request for rejection of a premise by a type B questioner is equivalent to the assertion of that premise by a truth teller? Are both myself and bonanova type B?

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### #7 CaptainEd

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:15 PM

Able: "Why does a Q always answer a question with another question?"

Baker: "Why shouldn't a Q always answer a question with another question?"

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### #8 bushindo

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

Can we conclude that a request for confirmation of a premise by a type A questioner is equivalent to the assertion of that premise by a truth teller? In answering that question assume that I am type A.

You people are making this too complicated =) Let's say that a speaker wants to convey the statement "I want dinner now".

If the speaker is type B, he should ask "Is the sentence 'I want dinner now' grammatically incorrect?"
If the speaker is type A, he should ask "Is the sentence "I want dinner now' grammatically correct?"

There might be some work getting all the denizens familiarized with this convention, but the bonus is that once established, the convention does not require a speaker to first identify whether he is type A or type B.

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### #9 Prime

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:58 AM

You people are making this too complicated =) Let's say that a speaker wants to convey the statement "I want dinner now".

If the speaker is type B, he should ask "Is the sentence 'I want dinner now' grammatically incorrect?"
If the speaker is type A, he should ask "Is the sentence "I want dinner now' grammatically correct?"

There might be some work getting all the denizens familiarized with this convention, but the bonus is that once established, the convention does not require a speaker to first identify whether he is type A or type B.

Do you mean that for asking questions rather than making statements, Questioners must develop a nested question convention?

Does the question: “Is X=1?” asked by A establish the value for X, whereas the same question asked by B leaves the true value of X wide open? Therefore, is it important to be aware of the type of the person that you converse with?

Was the question in the OP a way of introduction advising Bonanova of the true orientation of his new acquaintances?

Why everyone here chooses type “A” for their own identity? (Oops, that was an illegal question.)

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Past prime, actually.

### #10 Prime

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:12 AM

More elegantly, Ethan could relay his wishes to Violet like so:

“Would I be lying if I said, wanted steak for dinner?”

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Past prime, actually.

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