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Old 7th July 2017, 02:49 AM   #121
Porpoise of Life
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I think this XKCD cartoon applies.
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Old 7th July 2017, 02:51 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I know, I cited the post. Your supposedly "complete" answer did not include time dilatation due to effects of speed or gravity.

wait til sis becomes 12, then you are between 14 and 14 years +182 days. always rounding down means you are 14 either way. This is your minimum age because 12 years 0 days is your sister's minimum age.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=77

If we include wormholes there is no minimum or maximum age you could be. This answer is at least as reasonable as your answer to the question. At a minimum you need to add there were no time dilatation effects greater for either of you during this time.

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of course we can always cheat with black holes, worm holes, speed of light time dilation etc....That's why in post #one I specifically noted those ways of cheating don't count
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Old 7th July 2017, 02:56 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
of course we can always cheat with black holes, worm holes, speed of light time dilation etc....That's why in post #one I specifically noted those ways of cheating don't count
You didn't mention worm holes. Besides, if time dilatation and gravitational dilatation doesn't count, that means the two kids were suspended in vacuum all this time. Neither is likely to have made it, so the question is meaningless - the sister never did turn 12.

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Old 7th July 2017, 02:58 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
4 actually is 4 + up to 364 days
364.9999.... days actually.
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Old 7th July 2017, 03:23 AM   #125
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I haven't posted here in ages, but after reading this I just had to:

The answer is 14.

Everything else is mathematic pedantry and semantic bs.

(Why yes I studied physics where everything was in a frictionless vacuum)
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Old 7th July 2017, 03:25 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by MetalPig View Post
364.9999.... days actually.

Plus a few more variable digits to account for the weather changing the length of the day.
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Old 7th July 2017, 03:25 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by MetalPig View Post
364.9999.... days actually.
365.9999999... days if the year in question is a leap year.

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Old 7th July 2017, 03:47 AM   #128
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Once you go beyond the simple maths that makes the answer 14, the only real answer is : There is not enough information to answer this question in a non-ambiguous way.

It's just an excuse to exercise pedantry, which I recognise as a self-confessed pedant.

Surprised nobody has come up with innovative solutions that involve crossing the international date line.
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Old 7th July 2017, 03:53 AM   #129
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Hold on - I thought the sister counted in Venusian Years and me in Martian years.
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Old 7th July 2017, 03:58 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
Surprised nobody has come up with innovative solutions that involve crossing the international date line.
Right. Doing so can give you an additional day of difference the supposedly 'complete' answer didn't account for.

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Old 7th July 2017, 04:34 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post

Surprised nobody has come up with innovative solutions that involve crossing the international date line.
That's a good cheat I hadn't thought of yet!
Originally Posted by MetalPig View Post
364.9999.... days actually.
Gradations that small are not useful in a convention where age is determined by birthdays.
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Old 7th July 2017, 04:56 AM   #132
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How is the date relevant to the question? How old something (or someone) actually is is not dependant upon the arbitrariness of a calendar.
If a year is 365.25 (rounded) revolutions of the Earth, and we count age from the moment of birth, then one is 4 years old when the Earth has revolved 1461 times- regardless of whether a calendar says it's February 28th., or Feb. 29th.

As pointed out earlier, if 4 years does not mean 4 years, and half does not mean half, then the question is open to multiple interpretations and is really not a "math" puzzle any longer.
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Old 7th July 2017, 05:14 AM   #133
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A "trick" question which relies merely on insufficient data or degree of precision to catch people out, I henceforth submit shall be known as a dick question.
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Old 7th July 2017, 05:29 AM   #134
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I read it as exactly 10 years ago, my sister was half my age. I was 4 and she was 2. Therefore, exactly 10 years later, she is 12 and I am 14.
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Old 7th July 2017, 05:45 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Even in the West, we do that. If a baby is born on December 31, the parents get to write him off as a dependent for the whole year. So the IRS considers all children to be born on the previous January 1. it also considers all children to turn 18 on the next January 1 after their birthday.
You and your US-centrism! I don't think I had any tax advantages from my son being born on that day.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:09 AM   #136
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Ask a child how old they are and one might garner an answer such as 5 and a half. Or even 4 and a quarter. By teenage years they grow out of that. By adult years that sort of nonsense is right out.

Nevertheless, I have had the occasional CV cross my desk wherein the applicant will claim to be "a 27 and a half year old adult". That is instant bin liner. If you have to claim that you are 27 and a half then you are not an adult. Dave Gorman did a piece on one of his shows about this. It resonated with me from personal experience.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:12 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Ask a child how old they are and one might garner an answer such as 5 and a half. Or even 4 and a quarter. By teenage years they grow out of that. By adult years that sort of nonsense is right out.

Nevertheless, I have had the occasional CV cross my desk wherein the applicant will claim to be "a 27 and a half year old adult". That is instant bin liner. If you have to claim that you are 27 and a half then you are not an adult. Dave Gorman did a piece on one of his shows about this. It resonated with me from personal experience.
I think that if you had invited them for an interview, you would have found they were actually three small children on top of each other, dressed in a trenchcoat.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:35 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
I think that if you had invited them for an interview, you would have found they were actually three small children on top of each other, dressed in a trenchcoat.
That would have been epic.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:43 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
I think this XKCD cartoon applies.




Edited by zooterkin:  <SNIP>
Edited for rule 0 and rule 12.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:48 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
How is the date relevant to the question? How old something (or someone) actually is is not dependant upon the arbitrariness of a calendar.
If a year is 365.25 (rounded) revolutions of the Earth, and we count age from the moment of birth, then one is 4 years old when the Earth has revolved 1461 times- regardless of whether a calendar says it's February 28th., or Feb. 29th.

As pointed out earlier, if 4 years does not mean 4 years, and half does not mean half, then the question is open to multiple interpretations and is really not a "math" puzzle any longer.
She could be born February 29th and you born on March 1st two years earlier. when you reach 4, she would be 1/2 your age but with a birthday prior to yours in February instead of March. Since leap day babies celebrate their birthdays on February 28th in non-leap years, 10 years later for 1 day you might be 13 while she was 12. Itís cheating a bit, certainly pedantic, but it could be conceived as such. This is different than understanding 4 years means 4 years + up to 364 days in common usage of the term, and half means exactly that, half.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:48 AM   #141
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I find this kind of riddle very annoying, because it uses certain conventions and then pretends that it did not.

Once you have spoken of a persons age as "four years old," I think you are committed to speaking in the convention of "years old," in which a person is a certain age in years between one birthday and the next. In fact, at least in this culture, we tend to ridicule children or to consider them cutely childish, if they slice it any finer. When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled.

Thus, as far as I can see, the incompleteness consists merely of the fact that staggered birthdays can result in a variation for a period of time. If my sister turned three after I turned four, there is a period during which she was half my age, or two, and a period during which she was three, and during some of her age in years, I will be one year older, not two. If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two.

But if you don't mean the puzzle to use the standard meaning of "years old," then you should not begin with it.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:51 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I find this kind of riddle very annoying, because it uses certain conventions and then pretends that it did not.

Once you have spoken of a persons age as "four years old," I think you are committed to speaking in the convention of "years old," in which a person is a certain age in years between one birthday and the next. In fact, at least in this culture, we tend to ridicule children or to consider them cutely childish, if they slice it any finer. When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled.

Thus, as far as I can see, the incompleteness consists merely of the fact that staggered birthdays can result in a variation for a period of time. If my sister turned three after I turned four, there is a period during which she was half my age, or two, and a period during which she was three, and during some of her age in years, I will be one year older, not two. If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two.

But if you don't mean the puzzle to use the standard meaning of "years old," then you should not begin with it.
Yes. If the question were to be written with the same degree of accuracy as the answer is expected to have, then the child is exactly four years old (or whatever) because otherwise they'd have mentioned months and days as important information.
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Old 7th July 2017, 06:56 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I find this kind of riddle very annoying, because it uses certain conventions and then pretends that it did not.

Once you have spoken of a persons age as "four years old," I think you are committed to speaking in the convention of "years old," in which a person is a certain age in years between one birthday and the next. In fact, at least in this culture, we tend to ridicule children or to consider them cutely childish, if they slice it any finer. When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled.

Thus, as far as I can see, the incompleteness consists merely of the fact that staggered birthdays can result in a variation for a period of time. If my sister turned three after I turned four, there is a period during which she was half my age, or two, and a period during which she was three, and during some of her age in years, I will be one year older, not two. If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two.

But if you don't mean the puzzle to use the standard meaning of "years old," then you should not begin with it.
I see what you are saying as to why it annoys you, however it is your inconsistency that makes it annoying.

For example, "When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled. " You are exactly correct here. 4 years 3 months is commonly referred to as 4.

But then you state that, " If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two." This is the part that does not follow. While the years convention is true, your age in relation to hers never really varies. You are always the same number of years older than her.(and days) That always remains fixed. So you have tricked yourself.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:01 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
I see what you are saying as to why it annoys you, however it is your inconsistency that makes it annoying.

For example, "When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled. " You are exactly correct here. 4 years 3 months is commonly referred to as 4.

But then you state that, " If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two." This is the part that does not follow. While the years convention is true, your age in relation to hers never really varies. You are always the same number of years older than her.(and days) That always remains fixed. So you have tricked yourself.

No.

the question lacks the precision expected of the answer.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:01 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
I see what you are saying as to why it annoys you, however it is your inconsistency that makes it annoying.

For example, "When a child says "I'm four years and three months old," the statement is almost always belittled. " You are exactly correct here. 4 years 3 months is commonly referred to as 4.

But then you state that, " If she turned two after I turned four, there will be a period during which I was four and she was one, as well as a period during which I was four and she was two, and during some of her age, I will be three years older, not two." This is the part that does not follow. While the years convention is true, your age in relation to hers never really varies. You are always the same number of years older than her.(and days) That always remains fixed. So you have tricked yourself.
Bollocks. You are claiming that a 20 year old woman born on 29th february is only 5 years old in reality.

This is not how the real world works.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:03 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Gradations that small are not useful in a convention where age is determined by birthdays.
The original question doesn't mention days, just years.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:06 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Bollocks. You are claiming that a 20 year old woman born on 29th february is only 5 years old in reality.

This is not how the real world works.
Bollocks you are telling lies, most likely on purpose. I never said such a thing at all, and in fact the side you argue for is the side making such silly claims as this and others equally silly like a person could be 1 year older one moment and 2 years older a day later, bullocks. They are always exactly the same amount older. AND a woman born on leap year will celebrate her birthdays on non-leap years on February 28th.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:33 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Nope kid eager was right, 14 or 15......never 13 unless you cheat with leap years, black holes or other such nonsense, which I promised already wouldn't be part of the answer.
Your answer computes ages in days over a ten year period. Your answer should include two leap years. Of course, if you compute ages in years in the usual fashion, the leap years are irrelevant to the answer. So which is it?
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:37 AM   #149
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So do we know what this guy wants to hear already ? Do we even care ?
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:39 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
I get that, which is why I have always agreed that 14 is correct, just incomplete.

It bears understanding that the problem did NOT say she was 2 though. This is the clue that signals how the puzzle is to be solved. If it had said, "When I was 4 years old, my sister was 2. Now my sister is 12 years old. How old am I?", then the answer would be either "14" or "13,14,or 15". The wording was changed to make it a puzzle. This is the type of puzzle that the smarter you are for some reason the less likely to get the right answer. We almost automatically insert 2 so strongly it is as if that is what is actually stated in the problem.So when we think deeper and consider the possibility that 4 actually is 4 + up to 364 days and 12 actually is 12 + up to 364 days, we forget that 2 is not actually stated, and we make the incorrect assumption we can state 2 + up to 364 here too.

Some will pick 24 as they double 12. Some will pick 14. Some will pick 13,14,15 not realizing, except for this falling exactly on a leap year 13 doesn't work as 1/2 was used rather than saying 2...which means it is limited to 2+ up to 182 days and the option where the sisters birthday falls prior to, allowing a 13, would mean the original criteria she would have had a chance to be 1. 1 is not half by either way of interpreting the problem so the set of options for that is thrown out. Leaving only 14 and 15, instead of 13, 14 and 15.
Called it on page 1:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Oh, I get it: The "trick" is that the question is pointlessly pedantic.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:40 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Bollocks you are telling lies, most likely on purpose. I never said such a thing at all, and in fact the side you argue for is the side making such silly claims as this and others equally silly like a person could be 1 year older one moment and 2 years older a day later, bullocks. They are always exactly the same amount older. AND a woman born on leap year will celebrate her birthdays on non-leap years on February 28th.
Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
She could be born February 29th and you born on March 1st two years earlier. when you reach 4, she would be 1/2 your age but with a birthday prior to yours in February instead of March. Since leap day babies celebrate their birthdays on February 28th in non-leap years, 10 years later for 1 day you might be 13 while she was 12. Itís cheating a bit, certainly pedantic, but it could be conceived as such. This is different than understanding 4 years means 4 years + up to 364 days in common usage of the term, and half means exactly that, half.
Those were not your words? You did not concede that you were "quibbling and pedantic and cheating"? No?
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:40 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Ratatoskr View Post
(Why yes I studied physics where everything was in a frictionless vacuum)
Assume a perfectly spherical sister...
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:48 AM   #153
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
I get that, which is why I have always agreed that 14 is correct, just incomplete.
It would have gotten very interesting if someone had answered 15. You would have been forced to say that they are correct. But that would be in addition to already saying I was correct with 14. A bizarre situation because the person is both 14 and 15. But they can't be, as they would have to be one or the other. So an incorrect answer is said to be correct.

At that moment, the puzzle collapses upon itself. Claiming "correct but incomplete" does not save you from stating that an incorrect answer is correct.

You cannot run a puzzle or game that way.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:59 AM   #154
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
So do we know what this guy wants to hear already ? Do we even care ?
"When I was four, my sister was half my age."

"She was two. I know."

"Yes! And now she's twelve, so how-"

"Oh my god. I already don't care anymore."

"Actually I'm fifteen, you see, because-"

"No, what you are is too old for this nonsense. Now go away and let mommy drink in peace."
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:04 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Kid Eager won sorry guys. On this day he was the smartest.
I have nothing but respect for Kid Eager. He actually bothered to dance your little math dance, and he deserves credit for that.

However, being willing to do arithmetic story problems is not the same as being smart. I think I figured that out by the time my sister was 12.
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:14 AM   #156
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I have nothing but respect for Kid Eager. He actually bothered to dance your little math dance, and he deserves credit for that.

However, being willing to do arithmetic story problems is not the same as being smart. I think I figured that out by the time my sister was 12.
Kid Eager also said that 15 would be an answer if you are a smartarse. That was a moment of condescension. A way of both giving the desired answer and saying it's a turd.
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:16 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Kid Eager won sorry guys. On this day he was the smartest. Maybe next time they'll do the Monte Hall puzzle and you can win a million then.
I've contributed nothing and think this whole thing is stupid...


... but I still get a trophy, right?
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:20 AM   #158
abaddon
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I have nothing but respect for Kid Eager. He actually bothered to dance your little math dance, and he deserves credit for that.

However, being willing to do arithmetic story problems is not the same as being smart. I think I figured that out by the time my sister was 12.
OK I LOLd.
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:25 AM   #159
Red Baron Farms
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Kid Eager also said that 15 would be an answer if you are a smartarse. That was a moment of condescension. A way of both giving the desired answer and saying it's a turd.
And Kid Eager had that right, since he got the question right, by thinking it through. So he was a bit condescending. That's just fine. But from those incapable of "doing the dance", it comes across as sour grapes rather than smugness.
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Last edited by Red Baron Farms; 7th July 2017 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 7th July 2017, 08:41 AM   #160
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
But from those incapable of "doing the dance"
How do you get "incapable"?
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