Important Philosophical Questions + POLLS

Turns out Google now has a built-in random number generator. Just Google “random number generator”

1 Like

It’s only pseudo-random… For true randomness I use cosmic background radiation.


I prefer lava lamps

Then again, this is always an option (anyone up for another game of Yahtzee)…

@discobot roll 1d10


:game_die: 2

1 Like

Obligatory xkcd:



Inspired by The Monty Hall Probllem:

Assume that you and your friend move to a new neighborhood. You know from the landlord that your new neighbor has two children. Upon arrival you see one of them. It looks like a girl. Your friend jokingly says “I’ll bet 20$ that the other one is a boy.”

Among the following options, what is the largest amount of money you are willing to put on the line to take the bet?

  • 0$
  • 5$
  • 10$
  • 15$
  • 20$
  • 25$
  • 30$

0 voters

please click this only after voting

I think this is a misapplication of the paradox, and the wording has to be very careful for this: you see one of them is a girl, which means you saw an individual of them of whom is a girl, and the other one is completely independent of the first. If the neighbors had told you they have “at least one girl” that would be slightly different.

It’s a very subtle paradox to work with, but the method of obtaining information is key


I chose $15 because I want positive non-zero EV before risking money.


Why not choose $0? Free money!

Of course, I think the intention is to ask what amount would result in a fair wager. There may be some issues with the wording.


Largest amount was asked for.

I’m just interested in the poll result and thought it’d be a fun experiment. I don’t claim to state the scenario in a rigorous manner. I do believe though that I clearly stated how the information is obtained.

1 Like

Yes, and some might not be willing to take any risk…

Why not increase EV and reduce risk??

Because then I wouldn’t be wagering the largest amount I’d be willing to, which is what the question asked.


In response to reader criticism of the question posed in 1959, Gardner said that no answer is possible without information that was not provided.

So the question is as vacuous as laurel / yanny, or if one sees two faces or a candlestick in a drawing?

Bugcat asked: So why state the question? […]

Uh … for fun? :man_shrugging:

1 Like

So asking

X + 2 = Y, find Y

is fun?

You don’t have the data so what’s the point?

Or rather, the interpretation is ambiguous. It’s like saying

I did something to the number 10 and got Y, what is Y?

It’s simply ambiguous. It’s not like one can really have an opinion on it…

Sorry I offended you.

Nah, I guess I’m just the square who doesn’t get the joke :P

I said $20 because it’s fair and I don’t want to rip off my friend.

On the other hand, maybe my friend offerred a bet because of inside information. Maybe I have a sneaky friend.


It’s a trick question, computing the odds is not the problem: deciding how much money to bet with is… But if I know my friend will accept the bet anyway, $0 is the easy greedy option. I have nothing to lose, right? :stuck_out_tongue:

Or to compare it to Martin’s answer to the Monty Hall problem: Any money I put on the line is only going to cost me more money if I lose, and doesn’t increase my earnings if I win. The lowest amount of money is therefore optimal, without knowing the odds of the bet.

1 Like