Zeno's Paradox Re-visited


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Joke ID#15962
Funny (2.65)
Rating (1.03)
CategoryTech  
Submitted Byshenqiang
Corrected By boodler
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You might remember Zeno's paradox, but in case you don't here it is again. Zeno argued that motion is an illusion. Now, by motion he meant movement, and not the rude kind that involves bowels but the Newtonian kind. He did this by the Achilles (A) and the Tortoise (T) parable. For argument's sake, say A runs 10 times faster than T can crawl. Then let T be placed 10 meters ahead of A at the start of a race. When A has moved 10 meters, T has moved 1 meter, so T is now still 1 meter ahead of A. Then when A has covered that 1 meter, T has gone 1/10 meter ahead. Etc. So, A will never ever pass T. Poor Zeno, it was reported that he found this logic so persuasive that he did not bother to move again, a kind of ontological constipation perhaps?

But the naughty version of it is a bit sexist (feminists, please reverse male and female roles in this story!). It goes like this. A psychologist wanted to test the difference in logical thinking between engineering and mathematics majors, and for this purpose he set up an experiment in which the subjects were respectively a male Mathematics and a randy male Engineering undergraduate. He showed them into the lab. At the far end of the long, narrow room was a luscious semi-clad bimbo. His instructions were like so: "Fellas, I have in my hands a buzzer that I will sound every minute. Every time I do that, you can walk half the distance that remains between yourself and the lady. Should you ever reach her, you will find her most accommodating. Do you wish to participate in the experimemt?"

Math major: "You don't fool me. This is the equivalent of the Zeno Paradox, so I am not wasting my time. I am going home, 'Bye." [Exeunt]
Engineering major: "Hee, hee! I am staying. I estimate that in 10 minutes, I will be close enough for all practical purposes."




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Posted by 90sgirl Dec 22, 2008

Why is it mathematicians are always the losers in jokes like these? Good joke btw

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