Forums / Off Topic / first correct answer wins

5 years 5 weeks ago, 3:03 PM

Reaper308

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Ok, ebear stole your GPS, so you're lost in a forest, which is inhabited by two different tribes. The first tribe will only tell the truth, and never lies. the second tribe always lies and never tells the truth.

you are walking along the trail which comes to a split "Y". one road leads you into town to safety. the other road leads you to certain death. you see a tribesman standing close by. If you are only allowed to ask him ONE question which will save your life, what would you ask him???

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 3:13 PM

samD

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Would you like to go

to town with me for some women and firewater? That would be my question

5 years 5 weeks ago, 3:29 PM

Ravishing Ric

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Which way

are you going? Have him lead

5 years 5 weeks ago, 3:32 PM

Anonymous

i would ask

have you seen a man with a magical device that tells where the closest town is?

5 years 5 weeks ago, 3:36 PM

Anonymous

oh wait

he could be a lying tribesman .

Want to lead the way to the saloon/pub/the drunken clam?

/

5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:07 PM

birdebyrd

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If you told me to take the road to the right to avoid death, would you be lying?

Let's assume that the right road is the death road... if he's a truth teller, he can't lie, so his answer would be yes. If he's a liar, his answer would be no. If the road to the left was the death road, the truth teller's answer would be no. But, since the liar can only lie, and the road to the right means safety, his answer would still be no. Take the road opposite of a "no" answer.

Feedin' the till, for the "Stimulus" Bill (since 1974)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:05 PM

clintlebo

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answer to Raper

I would ask: If I asked a member of the tribe you don't belong to which road I should take to get to the town?

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:09 PM

Reaper308

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getting close

birde- so what is the one question that you would ask? you don't know the road to the right is the death road or not.

clint- then what?

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:12 PM

clintlebo

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If we ask a truthteller, the response will be: "He would say to take the north road." The road to the town is the south road so the liar will tell us to take the north road, and the truthteller will faithfully report this to us.

If we ask a liar, the response will be: "He would say to take the north road." The road to the town is the south road and the truthteller will tell us to take the south road, but the liar will not report this faithfully to us - he will say the opposite.

In both cases we'll get the same response. We should do the opposite of what we have been told because, regardless of whether we are speaking to a liar or a truthteller, our question will always produce the wrong answer to which road we should take.

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:18 PM

Reaper308

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BINGO!

DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING! Clint wins...

easy way to explain it:
ask "if you were a member of the other tribe, which road would you tell me to take to get to safety?" (then you do the opposite)

I will now refer to clint as "Sir master genius" for the next 24 hrs.

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:16 PM

birdebyrd

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to reach town safely? I still say take the road opposite of a "no" answer. If you get a yes, it's the truth teller. If it's a "no" you're speaking to either the liar, or the truth teller, so take the road opposite of a "no" answer. An answer of "yes" would indicate the truth teller. An answer of no means take the other road.

Feedin' the till, for the "Stimulus" Bill (since 1974)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:18 PM

clintlebo

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furthermore

If you want a complete mathematical answer:

Forget about north and south, villages and towns, and everything else for the moment. This is really a problem about how to tell when a proposition P is true or false when questioning someone who might lie to you.

Suppose we have some proposition, P, about the world -- for example, "The Pope is Catholic," which happens to be true, or "3 is greater than 5," which happens to be false. If we ask the question, "Is P true?" of a truth-teller (T) and a liar (L), we get the following result, depending on whether the proposition is true (t) or false (f):

T L
+----------- Is P true?
P = t | yes no
|
P = f | no yes

This is the case for any proposition P whose subject is the world. A truth-teller and a liar will always give different answers, because they will always agree on propositions about the world. If you don't already know whether P is true or false -- and if you knew, why would you be asking? -- then the answer to the question doesn't really tell you anything because you don't know whether the person is lying.

In order to get past this obstacle (i.e., in order to get the truth-teller and the liar to give the same answer), you need to ask about a proposition upon which they would not agree. But the only difference between the two potential situations (i.e., you're talking to a truth-teller, or talking to a liar) is the identity of the person you're talking to.

Therefore, you need to make P a proposition about the person that you're talking to. For example, P could be "You are a liar." Now when we ask "Is P true?" we get the following result:

T L
+------------ Is P true?
P = t | - no
|
P = f | no -

(Note that if you're talking to a truth-teller, P can't be true, and if you're talking to a liar, P can't be false.)

So we've found a way to get the same answer from either kind of person, which is good. But the answer to the question itself doesn't tell us what we want to know.

So what we really need to do is to ask a question that is about both the world and the person. The "standard" way to do that is to ask the person's opinion about what a member of the other group would say. That is, P' would be "A member of the other group would say that P is true." This gives the following result:

T L
+------------ Is P' true?
P = t | no no
|
P = f | yes yes

Which is exactly the result that we want. Regardless of whether we are talking to a truth-teller or a liar, if the answer is "No," we know that P is true, and if the answer is "Yes," we know that P is false. So we can now get a correct evaluation of any proposition P.

Let's consider once more what happens if we ask about a proposition whose truth we already know, e.g., "The Pope is Catholic." We get the following result:

T L
+----------- Is P true?
t | yes no
|
f | no yes

Now let's make P' the proposition "If I asked you whether P is true, you would say 'yes'." What kind of result would we get? It's easy to see how the truth-teller would answer:

T L
+----------- Is P' true?
t | yes ?
|
f | no ?

But what about the liar? Let's consider the case where P is true. If asked whether P is true, a liar would have to say 'no'. But since he can't truthfully tell you what he would say, he'd have to say 'yes'. Which is the same answer given by the truth-teller:

T L
+----------- Is P' true?
t | yes yes
|
f | no ?

Now let's consider the case where P is false. If asked whether P is true, a liar would have to say 'yes'. But since he can't truthfully tell you what he would say, he'd have to say 'no'.

T L
+----------- Is P' true?
t | yes yes
|
f | no no

So this is another way to get a correct evaluation of any proposition P. Note that in this case 'yes' means 'true' and 'no' means 'false'

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:24 PM

Reaper308

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damnit

sir master genius, you cheated, didn't you. I did a little counter intel and googled this question to see if the answer was readily available to you lazies, and that damn mathimatical equation came up.

I was originally asked this question by a drunk at a bar that I graced my presence with daily. each day I would return, and he would tell me why my answer was wrong. it took me 3-4 days to finally get it WITHOUT CHEATING! oh, well, I was outsmarted by sir master genius

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:29 PM

clintlebo

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answer to your answer

Why would you call it cheating? I used resources at my disposal to answer the question you proposed. I would say I used a smarter aproach than you, as it only took me a minute or two, where as you took 3-4 days, by your own admission I might say. How is doing research cheating, are you going liberal on us? ;)

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:20 PM

birdebyrd

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seems to be better written.

Feedin' the till, for the "Stimulus" Bill (since 1974)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:26 PM

Reaper308

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I agree birde

you win too. I shall refer to you as "the almighty" for the next day

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:32 PM

clintlebo

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I agree

We had the same answer, you were a faster typer!!

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:27 PM

Anonymous

???????????

5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:30 PM

clintlebo

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you did it Raper

I think we should call you enigma in a riddle surrounded by a quandry. You have confused the Snake.

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:31 PM

Reaper308

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snake

it was just a question, relax. you're not really lost in a forest. just take a deep breath, and try to stay calm. you should be in front of your computer now

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 5 weeks ago, 4:33 PM

clintlebo

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snake

You might ask Greasy, I heard he had an answer.

clint

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin & Hobbes)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:03 PM

Ebear

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OK BUT

DOES ANYONE WANNA BUY A......ER....SLIGHTLY USED GPS????

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 10:02 PM

mcliberty

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which way

I WOULD ASK HIM .IF HE KNEW JESUS,AND IF HE DID .WHICH WAY DID HE GO.?

5 years 5 weeks ago, 2:00 AM

Anonymous

you guys

need more work to do!i come on this site with a drink in one hand to relax and i have to do a bunch of math?WTF!my answer,post answer,is fuck it shoot them both and go back the way i came!a true country boy is never lost in the woods.

5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:15 PM

Ebear

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LOL

GREASE, YOU CRAZY BASTARD!!!!!

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:17 PM

samD

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ebear

Are you smiling? Did you get your company issued smile kit?

5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:24 PM

Ebear

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sam

not yet....i have'nt checked my emails yet..

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:41 PM

Ebear

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sam

just got my kit......it hurts to smile sometimes

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 7:49 PM

samD

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ebear

but now you can smile, all the time....

5 years 5 weeks ago, 8:21 PM

Ebear

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sam

that would make me gay

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 8:31 PM

samD

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ebear

You're Not gay? Damn, what's your excuse... I thought you were a backdoor man... Or is that just with the ladies and the cookie machine...

5 years 5 weeks ago, 8:37 PM

Ebear

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no sam

i am not gay, as far as a backdoor man.....sometimes i slip....ooops sorry

...check... G-AZ
5 years 5 weeks ago, 9:03 PM

birdebyrd

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Ask "Both" tribesman, would the liberal among you please direct me safely into town? Only one of them is going to answer, because one is always going to tell the truth, so he's either a conservative or a libertarian. Then just take the opposite road... okay, maybe not...

drop your wallet on the ground, and say "Would the fellow who dropped this point me in the safe direction", the one who claims the wallet to be his is the liberal, and thus will point you in the wrong direction

Feedin' the till, for the "Stimulus" Bill (since 1974)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 9:09 PM

James2213

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guitar you say

What kind of gibson is youre guitar

James W. Student Marksman Musician "Life is tough....It's even tougher if you're stupid". -John Wayne
5 years 5 weeks ago, 9:17 PM

birdebyrd

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Les Paul Studio,

Wine Red, 2004, probably a 9/10, I'd be willing to trade for the right firearm...

Feedin' the till, for the "Stimulus" Bill (since 1974)
5 years 5 weeks ago, 10:16 PM

James2213

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If you could would you kindly send me a picture of the instrument to james_darknight@live.com i would like to see a close up, profile view of the neck
i may or may not have any guns that i would be willing to trade in at the moment ahhhh but cash, indeed cash is always acceptible wouldn't ya say.

James W. Student Marksman Musician "Life is tough....It's even tougher if you're stupid". -John Wayne
5 years 5 weeks ago, 10:10 PM

James2213

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I would simply ask him for directions while i meticulously observe his pupile diolation so i can make a somewhat acceptable decision for my next move. or for a more not at all practical approach i would Kill the tribesman take his weopons and supplies and do a little recon on the nearby villages but that would most likely be a 50/50 loss too unnescisary termination of human life.

James W. Student Marksman Musician "Life is tough....It's even tougher if you're stupid". -John Wayne
5 years 5 weeks ago, 12:16 AM

runawaygun762

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Screw the road.

Go straight down the middle.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.

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