There is an island upon which a tribe resides. The tribe consists of 1000 people, with various eye colours. Yet, their religion forbids them to know their own eye color, or even to discuss the topic; thus, each resident can (and does) see the eye colors of all other residents, but has no way of discovering his or her own (there are no reflective surfaces). If a tribesperson does discover his or her own eye color, then their religion compels them to commit ritual suicide at noon the following day in the village square for all to witness. All the tribespeople are highly logical and devout, and they all know that each other is also highly logical and devout (and they all know that they all know that each other is highly logical and devout, and so forth).
Of the 1000 islanders, it turns out that 100 of them have blue eyes and 900 of them have brown eyes, although the islanders are not initially aware of these statistics (each of them can of course only see 999 of the 1000 tribespeople).
One day, a blue-eyed foreigner visits to the island and wins the complete trust of the tribe.
One evening, he addresses the entire tribe to thank them for their hospitality.
However, not knowing the customs, the foreigner makes the mistake of mentioning eye color in his address, remarking “how unusual it is to see another blue-eyed person like myself in this region of the world”.
What effect, if anything, does this faux pas have on the tribe?
It helps to make the numbers smaller.
There are ten people on the island, one blue eyed, the rest brown. The guest says it’s nice to see another blue-eyed person. Blue-eye kills himself the next day because he can see nine brownies, thus the guest must be talking about him.
Next up. Ten people, two blueys, eight brownies. The guest stirs shit up. bluey1 thinks the guest could be talking about bluey2, so does not kill himself. bluey2 thinks the same thing, so does not kill himself. When neither kills himself the next day, they both know that the other bluey must be seeing another bluey, or they would have offed themselves! Which means that since they both see eight brownies, they must both be the other bluey. Both kill themselves on day+2.
Now back to the original numbers:
Assume (and given the premises we’re dished, this isn’t a far cry) that these villagers all know one another. So you have two cases:
1. Villager is brown-eyed. He looks at (or devoutly recalls) the eyes of his 999 friends and neighbors and knows that 100 of them have blue eyes and 899 have brown. His own eyes, he does not know; if he is brown-eyed, there are 100 blue-eyes. If he is blue-eyed, there are 101 blue-eyes.
2. Villager is blue-eyed. He knows that there are 900 brown-eyes and 99 blue-eyes, and him. If he is brown-eyed, there are 99 blue-eyes. If he is blue-eyed, there are 100 blue-eyes.
So browns know there are between 100 and 101 blue-eyeses; blues know there are between 99 and 100.
Following the stated induction solution, any given blue will know that there will be a mass suicide on the 99th day if he’s not a blue-eye; and so on the 99th day he doesn’t not commit suicide, as he still doesn’t know his eye-color. Thereafter, when there is no suicide (because every blue-eye has to this point reasoned thus), he will know there are not 99 but 100 blue-eyes, and that he must therefore be a blue-eye. So he kills himself on day 100.
Each brown-eyes has been, by the same reasoning, sweating the hell out of day 100 and hoping (if hating himself for it) that all the blue-eyes he knows kill themselves that day, because he has reasoned that if day 100 isn’t a mass suicide, there must be a 101st blue-eye. And that’d be him, and he’d be killing himself on day 101.
And the day after the mass suicide, each brown-eye realizes the color of his own eyes is brown, and promptly kills himself.
Sounds logical, right?
Unfortunately, it is also wrong. Let’s go back to the smaller numbers, because I fooled you all with the “Etc” bit.
So — another example ten people, four blueys, six brownies. The guest stirs shit up.
Day one rolls around and everyone on the island can see at least see at LEAST three blueys. Let’s call them A, B, and C. Any given observer will reach the following conclusions:
A can see both B and C so he has no reason to suspect that he’s a bluey
B can see both A and C so he has no reason to suspect that he’s a bluey
C can see both A and B so he has no reason to suspect that he’s a bluey
Because of this mutual deadlock nobody is expected to commit suicide and nobody does.
Day two rolls around and the same deadlock exists.
Day three ….
Day four …
Day five …
In short, when you have at least four blueys, you immediately reach the point where no one is committing suicide and everybody knows why that is. And it doesn’t matter how many days pass.
Or, to put it another way: the tourist didn’t give them any new information at all, so why should things change?
BARKLEY: Hey, I live in Arizona. I have got great respect for Senator McCain. Great respect. But I don’t like the way the Republicans are taking this country. Every time I hear the word “conservative,” it makes me sick to my stomach, because they’re really just fake Christians, as I call them. That’s all they are. But I just — I’m going to vote Democratic no matter what. [..]
BLITZER: All right. One quick point before I let you go. You used the phrase “fake Christians” for conservatives. Explain what you’re talking about.
BARKLEY: Well, I think they — they want to be judge and jury. Like, I’m for gay marriage. It’s none of my business if gay people want to get married. I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like their Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all.
BLITZER: So you’re going to get a lot of feedback on this one, Charles.
BARKLEY: They can’t do anything to me. I don’t work for them.
Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.
City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.
In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.
A safer alternative is Chicken Shit Bingo.
CAIRO’S al-Azhar Islamic University has suspended a lecturer who suggested men and women work colleagues could use symbolic breastfeeding to get around a religious ban on being alone together.
The lecturer, Ezzat Atiya, had drawn on Islamic traditions that forbid sexual relations between a man and a woman who has breastfed him to suggest that symbolic breastfeeding could be a way around strict segregation of males and females.
Mr Atiya’s unusual opinion was widely publicised by Arabic-language satellite television channels and featured in a discussion in the Egyptian parliament.
The Dubai-based channel Al Arabiya quoted him as saying after five breastfeedings the man and woman could be alone together without violating Islamic law and the woman could remove her headscarf to reveal her hair.
From the Wiki:
Radā or ridā’a is a technical term from Islamic jurisprudence meaning “the suckling which produces the legal impediment to marriage of foster-kinship”. The term derives from the infinitive noun of the Arabic language word radi’a or rada’a (“he sucked the breast of his mother”). Often it is translated as “fosterage” or “milk-kinship“.
The concept of radā derives from Islamic and pre-Islamic notions concerning the state of consanguinity created between wet nurse and unrelated nursling — that is, a baby and a woman other than its mother — through the act of breastfeeding. Radā also defines the links between various relations and family members of both wet nurse and baby, such that not only are the two forbidden in marriage to one another, but so are their relations in various combination (e.g. the nursling’s biological brother with the milk-mother’s biological daughter). Conversely, the milk-relationship allows usually forbidden familiarities between the two, particularly if the nursling is male and of adult stature, such as viewing the milk-mother unveiled or in private, exactly as if he were a relation. As such the ritualistic suckling of an adult male by a woman may be performed if it is advantageous or necessary for the two (or the male and a female relation of the wet nurse) to have more intimate contact than is normally allowed under Islam between unrelated adults of the opposite sex.
What kind of fucked up trickster God has loopholes in his ridiculously over-specific laws? I mean, would you really want to worship such a God? “Sorry, Aziz, it says right here in Paragraph 47 subparagraph 56a of the Tittysuckin’ Accords that you must BURN IN THE LAKE OF FIRE!” If this is to be believed, they’re basically worshipping a cosmic asshole lawyer.
One of the challenges of interface design is to reduce computer administrative debris while maintaining a high standard of usability. Of course, the difficulty of this challenge is related to the complexity of the application. Pro apps are going to have more computer administrative debris than consumer apps simply because they have more features. The iPhone and Apple TV-type applications have it easy in this sense, because their users are mostly browsing content. The developers don’t often need to provide them with a context to adjust or create the content. Most desktop apps, on the other hand, are all about providing that context. Still, there are some things that desktop application developers can do to trim the amount of debris on their interfaces.
According to China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in China, roughly 400,000 unlocked iPhones were operating on its cellular network by the end of 2007.
That’s one out of ten iPhones sold… and something tells me these phones aren’t roaming in China with an AT&T subscription…