Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
July 2020
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An answer to one of life’s big mysteries – Part 2

Okay, it was a clever solution — or so I thought — but I forgot a key condition.

My “The barber was a woman” was, as some* of you realised, my novel solution to the famous problem of “Who shaves the barber if the barber shaves all those, and only those, who don’t shave themselves?”.

In fact, this colloquial version of Russell’s paradox, should, apparently, include the requirement that everyone concerned is male. I’d forgotten that.

And having just looked up Russell’s paradox in Wikipedia I discover that I am not the first to propose the “the barber was a woman” solution.

My genius is all too frequently belated or missing some key point. 🙂

* well, at least one

2 comments to An answer to one of life’s big mysteries – Part 2

  • Caro

    As someone who has never heard this paradox before, can I make a tentative suggestion? (Assuming that there is a solution, which may or may not be available somewhere on the net, or even on wikipedia, but if so, I haven’t looked- promise 🙂

    The barber could still shave himself, couldn’t he? Because it only says that the barber shaves all those who do not shave themselves, and there is no statement about what happens to those who do shave themselves (because if the barber shaved all those who do NOT shave themselves, and also shaves himself, it still satisfies the logic of the original statement)

    • Helen

      Ooops. My genius is again tripped up by forgetting some ultra-important thing! (Clearly claims of my genius are greatly exaggerated.) In colloquialising the statement of the Barber Paradox I omitted to say that the barber not only shaves all those who don’t shave themselves but shaves ONLY those who don’t shave themselves. I have amended the offending statement in the original post, at the risk of now making Caro look wrong … BUT SHE WAS RIGHT WHEN SHE WAS RESPONDING TO THE ORIGINAL RUBBISH I WROTE!
      I knew I shouldn’t have attempted this blog post after a weekend Scout activity …

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