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Post No.: 0161puzzles

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

I think too much sometimes, and it occasionally keeps me up at night. Can you help me out with some of these personally perplexing puzzles? It’s only light-hearted really.

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

Puzzles? Sure pups, I love puzzles!

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

If one is to “expect the unexpected” then what was formerly unexpected now becomes the expected and no longer unexpected, hence one becomes no wiser about what to expect. So what sort of self-defeating advice is this?!

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

I think the point is that you won’t be able to figure out what is unexpected, so whatever potential outcomes you can think of, the phrase is claiming that the actual outcome won’t be one of those but something you won’t ever have thought of.

 

But then people don’t often use the phrase to literally mean ‘you won’t ever be able to even guess what might happen’ but to actually mean ‘anything can happen’.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

I think I comprehend. But if I ever think that I should not trust my own mind then does this mean that I should not trust my own mind that’s telling me to not trust my own mind?!

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

This appears to be another paradox so I’m not really sure. It certainly doesn’t mean you must trust your own mind in this particular case. It’s perhaps a bit like if someone lies about saying they’ve been lying, or tells the truth about having lied, it doesn’t therefore mean they always tell the truth. Evidently.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

Okay. If “a circle has no end” then it surely has no beginning either, or at least this beginning is now obscured and unidentifiable?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

The phrase suggests that something has existed since the beginning of time and will end at the end of time, or alternatively has existed since, and will last for, forever (whatever ‘time’ is and if there could strictly be a ‘forever’?) You cannot always take idioms literally!

 

But I suppose if a beginning of a circle exists but it’s just that it becomes obscured and unidentifiable, then I guess an end of a circle could exist too but it’s just that it’ll become obscured and unidentifiable too. When you draw a circle, say with a compass, you must start somewhere and you can end anywhere once when you return back to that point or beyond, and if done neatly, you won’t be able to tell where the line started and where it ended. So I suppose circles can have ends when using a circle to figuratively mean something that goes continually around and around. Something that travels along a closed loop can technically end at any point rather than have no end at all.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

“What goes up must come down.” No, some things break beyond escape velocity and will never probabilistically return back down to Earth, such as the Voyager space probes. So why do people say it?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

Yes, from the frame of reference of the centre of the Earth as being as ‘down’ as something can get – this is an example of ‘naïve physics’. Things that go up don’t necessarily have to come back down again due to gravity, unless every piece of matter in the universe will eventually collapse back into effectively the opposite of the Big Bang, in a ‘Big Crunch’. (Even so, there is no ‘centre of the universe’ like the centre of the Earth.) But the current evidence suggests the universe is ‘flat’ rather than ‘closed’ (this concerns the energy density of the universe), which would mean that the universe is going to keep expanding forever, and result in a ‘Big Freeze’ – at least according to the strongest theory right now.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

Talking about upwards and downwards – why do some people from the northern hemisphere joke that Australia is upside-down when they don’t therefore also joke that Singapore is sideways, Canada is on a bit of a cant, or indeed Uruguay is also upside-down?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

Everyone is biased to see things from their own perspective and personally think that they’re the ‘right’ way up. But it’s indeed just a joke… except for those who believe in a flat Earth, who are deadly serious about there only being one single way that’s up, and that many countries including Australia don’t exist. This is something that really puzzles myself because the empirical evidence from space clearly shows that they’re wrong!

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

Eggs came before chickens because dinosaurs, at least, laid eggs before chickens even existed – but did a chicken egg come before a chicken or did a chicken come before a chicken egg?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

This is a line-drawing problem and a question of when something changes from being one category of thing to another, as in when did an animal (sub)species or egg become classified as a ‘chicken’ or ‘chicken’s egg’ and not, or not of, the species it evolved from. This puzzle won’t have a clear clucking answer.

 

Now if you had asked the question ‘did a cock come before a hen?’ then I’d need clarification on what you mean regarding at least two of those words(!)

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

You’re sometimes a very naughty kitten!

 

…Conservation and rescuing animals that need conservation or rescuing may be fine, but if you really love animals then should you like seeing them contained in zoos rather than free in their own natural habitats?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

This one is one of those properly perplexing puzzles I’ll agree.

 

It matters how well we understand the habitats, habits and happiness levels of individual animals in captivity, and how well those conditions are emulated and how well the animals are taken care of in a zoo. A zoo may serve to inspire humans to care about other animals in the bigger picture so may bring a greater good.

 

But one does wonder how humans would feel about being held captive even if they were really happy and well looked after? And even if it encourages people to care about wild animals in the wider picture, it’s a dilemma between consequentialism versus individual rights.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

Lastly, if one is a tolerant person and preaches tolerance to others then should one also be tolerant to other people being intolerant?

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

Umm… I’m going to say no, because tolerance relates to people and things who and that don’t cause hate or harm in society.

 

Furrywisepuppy says:

 

Well these were just for jollification but thanks for your cogitations Fluffs. These puzzles are no longer quite as puzzling as they were before and I’ll sleep better tonight. Woof!

 

Fluffystealthkitten says:

 

Happy to cogitate with you at any time… except naptimes, party times and when I’m playing Tetris – I wanna see the rocket with the space shuttle lift off!

 

I’m sure my quick and initial thoughts for being put on the spot here won’t satisfy everyone so, as usual, feel free to add to or dispute any of these arguments by using the Twitter comment button below. Meow!

 

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