Thursday, October 14, 2004

I.Q. test

I was taking an online IQ test and was doing well until I encountered this question: "If some Wicks are Slicks, and some Slicks are Snicks, then some Wicks are definitely Snicks. Is this statement: 1) True 2) False 3) Neither." Well, the answer is obviously #2 because all we know is that some Wicks might be Snicks. We know nothing definitely. All Wicks might be Snicks, or none of them. But then I realized that #3 (Neither) could actually be true as well as #2 (False) because if the statement "some Wicks are definitely Snicks" is false, it is equivalent to saying that "some Wicks are definitely not Snicks," which is obviously false. Therefore #3 has to be true. And #1 (True) is true too, because if Truth is false, how can False be true? The true answer, then, must be all three. The sort of reasoning that got us into Iraq is of this wicksnicking variety. We knew there were Snicks out there and we wanted to stick them, but because they were so oil-slick we attacked the Wicks, knowing they were wicked and therefore some of them were definitely Snicks. So we smacked the sand-wicks and then snacked on sandwiches and Snickers. At this point I abandoned the IQ test, realizing that I had exceeded the time limit and in any case my efforts in achieving a high score would probably go unrewarded in this country under the present regime.


Anonymous said...

There is a role for literature that says that life is potentially amusing and that there are possibilities of goodness and kindness - that kindness needn't be dull but can be elevating and moving.

Eugenia said...

I think you're wrong. The word is not MAY, but ARE. This is DEFINITE. So it would be true.

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