Thrawn Rickle 69
© 2004 Williscroft
Let’s put things in perspective first. I started out The
Puzzle Machine or What is a Chicken, Exactly? with a riddle. Here it is
Three people go together to a prix fix
restaurant. They pay $30 to the maître d’ and go to their table. But
the restaurant is having a special: “Three for $25,” so the maître
d’ sends a waiter to their table with five $1 bills. On the way to the
table the waiter reasons that $5 would be difficult to share among three
people so he pockets $2 and gives $1 to each person. Since each person
originally paid $10 and got back $1, each ultimately paid $9, totaling $27.
The waiter has $2, totaling $29. What happened to the remaining dollar?
A couple of you contacted me with consternation. I
have no idea how many of you simply looked at the riddle, and went on. In any
case, here is the solution.
I mislead you just like a stage magician redirects
your attention to something other than what is actually happening. I totaled
the three $9 payments to $27, and then added the $2 the waiter kept to this
total. There was no justification for me to do this. While it certainly is
possible to sum these two numbers, the sum means nothing. What really
The guys paid $30, and the maître d’ gave
them $5 back, so the restaurant actually received $25. Each guy got a dollar
back, BUT each should have received $1.67 back, which means that each should
have paid only $8.33, NOT $9. The extra $.67 each paid went into the
waiter’s pocket, so the $2 should have been SUBTRACTED from the $27 the
three guys paid to get to the $25 the meal actually cost. Adding the $2 to the
$27 made no logical sense at all, BUT it made a great puzzle.
Misdirection—it’s a great tool when you really
have nothing to say. The Left uses it all the time. A favorite variation is
for them to set up a “straw man” argument. Here they present as part of
their opponent’s point of view some element taken entirely out of context,
or exaggerated, or otherwise distorted, so that it can easily be refuted, just
as a straw man can easily be blown away. And by implication, then, their
opponent’s argument is also refuted.
Back in the mid 1960s, I was a student at University
of Washington. I got to know several of the campus leftist agitators. I had
one conversation with the leader of the most radical of these groups, a guy
who had lead 5,000 students down the “Ave,” breaking and looting as they
marched. In that conversation he revealed to me that he had received his
training at a special camp outside Moscow, and that he and hundreds of others
had bees assigned to universities across the country to cause as much mayhem
as possible. He explained that a significant part of his training was to
construct such “straw man” arguments so that the typical American college
student would be hard pressed to discover the deception. History shows just
how successful these guys were.
The far left has been discredited forever by the
fall of the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, and the demise of the Soviet Union.
But while the average guy can be educated, just remember that stupid is
forever, and so some poor fools still cling to a system that can never work.
Oh yes—A chicken? A chicken is an egg’s way of
making another egg…I thought everyone knew this.