Do you have a favorite paradox?
One that thrills you, perplexes you, and maybe even frustrates you?
Well, if not, maybe you’ll get some good ideas from these folks!
What paradoxes make your brain hurt?
AskReddit users shared their thoughts.
1. Come on!
You can’t use the same password.”
“A Terminator is sent back in time.
Some bits and pieces from it is used to build what becomes Skynet which again produces the Terminators.”
“Simpson’s paradox is one I struggle to fully wrap my head around.
The basic idea is that a bunch of groups can all show one trend, but when combined, show the opposite trend.
It makes sense in simple contrived examples, but when it comes to actually spotting it and fully considering the implications, my brain starts to stop working.”
4. History lesson.
“World War 1 was the first armed conflict where almost all of the soldiers were equipped with a helmet.
Head injuries stats went trough the roof. How can protected heads get injured more?
Well, those injuries would have been lethal without helmets.”
“To get experience you need job.
To get job you need experience.”
6. Nerd alert!
“The Paradox of Gabriel’s Horn.
A horn of infinite length and infinite surface area has a volume of pi.
Math is so f**king cool. I wish I would have pursued it in college.
My field has better job prospects and I find it interesting but math is just… f**king fascinating.”
“Does my migraine give me neck pain or does my neck pain give me migraines?
This has been literally hurting my brain.”
“When a teacher asked you why you were late…
But didn’t want to hear excuses.”
9. Who am I?
“All our cells in our body are replaced all the time, some live for a few hours and some for months before being replaced by new cells.
Are you the same person?”
10. I’m confused.
“That there had to be a beginning to the universe, but what came before the beginning? What came before that?
Don’t give me Big Bang.
Something led up to that too.
There had to be a beginning but at the same time there couldn’t have ever been a beginning.”
11. Who’s in charge here?
“Studies have shown brain activity up to 10 minutes before a person decides to do something.
As in, they have a person hooked up and are recording his brain patterns. They see activity in a certain part of the brain associated with actions, and ten minutes later, the person picks up a glass of water.
This is part of Sam Harris’s thesis on why we don’t actually have free will. We aren’t even aware of how our decision making process works.
And the part that leaves my brain struggling is…if I’m not in my drivers seat, who the hell is?”
12. SAT scores.
“One real-world example was SAT scores in the United States in the late 20th century.
People started panicking in the early ’80s because average SAT scores showed a downward trend, leading to the idea that public schools in the U.S. were failing.
Turns out, if you broke down students into subgroups like race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, academic performance, etc, the average scores of each subgroup were actually improving.
Average scores as a whole were getting lower because, since college was getting more accessible, more students from traditionally lower-scoring subgroups were taking the SAT – e.g. students from poor households, students with mediocre grades, etc.
The supposed crisis did not exist.”
13. Caught in a loop.
“The Grandfather Paradox is for sure the one that makes mine hurt the most.
Since you k**led your grandfather one of your parents aren’t born so you’re not born but since you’re not born you never travel back in time to k**l your grandfather so you’ll exist.
However since you were born you have the ability to go back in time and k**l your grandfather. It’s a never ending loop.
It could, however, possibly be explained due to the idea of parallel timelines and universes where it branches off from the “original” timeline/universe.”
Are there some paradoxes that make your brain hurt?
If so, share them with us in the comments.
Thanks a lot!