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Oh yeah, this was a problem on *lateral thinking* proposed in my creative design course.

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898 Posts

i hate math but this looks like something I have come across in my programming classes once.

A = B

B = C

A != C

How is this possible?

Post your answer/guess and how long it took to figure it out!

My answer/guess is that since we don't know the values of A or B or C. We can say that A != C. We can prove by plugging in values.

Suppose B = 1, and C= 2. I don't think it matters what A is.

A = 1

1 = 2 (which is not true)

1 != 2 (which is true)

Ha, I am probably wrong but I guessed. Give me points for that!

Hmm, I just sort looked at it and came up with my answer/guess. Maybe a minute?

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3,984 Posts

not exactly:

a is b

b is c

a is not c

a is b

b is c

a is not c

I'll just re-post this.

For example:

All whales are fish. (A is B)

All fish are non-mammals. (B is C)

Therefore, whales are non-mammals. (We know this is false, A!=C)

In this case, the major premise, A is B, is false. This gives us A!=C.

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7,577 Posts

Quote:

Actually, I've got no idea either

Don't worry your pretty little head about it

Actually, I've got no idea either

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898 Posts

The '=' sign made me think - A is EQUAL to B. Like with two numbers.

Oh well, I gave it a shot.

Oh well, I gave it a shot.

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5,810 Posts

I assume by "A = B" does not mean actually the value of A is the value of B.

So I could say this:

The value of A is "a dog"

The value of B is "a type of mammal"

The value of C is "a cat"

So another way to put:

A = B

B = C

A != C

Is

A dog is a type of mammal.

A type of mammal is a cat.

A dog is not a cat.

That's the best I can come up with this late.

They all equal one.

a=b or 1=1

b=c or 1=1

and a!=c or 1!=1

a=b or 1=1

b=c or 1=1

and a!=c or 1!=1

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7,858 Posts

I don't think troub is using ! to represent a factorial. Rather he is using != to mean 'not equal to'. Crazy programming notation is confusing people, troub!

yeah I have no idea. I'll think about it though.

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3,984 Posts

from Wikipedia:

"Techniques that apply lateral thinking to problems are characterised by the shifting of thinking patterns away from entrenched or predictable thinking to new or unexpected ideas."

Basically thinking simply and outside the box.

We automatically start thinking of numbers when we see the variables a,b,c,etc. that we miss that it could be possible that the variables could easily represent other things entirely.

There was an episode on Mythbusters that was a great example of lateral thinking. It involved the task of dropping an egg from the rooftop to the sidewalk below without it breaking, and only using items from a certain list. One of the guys built a complicated device with all the items, some sort of bungee styrofoam cup thingie that didn't work to great. The other guy just tied the string and tape around the egg and lowered it slowly up to a few centimeters above the ground, and dropped it from there.

Or once I tried to solve a cryptogram by representing everything with numbers and basically spent a few hours on it - when the whole time it was just each letter was shifted a few to the right (or something as simple).

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poincare's paradox

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