People Break Down The Best Paradoxes They Know

Who likes having their brains tickled?


These paradoxes aren't going to wreck the universe (Loki says "What's up?") but they will give you something to think about for the rest of the day. Got a boring boss or a small child who won't stop talking about their favorite character from Paw Patrol? Give these a shot.

Reddit user, u/Exia174, wanted to know how to break their brain when they asked:

What are some paradoxes that make your brain hurt?

Starting with the basics, a good paradox has to be able to loop backwards on itself, infinitely creating a situation that will never resolve itself.

Everyone Watched "Loki," Right?

"Make a time machine and kill your grandfather. Your dad isn't born and so you aren't born. You can't make the time machine meaning your grandfather isn't killed and your dad was born and so you were born and it loops. Forever. Never ending"

Dr_Strange_Jnr

"Hence the "creation of a parallel universe" theory. The OG universe/timeline in which your grandfather is still alive exists, but now so does a second one, beginning from the moment where you go back in time. In one of those timelines/universes, the main of which is the one where your grandpapi is alive, with the other being a branch indirectly created by you, in which you do not exist, since your grandpapi died before having a kid."

AjeebMaut

Everyone Watched "WandaVision," Right?

"If you slowly replaced a ship with different parts, would it remain the same ship?"

Gamer1032

"This axe has been in the family for two hundred years. The handle has been replaced three times and the head five times."

reversehead

Everyone Played "Ocarina of Time," Right?

"adult Link learns the Song of Storms from the man in the windmill, who is angry because a kid played it once and messed everything up."

"Link goes back in time to play the song as young Link and becomes the kid who messes everything up."

"Where the hell does the Song of Storms come from?"

endriago97

"The good ol' bootstrap paradox."

DraconicLore

On the other hand, a good paradox should be complete with an impossible situation with no resolution.

Frustrating? Sure. Fun to try to solve?

No. Not always.

That's. What. I. TRIED.

"Password incorrect - change password - you can't use the same password"

Silymorn

"It was your password 2 or 3 passwords ago."

burnmelt

Is Time A Linear Thing?

"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."

Superbad1990

"It's not as simple as time being a linear thing without beginning or end. If you allow for time not existing prior to the Big Bang, this particular paradox goes away. Time itself is a very slippery thing to conceptualise once you dig into it."

thermidorthelobster

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What Do You Want Me To Do?

"as a chid being scolded and told:"

"mind your own business"

"and"

"you only think about yourself"

"so which is it? what do you want me to do???"

toasterbathparty

And then there's these, paradoxes so tightly wound around themselves you'd be hard pressed to find any kind of logical outcome. Unless, of course, you already know the answer, right?

There Might Actually Be A Way Around This One...

"To get experience you need job. To get job you need experience."

Super-Noodles

"As someone who has been on the hiring end of a lot of these decisions, I like to give this little tidbit when I see people bring this up. When a prospective employer is describing the requirements to fill an open position, don't think of that list as an absolute list of non-negotiable requirements. Think of it as a list of preferences for their ideal candidate. Ideally, everyone wants a new employee with experience. In reality, and especially nowadays with the employment market, sometimes the best applicant doesn't have much, or even any, experience, and that's okay from an employer's perspective."

"As long as they have an applicant that they like and think can do the job (and has the necessary licensure if needed), that's enough. So, if you see a job you want, but don't meet all the "requirements," apply anyway. If you are asked about the lack of experience in a specific area in an interview, explain what you do know about it (from reading online), explain how you are eager to learn more, and describe any tangentially-related experience you might have. You will be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities this approach opens up in your job hunt."

MyWifeDontKnowItsMe

The Data Never Lies, Right?

"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."

Deracination

"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."

ActualGiantPenguin

Dang...

"What would happen if Pinnochio said, "my nose will grow now"?

StrangerUsed7905

Life isn't always easy to navigate.

But sometimes that makes it more fun. Find your own answers and break through.

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