Archive for May 2012
Five rational and extremely greedy pirates, ranked from most senior to most junior, have 76 gold coins to divide amongst themselves. They have agreed to use the following method to divide them, and we know that they will all abide by the final result:
The most senior pirate will propose a split, and all the pirates will vote on it. If 50% or more vote for the proposal, then they split the coins as proposed, otherwise the most senior pirate has to walk the plank and the next most senior pirate will propose a split to begin the system again.
However, apart from this agreement, the pirates do not trust each other and they will not make or honour any other agreement. The pirates are also a murderous lot, and would rather another pirate walked the plank so long as they got the same number of coins themselves. Knowing all this and that all of the other pirates know it too, what should the most senior pirate propose so that he gets as much treasure as possible?
Actually, I tell a lie. Intelligence is not just one skill, but rather a collection of closely related skills and habits. Skills and habits that anyone can learn. Really? Isn’t that a rather bold statement? I say not at all – but an explanation might be helpful. What do you think?
Mr and Mrs Smith are having a dinner party, and have invited Mr and Mrs Armstrong, Mr and Mrs Brown, Mr and Mrs Cuthbert and Mr and Mrs Dixon. As people arrive, they shake hands, always keeping to the following rules of etiquette:
- No one shakes their own hand
- No one shakes their partners hand
- No pair shakes hands more than once
After the dinner, Mr Smith asked everyone how many times they had shaken hands this evening, and discovered that they had all done it a different number of times.
How many times did Mrs Smith shake hands?
My smartphone is amazing. It checks my email, lets me Skype my friends and, with the combined power of GPS and apps using OpenStreetMap, it mostly stops me getting lost. But as well as making my life easier and more convenient, it ultimately makes it better too. And I’m not talking about Angry Birds or Instragram. I’m talking about apps that help me eat better, be happier and wake up refreshed and full of energy.
I love puzzles, here are a couple of I’ve come across recently. One needs some statistical knowledge to find a solution, the other is all logic. Please post your solutions in the comments, and your favourite puzzles too!
“You can meditate? Wow, that is amazing!”
[This is version 2 of the essay I had on an old version of my other site, updated with some new insight]
Sleep is wonderful, but there is so much else (Mandarin, FiloThought, reading, dancing, thinking, blogging, writing, work, walking, exercise and more) and it’s all so wonderful too, so sleeping’s actually quite a low priority for me. A bit like house work actually – it has to be done, but I don’t want to spend more time on it than I have to. That’s the goal then: To sleep as little as is sustainably possible.