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Are you smarter than a mathematician? - December 3, 2011
Rating: 3.2/5 (88 votes cast)
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Spiked Math Comic - Are you smarter than a mathematician?


Or you could simply copy his answer without verifying it :P

Side Note:  Patrick Vennebush is running an online version of his favorite game.
You can play the game using the following form:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dDNIUE5FaXJxRTdiNVBBb0labURFSlE6MQ#gid=0
The game is limited to the first 100 players.

The rules are simple:
  • Pick a positive integer (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, ...).
  • The winner is the person who picks the smallest number not chosen by anyone else.


Also, Hello Sam R.  :-)



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22 Comments

I think that it's "more correct" to consider 0 as a natural number (Set theory wise)

it definitely makes notation shorter
NU{0} and N, verus N and N+

I'm not sure about this game--but I'd like to imagine that mathematicians would get the right answer on the Monty Hall paradox.

Found this on the Internet:
1. there is an obscure number
2. then the obscure number becomes not obscure because of there is the smallest obscure number

I think that's roughly the same as the Berry Paradox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berry_paradox

Aha, the interesting number paradox. The first number to have no interesting properties has the interesting property of being the first number to have no interesting properties. :D

what about the set of all numbers that aren't the smallest number of any definable collection?

Should we call this a Gödel number?

No. This would be an anti-Zorn number.

True. The Gödel number would be the smallest anti-Zorn number.

And it might, or might not, exist.

This is why Fuzzy Sets were created.

Interesting. I had never come across Fuzzy sets--but they seem obvious to me.

I do like fuzzy logic--and fuzzy dice.

but there are uncoutable many uninteresting numbers in R.

I'm not so sure about that...

You can only name a countable infinite number of numbers (our language is countable), we can state that those others numbers have the interesting property that you can't name them xD

I came across a video of Ken Jennings on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader on YouTube the other day. You can't actually peek or copy on the $1,000,000 question.

You were still funny but technically inaccurate - isn't that a cardinal sin to a mathematician?? ;)

More likely an ordinal sin.

It's only ordinal if you are counting!

An SMS game show in my country used the "smallest unique number" game for selecting winners. The problem was that players were sent back a message stating if the number they picked was lower or higher than the current winning number. They probably did that to encourage people to send multiple messages (thus paying more for them), but someone abused those reports by connecting a bunch of phones to a computer and calculating the right number. That way, that person (actually a bunch of undercover people instead of him) repeatedly won the game day after day. Then he got sued.
True story.

The game is redundant. The answer is "No".

Perhaps "trivial" would be a better word for it.

Update!!

Also here: claim for update! :)

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