- Posted by Paul Gowder on April 12th, 2009 filed in dredging for comments by posting about sex, humor, philosophy
- 12 Comments »
I have simply got to try this, in a really nerdy bar somewhere.
Suppose a man flirts with a woman and then asks her, “Will you solemnly promise to give me right now your telephone number if I make a true statement and, conversely, not give me your number if I make a false statement?”
Maybe he can soften the statement a bit, but let’s assume that this is its gist.
Feeling that this is a flattering and benign request, the woman promises to give him her number if and only if he makes a true statement.
The man then makes his statement: “You will neither give me your telephone number now nor will you sleep with me tonight.”
What’s the trick? Note that she can’t give him her number since, if she were to do so, his statement would be made false, and so she would have broken her promise to give him her number only if he made a true statement. (This is the crux of it.) Therefore, she must not give him her number under any circumstances.
But if she also refuses to sleep with him, his statement becomes true, and this would require her to give him her number.
The only way she can keep her promise is to sleep with him so that his statement becomes false. The woman’s seemingly innocuous promise ensnares her.
I think this would only work if one likes the kind of women I like, to whom this would be funny enough to cancel out the skeeviness.
However, Paulos, who wrote the aforementioned plan ‘o seduction, missed a subtlety: suppose the sex is good, and you want a repeat performance? She still can’t give you her phone number! Perhaps this is where e-mail steps in to save the day.
Happy Zombie Jesus Day. Change genders as preferred to make this neither sexist nor heteronormative.