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March 24, 2015

The Greek Philosophers

One day three Greek philosophers settled under the shade of an olive tree, opened a bottle of Retsina, and began a lengthy discussion of the Fundamental Ontological Question: Why does anything exist?

After a while, they began to ramble. Then, one by one, they fell asleep.
While the men slept, three owls, one above each philosopher, completed their digestive process, dropped a present on each philosopher's forehead, the flew off with a noisy "hoot." Perhaps the hoot awakened the philosophers.
As soon as they looked at each other, all three began, simultaneously, to laugh.

Then, one of them abruptly stopped laughing. Why?


Secret Squïrrel said...

Let's call the one who stops laughing 'A'. He is a deep thinker, capable of thinking about other people's thinking - a "meta-thinker". We'll call the other two philosophers 'Susan' and '27'.

'A' sees that they are all laughing. She knows that 'Susan' is laughing because she can see the owl deposit on '27's head, and that '27' is laughing because she can see what is on 'Susan's head.

'A' knows that both 'Susan' and '27' are clever and that they should quickly realise that they have some bird poo on their own heads. This is because 'Susan' would wonder why '27' was laughing and then deduce that there must be something on their head, too (and, presumably, stop laughing). '27' would reason the same way.

However, they don't do this, which can only mean that 'Susan' thinks that '27' is laughing at what is on 'A's head (and that '27' thinks that Susan is also laughing at 'A').

Or, perhaps, the droppings slide down off 'A's head into her eye. I don't know, I wasn't there.

Anonymous said...

Let's call the one who stopped laughing Thinker and the others A and B. The Thinker saw the dropping on A but not on B, and was laughing. And noticed that A and B are both laughing. So Thinker reasoned that if I do not have the bird dropping on my head, A should not have laughed. So I must have the dropping. As soon as he realized that, he stopped laughing.

Anonymous said...

The one who stopped laughing realized that the laughing left their mouths open for the owl present to drip into.

yoloswag2ez said...

He finally know 'Why does anything exist?'