“Plagiarism: stealing from one person to feed another. Merely a conduit. Requiring no more talent, and being no more meaningful, than the cable delivering the talent to the TV set.”
1. Every year, without fail, Tony Boyce has turned up an hour late the day when Daylight Saving begins. You can set your sundial by it. However, he didn’t turn up at all this time. He is not yet allowed to leave his maximum security aged care home. Your scribe visited him and he says hello to you all. He misses Speakers’ Corner and heckling Helmut.
Don’t count on Tony not coming back sometime, Helmut!
2. Passer-by Jenny Lowe got up to speak. She spoke about DNA and explained how it was integral to life. She also said it is too complex to have arisen on Earth; it must have come from outer space. That prompted Peter the Younger to ask a question or two.
Jenny has written a book, “Are you ready . . .?” and she kindly sold a few of us copies. It might come in handy because in it she reveals the identity of the anti-Christ.
Your scribe was lucky enough to get a copy, but I won’t be revealing the identity of the anti-Christ any time in the near future. You can buy your own copy.
Hint: it’s not Bindi Irwin.
3. Philip came again! He is becoming a regular heckler and speaker. He was again persuaded to say a few words on the Ladder of Knowledge, and he had three topics. One was about the brain. ‘Is it simply a communications system that connects each part of the body?’ he wanted to know, ‘like a telephone system?’ (Or something like that, anyway.)
And, Philip explained why autonomous vehicles will allow greater public nudity. And, he suggested that joining the 20 Centimetre Club might become commonplace.
Philip also wanted to know: “Why aren’t fire escapes slippery dips?”
One very good thing about Philip: he chooses unusual, original topics that attract our interest immediately.
4. Bertrand’s Box Paradox.
Three boxes, labeled A, B & C. In one box are two gold coins. In another, two silver coins. The third: one gold coin and one silver coin. Jenny is asked to guess which box has the gold and silver coins. Jenny points to box C. What is the chance she is correct? Answer: 1 in 3.
So far, so good.
One coin is taken from box C and it is seen to be a silver coin. It is then put back into the box. Again we ask: “What is the chance that the box contains a gold and silver coin?” (In other words, what is the chance that the other coin is gold?) Is the answer 1 in 3, or 1 in 2? (After all, we can eliminate the box with two gold coins.)
The answer, counter-intuitively, is still 1 in 3.
One way to look at the problem is: “What is the chance that Jenny chose the only box with coins of a different colour?” Obviously the answer would 1 in 3, and just because we happen to see one of the coins doesn’t change anything; it’s still 1 in 3.
But to please the doubters, let’s change the question to the more commonly asked question: “What is the chance the other coin is also silver?” (Again, we can eliminate the box with two gold coins.) Is the answer 1 in 2? 1 in 3? Or 2 in 3?
Again, counter-intuitively the answer is 2 in 3.
Consider: “What is the chance that two coins of the same colour were chosen?” The answer is obviously 2 in 3. And, just because we happen to see one of the coins doesn’t change anything; the answer will still be 2 in 3.
This scribe is obliged to suggest to Mr B that from now on he go easier on his poor befuddled grasshoppers. Again they were hopelessly out of their depth. Not so much for getting the answer wrong, but for having the temerity to suggest that Mr B himself was wrong.
5. Here is another enthralling chapter from Mr B’s book for young people. Is his book a self-help book? No, it’s a pre-self-help book. Its purpose is to help young people become adults who don’t need self-help books. What presses your button?
7. Other topics discussed:
– Mr B spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of having a one world government. Peter the Younger was sceptical about the advantages, to say the least.
Later, Philip also spoke about the nature of what a one world government might be like.
– Joe asked a question about whether the mind is human, or what is the mind?, or something like that, but Mr B was flummoxed by the question (as is your scribe). It was Mr B’s turn to be out of his depth and he admitted it. He gave a lame answer and moved on.
– Is it a bad sign for someone when he rescues a fruit fly from a bathroom and puts it outside? And opens all his doors to let blowflies escape, instead of swatting them?
– What’s the secret about the almonds next to Tony’s bed?
– Recurring dreams.
– Swedish health care was compared with Chinese health care.
8. This week’s unusual creature in our Unusual Critter Series is the Colugo, a close relative of the primates found in South East Asia. This particular one has given our Facebook page five stars.