John notes there are a number of ‘Bertrand’s’

The Philosopher

The Musician

The Wine Maker

… to name but three. But none of these had a paradox. Well - at least not a paradox called Bertrand’s Paradox. (via Futility Closet).

But … this chap is unclear as to why it is a paradox, since the two problems aren’t actually identical. In fact, this chap is having a hard time reconciling the paradox as described by Futility Closet with that described by Wikipedia.

This chap believes that the Futility Closet example is a specific case of the general case described by the Wikipedia article - and why he has such a hard time understanding why it was a paradox at all was because it so obviously fell into the solution set described in the same Wikipedia article called Jaynes’s solution using the “maximum ignorance” principle. (hit the link and scroll down)

By the way - this chap does know that there is a way to link directly to a part of a Wikipedia article - but for some reason - that format doesn’t seem to be delivering the goods as he writes. (Even this?, adds the Other Chap)

Separately, the dichotomy described by the Futility Closet article is so obviously not a dichotomy that he wonders how it came to appear as an article to begin with. Or is this chap missing something?

Of course - it is also clear that this principle is currently being employed to ‘great’ effect by the current White House.

Graham adds…

…that in case any of our readers feel this piece is not going, and indeed cannot go, anywhere, allow this Chap to agree with you, and to prove the point by introducing you to the classic Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. It is held by some, especially over-educated Tykes, to be nothing more than a generalization of that great English teeth-sucking statement, “You can’t get there from here…” But that, surely, is Another Thing altogether.

February 21, 2017