[thechat] Math was Mythology was comics

matthew garrett matthew.garrett at snet.net
Thu May 24 01:37:39 CDT 2001

> From: Andrew Forsberg <andrew at thepander.co.nz>

> I've only a vague concept of Gödel's proof of the incompleteness of
> mathematics, but I'm a whole lot more sure of 1 + 1 = 2 than 'the
> world looks like it was designed, therefore it is -- and that
> designer is my god.'

Sure, but can you explain this?
(from http://www.karplus.org/eli/puzzles/ )

It is a dark and stormy night when three travelers must stop in hotel. They
approach the front desk, where the front desk clerk informs them of the rate
of $30 for three men in one room. The men each hand over a $10 bill for a
total of $30. They are given a key and go to their room. Moments later, the
manager is informed of the transaction and reprimands the clerk, reminding
him of the 3 men/1 room special of $25 a night. The manager asks the clerk
to refund the $5 to the men. Taking five $1 bills from the register, he goes
to the men's room and knocks on the door. While he waits for the men to come
to the door, he realizes a problem. How can he divide the 5 $1 bills evenly
among the men? When they answer the door, he tells them that there was a
special that night and that the total bill only came to $27. He gave them
each $1 as a refund, and the sneaky clerk made off with $2 for himself.
Though it seems everyone came out a winner, a problem occurs. In the
beginning, $30 was paid. In the end, however, the men had paid a collective
$27, and the clerk had $2. $27 + $2 =$29, not $30. The question is: where is
the missing dollar?

I'd like to think i can figure it out on my own, but no luck so far - and
it's sleepy time.

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