Sunday, October 11, 2009

caltech logic

Walking along the Palo Alto farmer's market with C3, my friend from Caltech.

Me: "Guess who was on the same flight as me two weeks ago? I'll give you ten yes-or-no questions."

C3: "Is it someone I know from Caltech?"

Me: "Yes."

C3: "Is it someone in your graduating class?"

Me: "Yes."

C3: "Ah, now I must be able to guess it, because there are fewer than 257 people in your graduating class."



C3: "This is going to yield less than one bit of information, but ... is it a guy?"

Me: "No."

C3: "Oh! That was more than 1 bit of information."


(He didn't guess it in the end.)


ArC said...

Wow, that took me a moment. Kudos to C3.

(and I doubt I would have thought to employ such a process.)

ArC said...

On further thought, I think the first question should be a partition by house, and then by gender, before working through names.

Anonymous said...


ArC said...

On even further thought, it's clear I forgot what a yes-no question is.

writer said...

I can't believe C3 failed.

Anonymous said...

unbelievable....he must have wasted a bit or two somewhere.