We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What is your favorite paradox? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. “I don’t like that place – no one goes there anymore because it’s always too crowded.”
2. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Every time you gain a greater understanding of something, it creates even more questions than it answers.
3. You need job experience to get a job, but to have the experience you must get a job.
4. When I was in art class we had an assignment to paint a paradox or oxymoron. I didn’t paint anything, handed in a blank canvas titled “Completed Assignment” and got an A.
5. If you make a New Year’s resolution not to keep any New Year’s resolutions:
Would you keep it?
6. Pilots can get out of combat duty if they are psychologically unfit, but anyone who tries to get out of combat duty proves he is sane.
7. Ocarina of Time bootstrap paradox.
As a child, you meet a happy man in a windmill.
Time travel so you are an adult you meet the same man who is angered by a child who played a song that summoned a storm that caused the windmill to drain a nearby well. He teaches you the song.
Travel back in time and you play the song at the windmill, causing the above events.
Where did the song come from? Where did the cycle begin?
8. My favorite is this:
If you randomly guess at this multiple choice question what are the odds you get it right?
the solution is there is no right answer, we can prove this by condition:
case 1: the “right” answer is 25% well then you have a 50% chance of choosing 25 so then the right answer is not 25
case 2: the “right” answer is 50% well then you have a 25% chance of choosing 50 so that can’t be right
case 3: the “right” answer is 0% well then you have a 25% chance of choosing that so that’s not right
so there is no right answer! Even though it feels like there should be.
9. The paradox of being a parent: the days & nights are long & hard, yet the years fly by.
10. The Pogo Paradox. Where an event is caused by the very attempts to prevent it.