3AM thought

A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

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UniMatrix
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:01 am UTC

3AM thought

"The only two possible outcomes for the US elections were either Barack Obama winning or John McCain winning."

Use a technical "proof" to show that this is false.
Then, use a realistic "proof" to show that it is in fact, true.
Also, use a fatalist theory to once again prove it false.

My thoughts (note: it's spoilers for a reason):

Spoiler:
Technical proof:
Possible outcomes could be Obama, McCain, Clinton, etc.. Plenty of other candidates.

Realistic proof:
Had Hillary Clinton beaten Obama for the Democratic candidacy, McCain would most likely have won.

Fatalist proof:
Obama won, and that's the way it is.

Note: There are no right or wrong answers, at long as it's reasonable. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts.
Subnote: Yes, the elections are over, and I should just move on, but it's my 3AM thought and I'll post it if I wish.

skeptical scientist
closed-minded spiritualist
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Location: San Francisco

Re: 3AM thought

It depends on what time period you are speaking of. A year ago, Hillary Clinton was a viable candidate for president. Six months ago, there were only two viable candidates for president. On November 1, the 44th president was pretty well determined.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.

"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson

Esquilax
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:56 am UTC

Re: 3AM thought

Spoiler:
Well, the fact is, any time before the election took place, if one (or both) of the candidates had died then different candidates would necessarily emerge.
Spoiler:

GreedyAlgorithm
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Re: 3AM thought

UniMatrix wrote:Note: There are no right or wrong answers, at long as it's reasonable.

Yes, there are wrong answers. For example, "Obama won, and that's the way it is." is a wrong answer. Either "the only two possible outcomes" in the original question has some coherent, useful meaning, in which case the "proof" is obviously ignoring something important (maybe the implementation of counterfactuals?), or it has no coherent, useful meaning (this may be the case under fatalism?) in which case the question is not well posed in the first place.
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william
Not a Raptor. Honest.
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Re: 3AM thought

Question: are my kids safe asleep?
SecondTalon wrote:A pile of shit can call itself a delicious pie, but that doesn't make it true.