Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 15:47:11 MST

Okay, here's a more precise version.

1) Take the key from A. Do this at 5:44PM.
2) Unlock B. Do this at 5:45PM.
3) Take the key from B. Do this at 5:46PM.
4) Unlock A. Do this at 5:43PM.

Now, I want to say for the record that I actually *tried* this with two
locked boxes each containing the other's key, and it *worked*. I didn't
actually time it to the exact minute, and I had to reorder the steps
slightly since I didn't have a time machine, but I *did* it and it
*worked*, so I don't want to hear any further complaints.

No, I did not put one of the boxes inside the other one. No, I was not
standing inside either of the boxes. No, one of the boxes was not shaped
like a key to the other. And no, the boxes were not made of wood. But I
did check them, they were securely locked, and there was no way to get the
key out of either one without unlocking it. And this was in *real life*,
plain ol' physical reality, so you can be sure there were no meta-tricks

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:16 MDT