# the unexpected hanging [was: lee's answer]

From: Spike Jones (spike66@attglobal.net)
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 11:39:02 MDT

> > The answer to this is not trivial, and it bears directly on the
> > discussion on page 87 of Damien's updated version of The Spike. spike
>
> [Lee Corbin has] ...that book, wherein on page 87, it is related
> that a certain ominous **Mr. Jones** has determined the rate...Lee

Extropians, let me quickly introduce a new related topic with a new
subject line, then I need to run downtown and create a San Jose
restaurant map for our guests coming to E5.

Im indebted to Martin Gardner for the following illustration:
A prisoner is sentenced to the ultimate punishment. He is
told his execution will take place on some unspecified day,
Monday thru Friday inclusive. The judge specifies that the
prisoner will not know which day he is to meet his fate until
the day of his demise. Sitting forlornly in his cell, it occurs
to him that his date with destiny cannot be on Friday, for if
he is still among the living on Thursday midnight, then he
would *know* he is to be executed on Friday, which violates
the judge's stipulation that he will not know the date of his
execution. Similarly, he cannot be executed on Thursday, for
he already determined his date cannot be Friday, so if he is
still with us on Wednesday midnight, then similarly Tuesday
midnight, and so on.

The prisoner determines by this line of reasoning that his
execution cannot take place according to the judge's
instruction. A greatly relieved prisoner is startled by the
hangman, who shows up Wednesday morning.
Surprise!

Those that are following this thread and the previous
threads regarding probability of record primes, do ponder
this apparent paradox of the unexpected hanging so you
will be ready for where I am going with the notion of
probability distribution functions and their relationship
to the unexpected singularity. Comments and questions
welcome in the meantime, while I go sample sushi
restaurants. {8^D 0==== spike

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