display | more...
A few days ago I was thinking of strange bets people could make, and I came to one that totally confused me.

"I'll bet you $10 I lose this bet."

I sat there for several minutes trying to figure out how that would work before I gave up. I've also said it to several people and they just stand there not moving for a while then look at me with a confused look on their face. Nothing else I've thought of has even come close to being as confusing as that.
"I'll bet you $10 I lose this bet."

Here's an attempt to unravel this...1

Every bet is posed by a bettor to a bettee(for want of a better word), and consists of a stake, and a condition. When the condition is proved or disproved, the bet resolves, and if the condition is true, the stake is given to the bettor; if not, it is given to the bettee.

In this bet (B), the stake is $10.
The condition is that the bet B resolves, and that the condition is false.
The condition, therefore, depends on its own resolution in order to resolve, and will therefore never resolve. If it were to spontaneously resolve, it would start a 'this sentence is false' paradox. Thankfully it doesn't come to this.

So feel free to take this bet, for whatever stakes you like... You'll die long before you'd have to pay up.

1 - With apologies to the magic: the gathering errata team

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.