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I'm gonna give you guys three numbers. A three number sequence and I have a rule
in mind that these three numbers obey and I want you to try to figure out what that rule is.
But the way you can get information is by proposing your own set of three numbers, to which I will say yes
that follows my rule or no it doesn't follow my rule. And then you can propose what you think the rule is.
Is that fair?
Okay, so here are the three numbers: 2, 4, 8.
2, 4, 8.
You don't need to continue the sequence, you can propose a totally different
sequence, whatever you want to propose and I will simply say yes or no
2, 4, 8?
16, 32
16
32
and
64?
Those also follow my rule.
ok
What's the rule you think?
Multiply by 2?
That is...
not my rule.
What?
That's not my rule.
But you're allowed, if you want, propose 3 other numbers.
3, 6, 12.
3, 6, 12? Follows my rule.
10, 20, 40.
That follows the rule.
I'm still multiplying by two
I know
[Laughter]
I know what you're doing.
and yes it follows my rule but no it's not my rule.
5, 10 and 20?
Follows my rule
100, 200, 400?
Follows my rule
500, 1000, 2000
Follows my rule.
You want me to keep going?
But do I just keep going? You going to tell me or what?
[Laughter]
Am I doing it the wrong way? Am I approaching this the wrong way?
You're totally fine, but you're approaching the way most people approach it.
Like think strategically about this.
You want information. I have information. The point of the three
numbers, right, is to allow you to figure out what the rule is.
Okay, I'm going to give you the numbers that I don't think fits the
sequence and see what you'll say.
So I'll say 2, 4, 7.
Fits my rule
So, whatever I propose is right? So, is your rule like
you can propose any number?
So, the rule is anything we say is yes?
No
Damn it
[Laughter]
But you were on the right track now.
Hit me with three numbers.
3, 6, 9.
Follows my rule.
Hmm...
Oh, that didn't follow my rule.
This is good, right?
5, 10, 15.
That follows my rule.
What? Oh... Really?
Yeah
I don't believe this.
1, 2, 3?
Follows the rule
What about 7, 8, 9?
[Laughter] Yes, that follows the rule.
8
16
39
Fits the rule.
Excellent.
But we're no closer to the rule. I want you get to the rule.
How about 1, 7, 13 ?
Follows the rule.
11, 12, 13?
How does this make sense? Follows the rule.
10, 9, 8? I don't know how to do this.
Does not follow the rule.
10, 9, 8 does not.
Oh, so, is it all in ascending order?
Boo yeah! Up top!
Yes. First ones to get it. You guys nailed it
That's the rule
That's the rule. Numbers in increasing order.
Awww
Numbers in ascending order
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 25, doesn't matter.
Any numbers in ascending order.
I was inspired to make this video by the book the black swan by Nassim Taleb.
Now, the black swan is a metaphor for the unknown and the unexpected.
I mean in the old world the theory was that all swans were white.
So, each instance of a white swan would make you think,
"Yeah, that theory is pretty good."
But the point is you can never prove a theory true and in fact when
people found Australia they realized that there were black swans.
What was interesting for me was that everyone I spoke to came up with a rule
very early on and then only proposed numbers that fit with that rule they were thinking.
I was looking for you guys to propose a set of numbers that didn't
follow your rule and didn't follow my rule. I was looking for you guys not
to try to confirm what you believe. You're always asking something where you
expect the answer to be yes, right?
Like, you're trying to get at it. But, instead you want to get the no's.
You want to get the no because that's much more informational for you then yes,
Like everything is a yes..
That is true. That is really true and once you say that.
That is what's so important about the scientific method. We set out to disprove our theories
and it's when can't disprove them that we say this must be getting at something really true
about our reality. So, I think we should do that in all aspects of our lives
if you think that something is true you should
try as hard as you can to disprove it.
Only then can you really get at the truth and not fool yourself.