Lately 9gag has been flooded with “Go home..you are drunk” jokes. Few days ago procrastinating as usual I found this image posted:
I couldn’t help notice that actually Its correct replying “yes” that question, that it was a matter of what meaning we commonly give to that question.
When we ask “Is it a tablet or a laptop?” the regular intention is to know whether it is a tablet or if its a laptop. Notice that in this context it can be either one or another but not both.
An example could be “Its is a bird? or it is a fish?” , clearly it can be neither or either one but not both (unless you live near a nuclear facility, who knows what creatures may grow nearby).
However in the image the question is interpreted as if either of those definitiones defines the object. Lets think in the universe of the natural numbers, we can define two groups even and odds. The union of these groups gives us the whole universe, so its obvious that given any natural number it is going to be either even or odd. So if I ask “is 2 an even or odd number?” it is right to answer “yes” because 2 satisfies the even definition. In this case any given natural number the answer will be yes.
It is said that a mathematician once was asked if his child was a boy or a girl, he replied ‘yes’.