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So I'm visiting family. My cousin is also present and her little kid comes down with a Towers of Hanoi type of toy. Thinking this would be a good opportunity to give those present, except the kid; he's not even 5, a little bit of a lecture about recursive functions and mathematical proof by induction (yes, I'm real fun at parties), I ask the kid to try and move all the discs from one stack to the other. But here is the rule: you cannot place a larger disc on a smaller disc.

Without thinking much, the kid just grabs all discs together and moves them to the second stack.

Yup, I should have been more precise.
Kids know the answers to the toughest questions.
The most intelligent action if the request is unclear is clearly doing nothing. I suggest the parents revise their training strategy with the Vulcan council or they will be exiled.
Your instruction was missing a step: move all the discs from one stack to the other one disc at a time, but good joke at your expense lol
Post edited October 07, 2017 by direspirefirewire
ZFR: So I'm visiting family. My cousin is also present and her little kid comes down with a Towers of Hanoi type of toy. Thinking this would be a good opportunity to give those present, except the kid; he's not even 5, a little bit of a lecture about recursive functions and mathematical proof by induction (yes, I'm real fun at parties), I ask the kid to try and move all the discs from one stack to the other. But here is the rule: you cannot place a larger disc on a smaller disc.

Without thinking much, the kid just grabs all discs together and moves them to the second stack.

Yup, I should have been more precise.
That reminds me of a program I saw about pigs a long time ago. They taught some pigs how to golf with these little plastic hills with holes cut through them.

In ASCII art:

side view:
_/| |\_

top view:
(o)

They used the golfing game as an example b/c the pigs understood the game. They could hit a ball (I can't remember if they hit it with their snout or if they bit onto a club).

But this one pig just couldn't get it into the hole. The ball kept rolling off, over and over.

Finally, clearly a bit frustrated, the big bites the plastic hole and puts it over the ball. The end result was what he wanted -- the ball in the hole.
ZFR: *snip*
I would say the kid totally outsmarted you...
;p
Ah yes, 2^n -1 :)

Whenever I hear of the game I always think of that cave in Island of Dr Brain
ZFR: Yup, I should have been more precise.
I'm sure folks have seen this but just in case:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4910020/Students-outsmarts-teacher-3x5-FEET-cheat-sheet.html
Some adults do apparently too. I laughed so hard it hurt.
ZFR: Yup, I should have been more precise.
drmike: I'm sure folks have seen this but just in case:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4910020/Students-outsmarts-teacher-3x5-FEET-cheat-sheet.html
What's interesting about this one is that I did have professors in college who allowed 3x5" notecards for formulas during exams (and trust me, the exams required more thought than the calculations).

I loved using 0.5mm mechanical pencils and I could write legibly in very small areas, so I was actually getting people to pay me to write 3x5" cards for them for their exams.

I had one of my own, but by the time I had created all the other cards for other people, I never had to refer to my own as it became rote recall.
Post edited October 07, 2017 by JDelekto