ArticleS. UncleBob.

The Yes and No Game

This is a game that many of us have played with our pre-school children. My kids called it the "Yes and No Game". The rules are simple. When your children ask you a question about anything, you answer with the boolean opposite of the correct answer. You don't tell you kids you are playing this game with them; they'll figure it out pretty quickly. And then they'll start asking the fun questions that kids like to ask. Questions like: "Do you like poop?". They'll laugh uproariously to your enthusiastic affirmative answer.

The "real" game is for the children to figure out when you are, and when you are not, playing the "Yes and No game". You might be driving in a car with your children, and perphaps they are getting impatient. So you simply start answering questions in reverse or making obviously false statements. They quickly figure out that the "Yes and No game" is in play and get into the rhythm with you. And then, just as suddenly, you stop playing the game, and they go through a few moments of pleasant confusion before they figure things out again.

And then... then... they ask you the question you have been waiting for. They ask you: "Dad, are you playing the 'Yes and No game'?" And you answer with the only answer you can give: "NO!". And then they look at you for five seconds, working it out in their heads. And then they look at you sternly and say: "DAahD!"

It's remarkable how even very young children can grasp Russell's paradox when it's presented to them this way.

!commentForm -r

Tue, 5 Sep 2006 06:44:30, Joe, Gentle Sand
Only testing my numerical conversion knowledge ;)