Journal - 20 September 2000: Which is the Paradox? or Descartes vs. West

This is a little mind-bender that has been rattling around in my head for a while. Of the following, which is a paradox, if any?

1. This sentence is a paradox.
2. This sentence isn't a paradox.

I can see how one could argue any of the four cases (1 is, 1 isn't, 2 is, 2 isn't). 1 could be a paradox because, well, it just says so. But if that's the case, how? I can't readily discern any means by which it's a paradox. So then the sentence is false. Well then, I guess its safe to conclude 1 is. But intuitively if 1 isn't then one might think 2 should be.

The logic of 2 is even more convoluted than the logic behind 1. It says its not a paradox. Wow. The opportunity cost of spending this entry talking about logic and paradoxes just skyrocketed when I realized I didn't care. Screw that.

As you may have surmised, this entry is more or less stream of consciousness, since few things of consequence have occurred. Luckily, I was able to abort the inane rambling of a man trapped in pointless logic. However, I now need a new target to write on. Who would win in a fight? Rene Descartes (17th century philosopher who pioneered in the theory that only the conscious self could be proven to exist) or Adam West (Batman). After polling some of my suitemates, it was predicted by a landslide that Descartes would win (4 of 5 votes were cast for Descartes). Various reasons were given for the victory of Descartes: a 90 degree differential in stress points allowing for a draw to be broken by the effects of random Chaos theory, which would go for the philosopher; the fact he's French; victory by association with Monty Python (I think therefore I am ~ I drink therefore I am); Descartes would "hit West and West would hit the ground" (not exactly a reason, but I'll allow it). The one vote for West, which was cast by my room mate, was proven by an association with Shop At Home Sports Product commentator Don West, who is, in fact, awesome. In this case, the majority is correct, as Descartes would have to but disprove the existence of West, forcing his opponent to disappear in a poof of logic.


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