Trump and the Island of Liars and Truth Tellers
A classic logic puzzle is "The Island of Liars and Truth Tellers." The inhabitants of the island belong to one of two tribes. One tribe will only tell the truth, and the other will only tell lies. As a newcomer, you cannot tell which tribe anyone belongs to. You come to a fork in the road, and an islander standing beside it. One path leads to freedom, the other to doom. What question do you ask the islander that guarantees you take the right road? The answer: "Which road would a member of the other tribe tells me leads to freedom?" You then take the other road.
I was reminded of this puzzle today in relation to Donald Trump. Recently there have been several times that he has allegedly inappropriately divulged secrets.
However, many of the same critics classify Trump as the member of the "always lies" tribe.
If Trump indeed is capable only of lying, then no secrets have been shared inappropriately. If he leaked true secrets, he doesn't always lie. Perhaps we need a more complicated scenario.
After considering it for a while, the most entertaining ways I could reconcile the problem were:
- He belongs to a previously unknown tribe that tells the truth only when it is inappropriate to do so
- His "leaks" are intentionally misinforming their intended audience
Got anything to top me?
Photo: Jim Gardner