Paradox buttons

200802190857 This is a well-known paradox, but I like the way it's used on this pair buttons. Sold out on Etsy. Link (Via Notcot)

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  1. When I read the statement I mean that the picture of the pipe above is not a pipe, so I can mean something by the statement, and the truth-value of that meaning is ‘true’.

    But it doesn’t answer my question. Neither statements, nor buttons, have truth values. Only meanings do. Meanings are intentional states of knowing subjects. So what’s the paradox?

  2. Just ordered a set along with a set of florescent Portal pictogram buttons. These are getting remade into fridge magnets!

  3. Technically correct Tom but this is just casual English. “The red button is false” implies “The statement written on the red button is false.” Most people will get the implication without having to think about it and it fits much better too.

  4. Looks like there are more for sale in Slevin11’s shop now. A sold Etsy listing always says “sold out” even if the seller has listed more just like it. :)

  5. Neither statements, nor buttons, have truth values.

    Statements or propositions can represent truth values. It can also be thought of as an infinite loop if we interpret the red and blue buttons algorithmically.

    Or we could just reject the Law of the Excluded Middle altogether. But this does not mean we should accept its negation.

  6. #5

    “” When I read the statement I mean that the picture of the pipe above is not a pipe, so I can mean something by the statement, and the truth-value of that meaning is ‘true’.

    But it doesn’t answer my question. Neither statements, nor buttons, have truth values. Only meanings do. Meanings are intentional states of knowing subjects. So what’s the paradox? “”

    Tom, I genuinely didn’t know what the hell those sentences actually meant. I mean, I got the words, and the order they were in, but not what it was you were trying to communicate.

    Was the link to xkcd an incredibly funny, self-reflective statement of irony (“I’m not making any sense, hahaha!”)
    .. or just a grin at the end of some unrelated words?

  7. #18: There are a number of “logical paradoxes” of the “this sentence is false” variety that are trivially resolved when you understand correctly what truth and falsity are attributes of. The buttons annoyed me because they translate a case where intentionality is not an issue into one where it is.

    I could, and probably should, write a book on this, but after arguing the issue in detail in the ’90’s I found that almost everyone would rather be fascinated by paradox than enlightened by the truth (and yeah, that sounds arrogant as hell, even to me…)

    So I’ve decided that posting koans like the one above is the better part.

    The XKCD link was intended as a reference to the general tendency of people who are fascinated by paradox to carefully craft misleading accounts. Smullyan in particular is dreadful for this: one of his “paradoxes” so cleverly mangles its handling of conditional probabilities that a mathematician I know was well and truly tripped up by it, and no explanation could make him see through the plausible errors Smullyan had made.

  8. Congrats Tom on out-smarting my buttons :)

    The idea for even putting that text on buttons was a picture I saw posted on the *chan sites fairly often. “the red box is true; the blue box is false”

    Threads often looked like the above comments but much longer, and less intelligent…

    Thanks for the link BoingBoing!
    Never expected to end up on one of my favorite blogs.

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