Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.

Maggie goes places and talks to people. Find out where she'll be speaking next.

14 Responses to “What would happen if an unstoppable force met an immoveable object?”

  1. Wreckrob8 says:

    There would be a semantic meltdown.

  2. zombieite says:

    So, the fact that this question has never made any sense to me indicates that I was right all along.

  3. bjepson says:

    Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!

  4. NI MEN HAO-DY TRAMPOLINA says:

    What was it, Thor’s hammer thrown at Dr. Manhattan… or something. 

  5. Zach Wagner says:

    The answer is “They surrender”.

  6. bluest_one says:

    I always thought it was “the unstoppable object stops and the immovable object moves”.

  7. DevinC says:

    The video was a purely physical approach to the problem.  But it’s not just a physical question, it’s a logical one: what happens when two contradictory definitions are both true at the same time?

    Well, let’s see what happens when we assume two contradictory premisses, one the negation of the other:
    A & not A (contradiction!)
    So A,
    So A or B (where B can be anything at all, and ‘or’ is inclusive, i.e., if both A and B are true, then A or B is also true),
    But not A, 
    So B (because if one half of an ‘or’ is false, the other half must be true to make the ‘or’ true.)

    So the logical answer to the question is anything can happen. If you live in a universe where two absolute but contradictory definitions are both true, your universe is so screwed up that causality is completely out to lunch.

  8. pjcamp says:

    What happens is minute physics takes 3 1/2 minutes.

  9. Erik Osterholm says:

    If they are polite, they will shake hands and say, “Nice to meet you.”

  10. justonpayne says:

    Remember that smart ass in high school who would go on semantic diatribes to prove how smart he was, but everyone knew he was missing the entire point?  

    This video.

    This stupid, stupid video.

  11. EichaelThe0ne says:

     I totally agree. It feels like the guy in this video was trying to be one of those fancy new hip vid bloggers who can memorize a script really well and emote as though it is the first time. Honestly, I lost track of what he was saying because IT WAS BORING. You know what I think about when I think about this phrase? Heath Ledger swinging upside down from a cable while doing some of the best acting ever acted.

    Not this. Not even close to this.

  12. Derek Graf says:

    Ok king nerd

Leave a Reply