I wonder what the best strategy is. I was thinking from that
start that it would be worthwhile to ask each question twice. If we asked ten
questions (twice) it would just be a matter of determining the one case where
he lied or possibility dealing with two ambiguous cases. Another thought would
be to use conjunctions to speed up the process of error checking. We could have
asked if the person was alive. Question two would have been about if the person
was born in the twentieth century. Then we could have asked if the person was
alive and born in the twentieth century. While we couldn’t ask “Are you telling
the truth?” we could have effectively gotten the answer just by the creative
use of conjunctions. If P is true and Q is true, then the P (triangle) Q has to
be true.

Aside from the exercise in logic, the game did relate to the
internet. The key difference is that people on the internet are not limited to
two lies. I can write whatever I want to up here. Maybe we didn’t play a game
called “Twenty Questions and Two Lies”. It is up to you to figure out a method
for verifying what I say. How would you verify that? The short answer is
sources. The more sources we can find that agree, the more confident that we
can be in our answers unless. . . .it turns out that truth isn’t probabilistic.
So, while we can find multiple sources, analyze their credibility and make a judgment
call, we could still be wrong.

That leads us the decision to be skeptical. Unlike the
cynic, the skeptic believes in truth. It is just a matter of understanding the
difficulty of finding that truth. “. . . now we see in a mirror, dimly. . .”

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