The Leprechaun Paradox & “Man’s Unwillingness to Change”

None of them vanished; the area used for all the 14 leprechauns in The Vainishing Leprechaun remains the same when the paper is swapped to form 15 leprechauns. However, notice that parts of the legs or body of some of the leprechauns in the arrangement of 14 leprechauns are not there anymore in the one for 15 leprechauns? For example, the first leprechaun on the left gets shorter when you rearrange it to Leprechauns the vanishing. All this area is used in creating the 15th leprechaun. This means that none of the 14 leprechauns vanished. One was created out of some areas from the other leprechauns.

Also, the allegory with the prisoners killing the one who escaped could be an example of the natural of mankind’s “unwillingness to change”, unless there is a need to. In the prisoner’s example, when the one who escaped could not recognise anything in the real world, he was forced to make sense of it and integrate it into his reasoning. Likewise, wars provided the ultimate incentive for major breakthroughs in technologies such as weapon systems and long range communications, all of which benefit us today. Furthermore, were it not for the Soviets, the space race would not have happened, and mankind would not have every set foot on the Moon. Now that there is not major source of competition, the incentive for discovery to show the scientific capability of USA is literally not existent, since there is no other nation to threaten their “throne” as the most scientifically and technologically advanced nation. The result? Now USA does not even have their own fleet of spacecraft that can fly, and have to rely on Russian rockets. Therefore we can conclude that unless there is a major incentive to change, man will not change.

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5 comments to The Leprechaun Paradox & “Man’s Unwillingness to Change”

  • David

    But then again we fall into the trap of saying “War is good”. We can’t know if war was responsible for all of these technologies because technology rapidly advances outside of war too. War perfects weaponry and the needless deaths. Colour TV, and the “Talkies” (films where the characters speak), to name two advancements were created without war. Since the Industrial Revolution only occurred in the 18th-19th Century, it’s not fair to say that the current level of human civilization had enough time to create these advances without war and justify the association of slow progress with peace.
    Sure, historians might say that it was the idea of having weaponry in space that made America race the USSR, but it is ambition that pushes us further. Only politicians cut other expenses for the military; if the civilian population had control over where their taxes went (as they should) then they would probably invest more into humanitarian schemes, space exploration, job and business startup schemes, etc.

  • Jennifer

    Your conclusion about the stagnant nature of mankind reminds me of an animation I saw called “Flatland”. Flatland is basically 2D world inhabited by 2D objects. One day, a square (main character) discovers 3D object, and tells the citizens that there’s 3D object and ‘height’. But his assertion is considered as heresy and he is imprisoned. Eventually the existence of 3D object is revealed, but the initial resistance of the 2D citizens show that there are too used to the world that they live in, reluctant to accept something that’s beyond their imagination. I think it’s really similar to the allegory of the cave, and possibly our current world in a way. :)

  • Charles Goh

    Ambition is accelerated by war, and when one’s life is being threatened. The race to acquire nuclear technology happened mostly in the World War. In addition, 18th-19th century wars were common. In one century there have been so many wars already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1800%E2%80%931899 .

    Also, most governments are civilian governments. The british government, the american governments, and the indian government to name a few. They are still rather inefficient at directing funds to innovation, let along avoid getting into debt.

    That is not to say inventions to not occur during peacetime. What I am trying to say is that war destroys infrastructure, buildings, homes, and entire countries. The post war period gives people the opportunity to rebuild. The new buildings are obviously of a higher standard.Such changes would be unthinkable if there was peace.

  • Charles Goh

    Abolutely. That is a great example, Jennifer

  • David

    Civilian governments are just governments where instead of a monarch which do stupid things, you have a civilian elected government which do almost the exact opposite of the things they were voted in for. But I agree, progress is influenced by war yes (I have now lost track of how this argument was ).

    Jennifer, that is a brilliant example. In the youtube video of flatland, the narrator mentions how an object, when converted to 2D via a shadow suffers because it is losing a dimension.

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