Newcomb’s Paradox

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 15 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I guess Quinn likes quizing us (by us, I mean people he knows). Here’s one he just sent out:

Box #1 is guaranteed to contain $1000 no matter what. Box #2 either contains one million dollars, or it contains nothing. You can either 1) take both boxes, or 2) take only Box #2.

Seems simple enough right now, but there’s a story behind Box #2. A brilliant alien psychologist has been studying your every behavior since birth. This hypothetical alien knows you better than you know yourself, and can predict your actions as accurately as possible. This alien is in charge of deciding whether to put the million in Box #2 or not. If the alien predicts you will chose both boxes, he will have put nothing in Box #2. If the alien predicts that you chose ONLY Box #2, he will have put a million dollars in it.

If you really want the answer, check out the Wikipedia article => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcomb%27s_paradox

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