Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It's Complicated

Summer must be a time for divorce.

A few friends of mine have their problems with marriage resolved by way of a divorce recently.  The common issue - a third party.  The complication of having a third party is always under-estimated. Consider this: two cake lovers wish to share a cake so that each is satisfied that they have a fair share.  How to divide the cake between the two?  It's not that hard when there are only two cake lovers involved - A cuts, B chooses.  The problem gets tricky when a third cake lover is brought into the picture.  How to divide the cake among the three so that each is satisfied that they have a fair share?  I'll give you a moment to deliberate on it.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Don't get frustrated if you can't think of an answer.  The question, posted hundreds of years ago, was left unresolved until 1944 when a group of Polish mathematicians came up with a somewhat right solution.  A tripartite situation is more tricky that one can imagine.  Anyone who thinks that he (seems that it's always he) can resolve a tripartite marriage is either completely stupid or hopelessly arrogant.

Ironically, if one can divide a cake fairly among three persons, he can divide it among four, five, six or more (see How to Cut a Cake if you are interested).

3 comments:

gweipo said...

scary, do you think it's the age. I was commenting to friends the other day that the older I get the easier I find it to resist temptation, and then I added, because as I get older I'm subjected to fewer opportunities than in my youth!
Perhaps that just counts for gweipo ladies?

W said...

I can't speak for women but tend not to think that women have fewer opportunities/temptations. It's just that men, being members of the inferior race and foolishly believing that they deserve more opportunities, are less able to resist temptations. Seriously, I do mean that men are inferior to women. Nikola Telsa said so 3/4 of a century ago:

"Mr. Tesla regards the emergence of woman as one of the most profound portents for the future.

"It is clear to any trained observer," he says, "and even to the sociologically untrained, that a new attitude toward sex discrimination has come over the world through the centuries, receiving an abrupt stimulus just before and after the World War.

"This struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior. The modern woman, who anticipates in merely superficial phenomena the advancement of her sex, is but a surface symptom of something deeper and more potent fermenting in the bosom of the race.

"It is not in the shallow physical imitation of men that women will assert first their equality and later their superiority, but in the awakening of the intellect of women.

"Through countless generations, from the very beginning, the social subservience of women resulted naturally in the partial atrophy or at least the hereditary suspension of mental qualities which we now know the female sex to be endowed with no less than men.


http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1926-01-30.htm

gweipo said...

not just a mad inventor and scientist then but someone with a perceptive mind.
Interesting.

free counters