Do you like paradoxes? Today I will talk about the paradox (in English) of the magic bill, which has gone viral on social media.
Ok, let’s start!
A paradox is a fact, expression, or story that seems contrary to logic.
I invite you to listen to this paradox and then assume the solution. Pay attention!
A tourist arrives at a hotel. He is very picky about the rooms, so he asks the receptionist if he can see them first. The receptionist agrees but asks the tourist to leave $100 at the front desk. The tourist leaves a $100 bill and goes upstairs to look at the vacant rooms to see if he likes any of them.
The hotel manager then takes this bill and goes to the butcher shop to pay a $100 debt to the butcher.
The butcher goes to the bakery to pay the $100 debt he owes the baker and does so with the same $100 bill.
The baker, in turn, takes the bill and pays his debt to his doctor with the same bill.
Finally, the doctor returns to the hotel and pays a $100 debt he owes to the hotel manager.
At that point, the tourist returns and tells the desk clerk that he does not want to stay at the hotel. He takes his $100 bill and leaves.
The apparent paradox is that before the tourist arrived, the manager, the butcher, the baker, and the doctor owed $100. When the tourist recovers the $100 bill, the tourist, the manager, the butcher, the baker, and the doctor no longer owe anything. No one owes anything to anyone. No one has worked or produced anything, and no one has lost a single dollar.
I think the key to understanding this supposed paradox is that each of the characters owed $100, but they were also owed $100.
That is, everyone at some point would have to pay $100, but also at some point had to receive $100.
In reality, the bill has not affected anyone’s economy.
What has happened is that each person’s debt has been canceled.
Now I think I need an aspirin 🙂
What do you think? Can you explain this story in your language? Or, could you explain this paradox directly in English? I know it’s even more difficult, but there is nothing impossible. 🙂
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