Six Times You Knew What Everyone Was Thinking (and one time you didn’t):



The King sits you down with his other two advisors, has you close your eyes, puts a hat on each of your heads. The hats will be either red or white, he says, with at least one red one. The first to speak up and name the color of their own hat wins the prize.

You open your eyes, see the other two advisors both with red hats staring at you. You all study each other, thinking. Silence. Silence. No one coming to a conclusion.

Ah, but in their silence it is obvious: if your hat were white, surely one of them would have figured it out already. Your hats all are red, of course.


You pass through a tunnel in a group of n where n>2 friends, wind blowing through your hair; you emerge from the darkness to see each of your friends with a smudge of soot on their foreheads. You laugh. You cannot help but laugh. They look hilarious! The moment they realize they have a smudge of soot on their foreheads, they will wipe it clean, of course, but for now all of you are laughing. You all will keep laughing as long as there is a spot of soot left to be seen.

You think, How inseparable you are from your friends, how your minds all work according to the same rules of logic! You can imagine what they are all thinking, right now, in their laughter; and they of you; and you are imaging them imagining you and so on ad infinitum. You watch them laughing and are looking into a hall of mirrors.

You think this is what knowing is.

In any case, so long as your minds all tick along at sufficiently different speeds, eventually, your faces will all be clean.

Keep reading


#storytime #philosophy

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