Answer by Shashank Garg:
- A logician tells a collegue his wife just had a baby.
- Is it a boy or a girl?
Answer by Sairaam Ganesh:
41 is a Prime Number
41+2= 43 Prime Number
43+4= 47 Prime Number
47+6= 53 Prime Number
The list goes on until 1601
Post by Jordan Phoenix:
Fellow Quoran Teaches Homeless Man To CodeView Post on Quora
Answer by Rory Young:
The honey badger uses raw courage to defend himself.
Whilst other animals use all sorts of weapons and tricks, the honey badger just uses his attitude.
Here is one example of their fearlessness; the naturalist Jonathan Kingdon recorded three honey badgers taking a kill away from three sub-adult and four half-grown Lions.
Here is a video that shows six lions attacking a honey badger. What does the honey badger do? He turns around and attacks them! And then he escapes!
It is no wonder they have been called the world’s toughest animal.
Here is another example; they are known to attack animals of any size to protect themselves and amazingly there are records from the Kruger Park in South Africa of them killing adult male Cape buffaloes!
So how does an animal that weighs just fifteen kilograms kill a fearsome buffalo weighing nine hundred kilograms, with inch-thick skin and overlapping ribs for armor?
The answer I’m afraid will make any man cringe and live in fear of honey badgers forever after.
They go for the groin… and then the animal bleeds to death…
That’s right. No queensbury rules or any other rules with these little buggers. They are the street fighters of the bush.
Of course such an animal couldn’t be content to eat anything mundane either. One of their favorite snacks is cobra no less.
They don’t have any special technique for catching venomous snakes and often get bitten. However they are resistant to the venom!
One thing that always makes me chuckle when I watch a honey badger wander past is the swagger. They really do swagger when they walk and they bloody well deserve to!
Answer by Alex Suchman:
Imagine you’ve just opened a hypothetical 2,000-word blog post (or maybe a Quora answer). I’d like to ask you two questions about your expectations for this piece of writing. Don’t spend too much time deliberating about these; trust your instincts.
First, how many words do you expect to see that follow the form ——-n- (seven letters with an “n” in the 6th spot, which we will call Group 1)?
- 16 or more
Second, how many words do you expect to see that follow the form ——ing (seven letters ending in “ing”, which we will call Group 2)
- 16 or more
Here’s a picture of Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman so you can come up with your answers before reading ahead.
As some of you will have noticed, every word that fits into the Group 2 must also be in Group 1 (in other words, every “——ing” word is also a “——-n-” word). It is also likely that the passage contains a few Group 1 words that don’t follow the Group 2 pattern. So logically, the passage must contain as many Group 1 words as Group 2 words, and probably more Group 1 words.
Feel like you might need to rethink your guesses? You’re not alone. If you predicted there would be more Group 2 words than Group 1 words, you probably fell victim to the availability heuristic.
The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut where people estimate the frequency of an event according to how easy it is to think of supporting examples. In this case, it’s easy to think of examples of Group 2 words. Simply come up with an appropriate verb and add the “-ing” as in running, jumping, or dancing. The form of Group 1 isn’t as obviously associated with a certain segment of words as Group 2. Focusing on just the “n” might lead you to come up with words like someone, actions, or husband. However, these take more work to think of than the Group 2 words (unless, of course, you notice that you can use Group 2 words for Group 1).
Because it’s so much easier to think of examples of Group 2 words, most people estimate that they will occur much more frequently in a text. When the aforementioned Kahneman and collaborator Amos Tversky conducted this experiment, the median estimate for Group 1 was 4.4 words while the median estimate for Group 2 was 13.4 words .
As the above example shows, the availability heuristic has some powerful effects on our ability to think rationally. Here are some other places where it makes an impact.
When facts aren’t facts: Who cleans more?
If you’ve ever had a roommate, you’ve probably experienced the feeling that you’re doing more than your share of some tasks (or maybe every task). You might be surprised to learn that your evaluation of this may be influenced by the availability heuristic.
In one study, researchers asked married couples to estimate how responsible they were for 20 relevant activities like making breakfast, caring for children, and cleaning the house. They also included negative activities such as causing arguments.
In 16 of 20 activities, the combined responsibility that couples attributed to themselves showed statistically significant overestimation (the other four had nonsignificant differences—none showed underestimation). In other words, when you add up the credit the husband takes and the credit the wife takes, you get a number greater than 100% of the responsibility for the activity . Noteworthy is that this trend held true for both positive and negative activities, showing it’s not simply a matter of narcissism.
When considering what portion of a shared task we’re responsible for, it’s easier to think of examples where we performed the task rather than someone else. As a result, we tend to overestimate how much we’ve really done.
Keep this in mind next time you feel certain your roommate is freeloading off of your generosity. Then again, maybe (s)he really is a useless bum.
When opinions aren’t opinions: What do you think of BMWs?
Not only does the availability heuristic affect our memories, it can also influence our opinions.
In another study, researchers asked participants to perform one of four tasks:
- List one reason to buy a BMW (One-For)
- List one reason not to buy a BMW (One-Against)
- List ten reasons to buy a BMW (Ten-For)
- List ten reasons not to buy a BMW (Ten-Against)
Following this, participants were asked questions about their evaluation of BMWs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results showed that those in the One-For group gave BMWs higher ratings (5.6 out of 7) than those in the One-Against group (4.7). Asking participants to give a reason in favor reminded them of what they like about the cars while asking them to give a reason against reminded them of what the negatives. However, the surprise came when participants in the Ten-For group reported lower opinions (4.4) of BMWs than those in the Ten-Against group (5.9). In other words, asking them to list ten reasons caused a reversal of what was observed when asking them to list only one.
Why did this happen? Remember that the availability heuristic causes us to feel that things that are easier to think of support for are more true. Generating one reason to like or dislike a BMW is a breeze; coming up with ten takes a lot of work. Our brain says “Thinking up that list was [easy/hard], so that must be a [correct/incorrect] position.”
The key idea here is that our opinions can be influenced and manipulated by the cognitive ease of supporting or refuting them. In fact, their pliable enough that the ease of a related task can be enough to affect them. The idea that humans can be systematically irrational has grown in popularity over the last several years. Studies like this one reveal that we don’t even know our own preferences.
To conclude, I’d like to say that most of the time, the availability heuristic works in our favor. Without it, we’d have to conduct a mini-survey every time we wanted to estimate something, so it saves a ton of cognitive resources and time. Let’s say I’m driving and when my light turns green, I catch a glance of another car going a little too fast towards his red light. My memory quickly references the (easily available) time I almost got hit by a car running a red, and tells me this driver is liable to do the same. I elect to wait until he either passes the intersection or slows down enough to where I know he will stop. In this scenario, I’m thankful for the extra second I get from using this heuristic and I don’t care about the difference between a 25% and 75% chance the car runs the light. Speed, not precision, is what matters here. That said, we should be mindful of how availability can affect our perceptions and behaviors.
One final note, in case you were curious: Of the 1,235 words in this answer, 20 (1.6%) are in Group 1 (including the first) and 10 (0.8%) are in Group 2.
Answer by George Moromisato:
1. When you’re on an airplane, the safety message at the beginning says, “be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting other passengers.” This seemed selfish to me at first, but it makes sense: you can’t help others if you’re passed out.
So step #1 is to make sure you are strong enough to help others. Depending on your ambition, this could mean anything from learning as much as you can to amassing sufficient power and influence to make a difference. You might consider, for instance, whether Bill Gates would have been as influential if he hadn’t first amassed a fortune before trying to help others.
At your age, and for the next ten to twenty years, the best way to help humanity is to become the best person you can be at whatever field you choose. Whether you decide to help by teaching preschool or by curing cancer, you still need to develop the skills, the knowledge, the instinct, and the resources to succeed. Stop reading this right now and get to work!
2. Knowledge is one thing, but to help humanity you also need wisdom. And again, wisdom starts by knowing yourself. Thinking back to when I was sixteen, the hardest part is evaluating yourself and your desires objectively. What are your weaknesses? What are your blind spots? What would drive you sufficiently to devote thousands of thankless hours to a cause that may not reach fruition for decades?
I guarantee that you overestimate your own abilities and underestimate the work required to succeed. I know I did.
3. If you really want to help humanity you should maximize your impact. In my view (by no means the only view) the highest impact comes from inventing and developing new technologies. Lasting change always comes from inventing something, generally a physical technology, but sometimes a “mental technology” like democracy.
The person who cures or eliminates 1% of known cancers will save millions in her lifetime. Billions over the lifetime of the human species. If you can come up with a way to purify water cheaply, you will save millions of children. Even if you come up with a way to make toilet paper 1% cheaper you will free up millions of dollars to be spent on (hopefully) better things.
Knowing where to spend your energies will of course depend on what your passion is, which I hope you will understand from step #2. And of course, you will hopefully have the ability to push the envelope because of your work on #1.
4. Lastly, because I take seriously the possibility that you might succeed, I want to remind you that lots and lots of people who had the intention and the ability to change the world ended up harming it instead. Almost all of the great tragedies of humanity began with someone or a group of people trying to make the world better.
There was once a time in the US when mentally disabled people were sterilized because people thought that would make the world better. In Australia, aboriginal children were taken from their parents and given to “civilized” families for upbringing. Mao’s Great Leap Forward, meant to create a prosperous China, ended up killing 20,000,000 people.
I say this because the most important thing you can do to serve humanity is to become humble. Humble in admiting your ignorance. Humble in considering that others might be right, even if it seems unlikely. And most important, humble in considering that what you consider good for humanity may not be thought so by some or even most.
In my view there is no higher goal than serving humanity. Good luck to you.