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Is that glass half full or half empty? The HF/HE problem

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Is that glass half full or half empty? The HF/HE problem Reply with quote

One day in 1995, while walking on the streets of downtown
Vancouver, B.C., I suddenly knew the answer to the question
of whether the glass was "half full" or "half empty". So far
as I can remember, I had not been struggling with this question,
though I can say that, over the years, I had tried several
different responses to it whenever it arose in conversation.

The answer was so compelling, and so shockingly simple that
my delight at solving the riddle was overwhelmed by my surprise
that I had not learned the answer before 3rd grade.

Oddly enough, the effect on me was profound. Immediately,
I saw that I could just tell people my answer, or that I could
help people figure it out on their own, and give them a
chance to experience that discovery for themselves. I found
the latter much more rewarding.

It's been over ten years, and so I hope that friends and
acquaintances will forgive me if I've raised the topic more than
once. It felt like a gift to me then, I've enjoyed sharing it with
a few friends here and there, and now I'm ready to give it
to the 18,000+ spambots and 12 humans that read this website.

(non-spoiler alert) I'm not going to give the answer in this post.

For some people I've talked to, my confidence that there was
a simple, objective answer to this question, not directly related to
psychological propensities, was clue enough to help them find the
path the the answer.


After an interval, I plan on posting my answer in the "units of
measurement" forum here, on YRIHF.

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