The television paradox

Imagine that we have a black and white monitor, a black and white camera, and a computer. We hook up the camera and monitor to the computer, and we write a program where, for some medium-ish shade
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Imagine that we have a black and white monitor, a black and white camera, and a computer. We hook up the camera and monitor to the computer, and we write a program where, for some medium-ish shade of grey G: The computer tells the monitor to show a completely white screen if the average shade of the scene the camera is recording is darker than G. The computer tells the monitor to show a completely black screen if the average shade of the scene the camera is recording is no darker than G. You walk around point the camera and all goes swimmingly, until you get the bright idea to point the camera at the monitor. Then what happens? There are two ways to answer this question: First, if we pretend that we lived in a world where electricity and light travelled instantaneously (that is, that the speed of light was infinite, so that light would leave the monitor and be detected by the camera at the same moment), then we would have a paradox. If the camera is pointed at the monitor then, at. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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