# Day 9

It’s been far too long since my last ski trip. Yesterday I went skiing at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. It’s amazing what a small amout of new snow can do to make the conditions enjoyable. Steve Flammia came up with following interesting question: “How many chairs (what percentage) do you pass on your way from the top to the bottom of the chair lift?” [correction: As Joe points out, I somehow managed to totally mangle this question. Of course the question should be how many chairs you pass on the way from the bottom to the top of the chair. God Mondays are rough.] Make a first intuitive guess without thinking about the problem. I’d love to hear what people’s first guesses are in the comments.

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### 7 Responses to Day 9

1. Kaveh Kh. says:

Any non-negative integer?

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2. Dave Bacon says:

Doh, I meant to ask what percentage. Thanks Kaveh, I’ve now modified the question appropriately.

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3. Kaveh Kh. says:

Arbitrary close to 100% ?

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4. ro says:

All of them, right?

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5. mick says:

Just to be different I’m going to say none of them.

I might be wrong as well though but I feel that the 0% needed to be given so that there is some dissent. Now right-wing journalists can use this disagreement to say that “even scientists don’t know how many chairs you pass on a chair lift” and so we should probably not think about it too much and maybe we shouldn’t sign the Kyoto protocol either… Oh and seeing as science is democratic, if I can get a few friends to post ans say 0% then maybe my answer will be the right one?

Wow, I’m really cynical this morning… the real answer is 100% by the way.

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6. Jon says:

“How many chairs (what percentage) do you pass on your way from the top to the bottom of the chair lift?”

So in Santa Fe do you guys ski up the mountain and take the chair lift back down? Personally, I prefer it the other way around.

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7. Steve says:

You ruined it! You’re only supposed to pose this question to people who are currently on the lift! Everyone you ask who’s riding the lift gets the wrong answer; usually they guess 1/2, although I have heard 2/3 and 1/4.

Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve only ever posed this question to physicists, and the correctness of the given answers was *inversely* correlated with how much education they had!

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