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Uncommon Knowledge: Why is it impossible to get anything done?

Leave it to the ancient Greeks, those innovators in so many areas of knowledge, to also make great advances in the philosophy of excuses. The scholar Zeno of Elea proposed the following paradox: Imagine you are traveling from point A to point B. First you travel half the distance, then half the remaining distance, then half the remaining distance, and so on. That means that, logically speaking, it is physically impossible for you to complete the trip. The same reasoning holds true for completing homework, cleaning bedrooms, washing dishes, etc. After first presenting this mind-twisting paradox, Zeno must have been disappointed by the response of Diogenes the Cynic, who disproved Zeno’s conclusion simply by standing up and walking across the room.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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