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.