Can You Solve This?


I’m gonna give you guys three numbers. A
three number sequence and I have a rule in mind that these three numbers obey
and I want you to try to figure out what that rule is. But the way you can get information is by proposing your own set of three numbers, to which I will say yes that follows my rule or no it doesn’t follow my rule. And then you can propose what you think the rule is. Is that fair? Okay, so here are the three
numbers: 2, 4, 8. 2, 4, 8. You don’t need to continue the sequence,
you can propose a totally different sequence, whatever you want to propose
and I will simply say yes or no 2, 4, 8? 16, 32 16 32 and 64? Those also follow my rule. ok What’s the rule you think? Multiply by 2? That is… not my rule. What? That’s not my rule. But you’re allowed, if you want, propose 3 other numbers. 3, 6, 12. 3, 6, 12? Follows my rule. 10, 20, 40. That follows the rule. I’m still multiplying by two I know [Laughter] I know what you’re doing. and yes it follows my rule but no it’s not
my rule. 5, 10 and 20? Follows my rule 100, 200, 400? Follows my rule 500, 1000, 2000 Follows my rule. You want me to keep going? But do I just keep going? You going to tell me or what? [Laughter] Am I doing it the wrong way? Am I approaching this the wrong way? You’re totally fine, but you’re approaching the way most
people approach it. Like think strategically about this. You want information. I have
information. The point of the three numbers, right, is to allow you to figure
out what the rule is. Okay, I’m going to give you the
numbers that I don’t think fits the sequence and see what you’ll say. So I’ll say 2, 4, 7. Fits my rule So, whatever I propose is right? So, is
your rule like you can propose any number? So, the rule is anything we say is yes? No Damn it [Laughter] But you were on the right track now. Hit me with three numbers. 3, 6, 9. Follows my rule. Hmm… Oh, that didn’t follow my rule. This is good, right? 5, 10, 15. That follows my rule. What? Oh… Really? Yeah I don’t believe this. 1, 2, 3? Follows the rule What about 7, 8, 9? [Laughter] Yes, that follows the rule. 8 16 39 Fits the rule. Excellent. But we’re no closer to the rule. I want you
get to the rule. How about 1, 7, 13 ? Follows the rule. 11, 12, 13? How does this make sense? Follows the rule. 10, 9, 8? I don’t know how to do this. Does not follow the rule. 10, 9, 8 does not. Oh, so, is it all in ascending order? Boo yeah! Up top! Yes. First ones to get it. You guys nailed it That’s the rule That’s the rule. Numbers in increasing order. Awww Numbers in ascending order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 25, doesn’t matter. Any numbers in ascending order. I was inspired to make this video by the
book the black swan by Nassim Taleb. Now, the black swan is a metaphor for the
unknown and the unexpected. I mean in the old world the theory was
that all swans were white. So, each instance of a white swan would
make you think, “Yeah, that theory is pretty good.” But the point is you can never
prove a theory true and in fact when people found Australia they realized
that there were black swans. What was interesting for me was that
everyone I spoke to came up with a rule very early on and then only proposed
numbers that fit with that rule they were thinking. I was looking for you guys
to propose a set of numbers that didn’t follow your rule and didn’t follow
my rule. I was looking for you guys not to try to confirm what you believe.
You’re always asking something where you expect the answer to be yes, right? Like, you’re trying to get at it.
But, instead you want to get the no’s. You want to get the no because that’s much more
informational for you then yes, Like everything is a yes.. That is true. That is really true and
once you say that. That is what’s so important about the scientific method. We set out to disprove our theories and it’s when can’t disprove them that we say this
must be getting at something really true about our reality. So, I think we should
do that in all aspects of our lives if you think that something is true you
should try as hard as you can to disprove it. Only then can you really get at the
truth and not fool yourself.

100 thoughts on “Can You Solve This?

  1. The problem here is that all these "people" he spoke to are incredibly stupid. How did they learn to talk in the first place? They should be running around sniffing each others' butts. They think they know what the rule is after they have never heard a sequence FAIL the test, so they have no information about the pass/fail conditions of the rule, and they are so uncreative that literally every goddamn thing they guess has the ratio 1 to 2 to 4. If it had been me, I'd have been guessing a variety of things in the first place, to find some things that actually FAIL the test, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't think I had figured out the rule if everything I had guessed had passed, unless I had guessed such a wide variety of things that virtually anything a human would have thought of that wasn't "everything passes" would have failed something I had thought of. I'd be guessing sequences like "pi, 3, the square root of 7" and such before long, and the rule being any increasing sequence or any nondecreasing sequence would have been one of the first things I would have considered anyway, so I would have figured it out effectively very fast.

  2. 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, It's the journey using a PC over these years…. How many nodes are we connected to? What BBS are we on? Is that 56K Modem? Wow!

  3. A bad scientist agrees with his discovery, and a good one tries to disprove it. Learnt that "Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future "

    Great book if you haven't read it, it reveals much about what is likely to come.
    Ecclesiastes 1:9

    “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

    King James Version (KJV)

  4. So if I think I can do something with my life, then I should continue staying up late and falling into YouTube's suggestion trap to prove it wrong…

  5. If the rule was for ex doubling each time, trying to find a set of numbers which does't fit woul'nt be very usefull to find what is the rule…

  6. What you have confirmed is that an average individual knows only the most basic math. Real numbers vs imaginary numbers. Positive integers vs. negative integers? Rational numbers vs. irrational number system?

  7. The 'rule' of 'search for the black swan in stead of the white ones' (the falsification-theory) is from Karl Popper. He is one of the absolute heroes of the 20th century, but maybe even more because he was not only a philosopher of science but also an ethic philosopher. His book "the open society and it's enemies" remains relevant today, and probably for a long time to come.

  8. Its funny that the first time i watched this video i didn't think the people were proposing the numbers wrong, because it made sense, and then I completelly forgot that I watched it. But then i watched it again just now and apparently my brain has adquired the idea that this video tryed to transmit in origin… and just after the obvious "16,32,64" proposal I was thinking: come on it's wrong dont keep proposing double numbers, propose 5,2,10 or decreasing numbers or something else that is not just an increasing series of numbers.

    So what I mean is: thank you @Veritasium, you make the world a better place and the people more sucessful in future problems they may face in their lives.

  9. When I teach to write solid programs I always ask them if they have tested it properly. They mostly check with valid inputs but almost never test with inputs that should throw errors. Creating negative response to check if the code is solid (and can handle all inputs, even wrong ones) is they way to go. Basically the same thing. Think outside the box/rule.

  10. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did this, too. He said to make your opponents argument as strong as possible before tying to break it.

    This forces people to find truth instead of trying to win the argument.

  11. Wow people are dumb. How can you go on on and on and on and on and on without trying descending order or random order…

  12. 42284/31123 , 3121313198923/2319829802 , 231982129121212-21298192/31982982^2 ???

    See you in a while "rule man"

  13. When I was in high school, we were asked for the next in the sequence 4 14 23 34 42 50… and the answer was 59th St, Columbus Circle. All stops on the 8th Avenue line, which many of us rode every day. As a subway nerd, I totally had the answer.

  14. I was thinking 3 numbers fall the rule therefore the rule would be three numbers of any integer. Then she said numbers in a different order. So confused 🤷🏾‍♂️. Oh it’s ascending Waka waka 😂

  15. i was completing my project file while watching the video, until found the logic,i realised, i had completely scribbled my final page with numbers and their squares…..

  16. Are people really this stupid to not realize that it follows the rule 2^n. All the other sequences proposed are simply 2^n multiplied by a constant. How much more obvious can this get?

  17. I would like to see how you explain the dividing by less than1 and how it applies to physics like super conductivity, coronal mass ejections and dont forget dark matter

  18. Unreal how hard math and science (the scientific method) is to the average person… if these people can be considered as “average” intelligence.

  19. This video is awesome !
    I came up with a bunch of rules along the course of the video before finding the right one but the progress only started once the "no" were coming (I was disappointed noone tried to tell a different number of numbers, at some point I came up with "sequence of 3 numbers"). Perfectly illustrated.

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