This is Newcomb’s Paradox, a Problem You Will Never Solve

YouTuber Vsauce 2 illustrates the famed paradox that has confounded mathematicians for over 50 years.
Loukia Papadopoulos

YouTuber Vsauce 2 brings us this wonderful but confusing video of the famed Newcomb’s Paradox brought to life with a box full of candy.

"Newcomb’s Paradox has confounded philosophers, mathematicians, and game players for over 50 years. The problem is simple: You can take Box A, which contains $1,000, *and* Box B, which contains either $0 or $1,000,000, or you can just take Box B. The right choice seems obvious -- but there’s a catch. Before you play, an omniscient being has predicted whether you’d take both Box A and Box B or *only* Box B," reads the video's description.

"If he’s predicted that you’ll take both, he’s put $0 in Box B. If he predicts that you’ll only take Box B, he’s put $1,000,000 inside. So… what do you do? I explore the two approaches to this problem, one based on the math of expected utility and the other based on a logical dominance principle. Newcomb’s Paradox raises questions about free will and determinism as it explores whether a problem with no solution might be easier than a problem with two perfectly valid contradictory solutions."

Although Vsauce 2 explains the famous paradox pretty well in his description, he does it even better in the video. So stop reading and start watching.

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