16 October 2013

How many holes are in this shirt?


Saw this picture on Facebook and couldn't resist to add to the long stream of comments saying 6, 7, 8, .. holes:

First: Definition of a hole? You have separations between threads in the fabric for instance, do they count?

Second: Even with a definition it's impossible to say only based on that picture since you can't see holes on the back of the shirt, covered by the part of the front that is not ripped open. For instance, you can see right through so there must be holes on the back but is there two different holes or one big hole?

For the spirit of the question: At minimum zero, assuming the yellow parts are only clever design and the whole back is gone so that holes for arm, neck etc. are not really holes anymore... hard to call it shirt in that case tough.

... so what's the minimum requirement for it to be called a shirt?

You could of course continue and question things like if that's a shirt or a drawing, that a two dimensional object in general would work poorly as a shirt if you don't live in Flat Land and so on.

I wanted to share this just as an example of how many assumptions we make when giving a simple answer even to a simple question. I leave it to you to make something out of it but a start could be to look critically at simple, especially "universal", answers you get or give. What's required for them to be true and are you sure that reflects reality?

16 comments:

  1. When i saw this picture first, I had a thought: whether those yellow patches are really the holes?

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    1. That was what I meant with "clever design" in my post, but that wasn't obvious (you are not the first one commenting on it).

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  2. When I first saw this picture, the number 2 immediately came to my head. Then as I kept reading the article I was thinking "oh yeah true, could be one or two holes in the back of the shirt"...... "Yep yep what constitutes a hole? (I.e. could be very very small)"

    It still amazes me how easy it is to make assumptions eh

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    1. ... and I think it's almost impossible -not- to come to those quick conclusions. The important thing to me is to not just accept those answers but rather to stop and question if we've really found a true/true enough answer.

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  3. Some other ideas to apply:
    * That's not a shirt, it's a picture of a shirt
    * Maybe the "holes" are actually pink stains
    * Maybe the pink in the holes is the colour of the lining in the shirt
    * Maybe the shirt has a laundry tag. That loop might count as a hole.
    * Maybe this shirt belongs to a man with one arm. One arm hole is sewn up. That could mean one less hole or more depending on the definition of hole and the size of the stitching.
    * Maybe this ripped shirt is the logo of the Ripped Shirt Company on the front of the actual shirt and the image is just zoomed in on the logo. Most of the shirt is out of frame, so we'll never know how many holes there are.

    A truly great example of fast vs slow thinking, thanks for posting this :).

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  4. Seeing that we are unable to see the shirt in a three dimensional fashion, there is no way to tell exactly how many holes it has. The definition of a hole is an opening into or through something, so let us disregard any debate as to what holes would and would not count in this situation. So first, let us assume the shirt is three dimensional. All that being said, two holes are clearly visible on the ventral region of the shirt but that doesn't mean their are two holes on the dorsal side that match perfectly with the two ventral ones. Their could just be one large hole on the dorsal side of the shirt allowing us to see clear through the two smaller ventral holes. If the shirt does indeed have a cephalic, pelvic, and two matching bilateral axillary holes... than the count of the holes would change from the 3/4 to 7/8. But what if the shirt isn't three dimensional, but only two? In that case, only the holes visible in the image would be counted, which would be two. The total possible counts available based on these possibilities as well as the possibility that anywhere from 1 to all of the holes that are typically in a shirt (Cephalic, Pelvic and both axillary holes) are either stitched up or not ranges from 2 - 8. But in the end, WHO GIVES A CRAP

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    1. Saying all that I agree with that but if u think of it being three dimension. Than have you thought about if you turned the shirt inside out then you would have 16 holes

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  5. I got 16 holes. 1 neck 2 sleeves 1 waist 2 holes in front 2 holes in back.totaling 8. But then I thought of a sphere (a ball) if you drill a hole into a sphere you would end up with 2 holes yes one drilled but it would have two holes on it. So if you turn the shirt inside out you have another 8 holes so. What really is the answer 16 or 8.

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  6. focus the word how many holes, not the drawing...my answer is two holes

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    1. Anonymous02 June, 2014

      you dont even see 2 hole though
      bet you cant prove those are holes

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    2. Like I said in the post "at least zero", but might not be a shirt anymore if you remove holes for arms, head and lower body.

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  7. The openings in the shirt are not holes. Duh. There is a minimum of three holes in the shirt.

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  8. Answer is zero....question is how many holes are in this shirt?....But the picture is of T-Shirt...

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    1. It was there all along! how could nobody noticed.

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  9. If you turn the shirt inside out, they are the same holes, so it's still only 8, not 16. However, that is assuming there are corresponding holes in the back to the front and not just one big hole and no other holes!

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  10. If you turn the shirt inside out, they are the same holes, so it's still only 8, not 16. However, that is assuming there are corresponding holes in the back to the front and not just one big hole and no other holes!

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