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Posted by Lewis on January 12, 2004

In Reply to: Guardian of the guardian(s) of the gold posted by Ebony on January 11, 2004

: : : : : : Where does that expression come from? As in "Who is the guardian of the guardian(s) of the gold" or "Where is the guardian etc..."
: : : : : : The griffin [gryphon" is the mythological creature who guards the gold , but , usually its own gold.] My "guardian" is the one who keeps the guardians of other peoples' gold honest. But I still don't know where the expression originated or was coined. Help, please.

: : : : : I suspect this is a direct relative of the Lat*n expression (which I can't precisely remember!!) but which translates as 'Who is the custodian of the custodians?'. It is centuries old and, I believe, dates back to ancient Rome.

: : : : Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

: : : Who shaves the barber?

: : Reminds me of Russell's paradox. Suppose there is a barber B who shaves
: : those and only those who don't shave themselves. Does B shave himself?
: : If he does he doesn't. If he doesn't he does.

: Reminds me of that other paradox that centres around the outcome of a meeting between the irresistible force and the immovable object. Neither is worthy of the expenditure of even a femto second of thought.

Not worth a 'femto' second?

Heard of pico, but femto? Sounds a bit girly to me!

Anyway, can't resist a challenge!

I have never formally studied logic or philosophy - BUT - surely the answer is to conundra is often that there is no possible answer because two conditions are incompatible?

Surely, it is impossible for 'irresitable' and 'immovable' to co-exist and as they are theoretical constructs rather than attributes found to exist in the known universe, it is OK to say that the definitive answer is 'nothing' because they cannot co-exist.

To then be contentious, I suppose that if one theorises in the quantum multi-verse - one strand has the 'immovable' object move (relative to the force) and the other has the 'irrestistible' force pass by. My old physics professor would have said that it would all be down to the 'frame of reference' as to which one perceived to have happened. The earth hurtles round the sun as we speak, but we usually judge immobility/mobility by position on the surface of the earth - yet 'immobile' objects are in effect moving along the axis of the earth as it spins and furthermore round the sun as the earth circumnavigates the solar system. Then of course we have the solar system itself moving, the galaxy etc...

Even if we found the centre of the universe - how would we know that the universe did not itself spin? I'm sure Uncle Albert or Cousin Stephen could explain...