Hemingway

hemingway mgg

Just saying…

razor

I don’t now about anybody else, but I’ve been shaved by a barber exactly once in my life: several years before I saw Sweeney Todd, though I’m not sure there’s a connection.

Oh, and probably somebody’ll want to explain “Captain Tony,” and why Grimm’s eyes boggled at the mention of his name.

42 Comments

  1. Captain Tony’s is located in the building where Hemingway hung out when he lived in Key West in the 30s. At the time, it was called Sloppy Joe’s, but Sloppy Joe’s moved a couple of blocks away sometime before WWII and is also still in business. Which one is more important to the dedicated Hemingway fan is probably a matter of how long the lines are.

    As for the rest of the comic, I have no idea. Are Hemingway beards even all that popular in Key West? I can’t imagine they’d be terribly comfortable in the Caribbean summer. For that matter, did Hemingway have that beard when he lived there? I thought it was from towards the end of his life when he lived in Idaho.

  2. A talking dog. A talking rooster. A talking rooster with a hat and glasses. A talking dog with a nose like no other dog I’ve ever seen. A talking dog, standing on its hind legs, that still isn’t as tall as the hat and glasses wearing rooster. And the problem with this comic is that most of the men don’t use a razor? THAT’s where you lose your suspension of disbelief?

  3. ‘I can’t imagine they’d be terribly comfortable in the Caribbean summer.’

    Hubby has worn a Hemingway/Santa Claus beard since 1981; I’ve NEVER heard him complain about it affecting his comfort level, even here in FL, or any of the other scuba-diving areas he’s visited.

  4. Mitch4: you’ve taken the fundamental paradox at the heart of set theory and made it sound like one of those solvable Boy’s Life brain teasers: Who is president when the vice president dies? The president. If the barber shaves every man in town who does not shave himself, how can he avoid shaving himself, and thus invalidating himself from the set? Easy, he grows a beard… Waitaminute!

  5. BillClay, you could make the same comment about half the comics currently running:

    By reading MGG, we accept a universe where an elderly goose can own a talking dog. That doesn’t mean we’ve signed up for a universe where purple snow is accepted as normal, or where men have lost the ability to shave.

  6. “Mitch4: you’ve taken the fundamental paradox at the heart of set theory and made it sound like one of those solvable Boy’s Life brain teasers”

    Well, he’s hardly the first and it’s not that unusual or difficult a thing to do.

    ….

    Actually as stated the problem is solvable. The barber shaves all the men who don’t shave themselves. But the statement doesn’t say he *only* shaves all the men who don’t shave themselves. He shaves all the men who don’t shave themselves and one man who does.

    Now if you said he shaves precisely all the men in town who don’t shave themselves and no-on else then… the barber lives outside the town limits. If the barber lives inside the town limit and shaves precisely all the men in town who don’t shave themselves and no-one else then the person posing the question is a liar.

    If the barber lives inside the town limit and shaves precisely all the men in town who don’t shave themselves and no-one else and the person telling the puzzle is honest, then its story about things that don’t actually happen.

  7. “If the barber lives inside the town limit and shaves precisely all the men in town who don’t shave themselves and no-one else and the person telling the puzzle is honest, then its story about things that don’t actually happen.”

    Or the barber is a woman who never shaves.

  8. And if you can avoid the pronouns long enough, and still state the problem precisely enough, maybe the solution can be that the town’s only barber is a woman. Or a young man who does not at present grow any facial hair.

    Or we could, as larK teases, settle back and let it develop more fully into Russell’s Paradox. In the mood for Ramified Theory of Types, anybody?

  9. If the barber also works as a bartender then it is no surprise that the guys who don’t shave themselves don’t let him shave them either. Why that makes them end up looking like Hemingway and not ZZ Top is an enduring mystery.

  10. ” wouldn’t the bartender be the one person on the premises LEAST likely to be drinking?”

    In Key West? At a Hemingway bar? I suggest that “not drinking” isn’t a thing on those premises.

  11. “Or the barber is a woman who never shaves.”

    Guddammet!

    I was thinking that the barber shaves *everyone* who don’t shave themselves includes women who don’t shave themselves (it *doesn’t* allow bearded people) but as it says shaves all *men*…. Argle-bargle….

  12. Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I REALLY like the MG&G series this week; that one about aging Barbie was such a dud. And here is the first of the Key West-themed MG&G, from Monday . . .

  13. Andréa is correct. Wearing a bead, especially a thicker one, is perfectly comfortable in a hot and humid environment. I was bearded for most of the years I lived in Singapore, which is only about a degree off of the equator. Now if you’ve just got some stubble, that can be much more annoying in such an environment.

  14. Trying to figure out some way to solve the paradox by postulating that the Spanish barber had multiple personalities, but I got to arguing with my other selves as to whether or not that would count, and my side lost, three to five.

  15. I think the abstract version of the paradox is better. A set can contain just about anything, including another set. A set can even contain itself. The set of all sets is a set and is therefore a member of the set of all sets, thus it contains itself.
    Can a set S exist that is the set of all sets that DO NOT contain themselves? If S does not contain itself, then S is contained in S, but if S does contain itself, then S is not contained in S.

  16. “Wearing a bead, especially a thicker one…”

    No, this comic is about Key West. Wearing beads is New Orleans.

  17. “Can a set S exist that is the set of all sets that DO NOT contain themselves?”

    This is easily resolved by order of operations. NOT is the highest, so your statement is actually the same as

    Set S = the set of all (sets that DO NOT contain themselves?)

    Thus, set S is a subset of the set of all sets, in which sets that contain themselves are excluded, and all others are included.

  18. I thought Captain Tony was the former mayor of Key West famous for greeting tourists with something like, “Welcome to Key f****in’ West! I’m the f****in’ mayor here!”

  19. Historically, when stated precisely (and not just in words, though it is good to have the verbal form as well as symbolic), there is not really any good resolution — certainly not by verbal gymnastics and quibbles, nor an imagined “order of operations” or other irrelevant imports. Russell’s notation was very precisely defined (though the grouping devices look weird to us now), and he did not put the NOT somewhere tricky that you can “fix”.

    The resolution, such as it was, was as larK says a revolution at the heart of set theory. You can’t just formulate a condition (a statement with a variable) and then perform an abstraction to get “the set” of all x’s that satisfy the condition. Nothing guarantees there is such a set.

    A related but different-looking resolution would be to say a set cannot freely contain just any old thing — most significantly, an ordinary set of individual entities cannot itself be a member of an ordinary set. Yes, you can have a collection (of some sort) with sets as members — but it won’t be a set of the same type. Thus, the “theory of Types”. Didn’t make people happy for long.

  20. ” when stated precisely (and not just in words, though it is good to have the verbal form as well as symbolic), there is not really any good resolution”

    I’m certain this is true. But discarding order of operations isn’t called for.

  21. Mitch4: Aw, I thought I had found a proof that Godel’s incompleteness theorem was wrong by noticing that women can be barbers. Bummer. 😉

  22. JP, I don’t understand your parsing. “Sets that do not contain themselves” seems clear enough to me. But I suppose I could re-state it in proper set notation, if I took the time to find the “such that” and “is an element of” symbols.

  23. “I thought I had found a proof that Godel’s incompleteness theorem was wrong by noticing that women can be barbers.”

    Just wait until barbers can be robots. I expect a footnote when you publish…

  24. “JP, I don’t understand your parsing.”

    The problem, as stated, contains two operators… ALL and NOT. If you evaluate ALL first, you get the paradox. If you evaluate NOT first, you don’t. In the order of operations, NOT has the highest precedence, and should be evaluated first.

    This effect is likely caused by poorly transferring the concepts into English (Mitch4’s comment of 3/14 9:08, and my concession of same in my comment of 11:38) However, the solution to that problem is to rephrase the problem (more) correctly, not discard order of operations. There is certainly a good argument for dispensing with order of operations, it messes up countless fifth-graders who are just getting the hang of actually doing multiplication and exponentiation.

  25. My point was, ‘robots can be barbers’ is a completely different statement than ‘barbers can be robots’. In the first, robots can ONLY be barbers; in the second, barbers can be robots, or maybe other jobs.

    Great comic, tho!

  26. “maybe they are the same. Just not to me.”

    Hopefully my second attempt was unambiguous, as the original was intended to be but apparently was not.

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