Rainbow puzzle

Suppose that a child standing next to you ‘sees’ a rainbow about 5kms away, near their home, and ask how far the end of it is from a landmark. The end appears to be at a lone tree which you know to be about 500 metres from the landmark. What, pragmatically, do you reply?

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You might reasonably reply ‘about 500 metres’ (or yards). But what if the child hasn’t seen an actual rainbow before so clearly, and excitedly phones their sibling, who is at home and has a good view of the area around the landmark? Maybe, as things turn out, it may come to seem more truthful to say ‘about 5kms’ and more pragmatic to explain that the whole rainbow only existed in the eye of the beholder.

More uncertainty puzzles here.

Dave Marsay

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