## Wednesday, June 13, 2012

### Buttering cats

I'd not heard of the buttered cat paradox until commenter JC referenced it:
Frankly, both these scenarios horrify me so I guess we'll get some ungainly version of the the "buttered cat" bouncing between the two extremes.
I couldn't imagine a buttered cat would bounce, so I proposed the following experiment, the results of which (thought experiment conducted in my head) I also reported:
Hypothesis: A buttered cat will not bounce but rather will sit and lick itself until clean.
Materials: One cat. Butter.
Method: Butter cat. Drop from 1' height onto solid surface. Observe whether cat bounces or stops, sits, and licks self until butter is gone.
Observation: Cats do not being buttered. Pointy ends matter.
Conclusions: Do not butter a cat.
Turns out, somebody's actually run the experiment. Except using buttered toast. The cat wins.

As always, my commenters help me to learn things I didn't know before. Thanks!

1. I'm not convinced about the tests in that video -- the bread was under-toasted and poorly buttered.

1. I didn't know that the toast theorem had such strict guidelines. But, Duhem-Quine is always a problem.

2. If you do it right this is what really happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8yW5cyXXRc

1. Wow. I was in the dark about a huge meme. That doesn't usually happen. I must not be wasting enough time on the internet.

3. Here's the specifics of space flight energy from the buttered cats:

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Murphy%27s_law_application_for_antigravitatory_cats

Its application to Chch is there will always be too much or too little butter, causing a very erratic redevelopment.

JC

1. Dear Gods. People have put more work into this problem than the Wikipedia piece I linked? On the other hand, even a low probability of infinite free energy seems worth putting some effort into investigating.

4. This test didn't prove anything. Not enough butter and not nailed to the cat.

1. Every test is both a test of the stated hypothesis and of all of the unstated auxillary assumptions around the hypothesis. What really counts as a "cat" for purposes of the experiment? What's the essential nature of buttered toast? Maybe we've only found that what we thought was toast isn't really "toast". Quinean indeterminacy is a cruel and heartless beast.

5. add mustard before drop cat and everything changes, cat, any cat, any cat at all can really bounce, this proves theorem convincing

6. another thing you supposed to drop cat upside down, otherwise there is no proof it can move, and as I said above you add mustard up bum and it move ok, its a one off test, then your cat go live down the road, next door, goodbye cat

As I randomly delete anonymous comments, please use a handle. Comments on older posts go into moderation; sorry if there are delays in hoisting your comment from the moderation pool.