If you had twenty birds in hand, how many would you have in the bush?

If you had twenty birds in hand, how many would you have in the bush?

22 posts
26 Aug 2011
Ken_Smith
Photographer
Ken_Smith
This question was on last night's Celebrity Big Brother.


But what's the answer?


Posted 26 Aug 2011
PUNKuate
Photographer
PUNKuate
twenty.

Posted 26 Aug 2011
GlasgowPhotographer
Photographer
GlasgowPhoto..
18 - two were shaved
Posted 26 Aug 2011
N_A_Photography
Photographer
N_A_Photogra..
40 is what they said on bb and no im not sad enough to watch it :-P hehe

Posted 26 Aug 2011
kirkschwarz
Photographer
kirkschwarz
Isn't the answer none (or an indeterminable number), a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush but if you have the bird in the hand already then you have none in the bush... Isn't that the whole point of the proverb?




...... Or have I looked to deeply into it?
Posted 26 Aug 2011
Edited by kirkschwarz 26 Aug 2011
N_A_Photography
Photographer
N_A_Photogra..
I have know idea my head hurts trying to figure out what you just said lol

Posted 26 Aug 2011
kirkschwarz
Photographer
kirkschwarz
N_A_Photography

I have know idea my head hurts trying to figure out what you just said lol


One certain bird is worth 2 birds that may or may not be in the bush...  Basically it means be happy with what you have because if you gamble for more you may have the 2 that are possibly in the bush or you may have none, it's a bit like Schrodinger's bird smiley
Posted 26 Aug 2011
Edited by kirkschwarz 26 Aug 2011
Ken_Smith
Photographer
Ken_Smith
kirkschwarz

Isn't the answer none (or an indeterminable number), a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush but if you have the bird in the hand already then you have none in the bush... Isn't that the whole point of the proverb?


Yes, you're spot on...    cheeky

When I was watching the show I instantly thought "none", so when the girl from The Only Way Is Essex said "forty" and the rest of them cheered, then BB said "That is the correct answer" I thought WTF...

But having thought about it I was right so I'm chuffed that despite getting on a bit I still have more brain cells left than all the Celeb BB contestants and Channel Five Production crew combined... 

As Kirk said, the proverb is: "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" so you either have a bird in the hand or two in the bush - not both!!!

So if you have a bird in your hand there are none in the bush. Twenty times nothing is still nothing so if you have twenty birds in your hand there would still be none in the bush. Note, this assumes you own the contents of the bush. If you don't own the contents of the bush it could be an indeterminate number as Kirk has observed...

If the question had been "If you have twenty birds in your hand, how many birds in the bush is that worth?" the answer would be forty...

Or forty would be the correct answer if the proverb was: "If you have a bird in your hand always keep a couple of birds in the bush for emergencies..."



Posted 26 Aug 2011
Edited by Ken_Smith 26 Aug 2011
kirkschwarz
Photographer
kirkschwarz
Woo, I never win anything ha I thought I was just being a bit pedantic but it turns out I wasn't, if only my teachers could see me now! Thanks for the brain teaser though, fun way to unwind after work and before an early night.

Posted 26 Aug 2011
Ken_Smith
Photographer
Ken_Smith
Ken_Smith

So if you have a bird in your hand there are none in the bush. Twenty times nothing is still nothing so if you have twenty birds in your hand there would still be none in the bush. Note, this assumes you own the contents of the bush. If you don't own the contents of the bush it could be an indeterminate number as Kirk has observed...


Just to clarify, owning the contents of the bush doesn't mean that it's an easy matter to access the contents of the bush, otherwise two birds in the bush would be worth more than a bird in the hand. The birds in the bush must be really really difficult to get at for them to be worth less than the bird you have in your hand...



P.S. Well done Kirk...    

Posted 26 Aug 2011
Edited by Ken_Smith 26 Aug 2011
whicker
Photographer
whicker
Good thread!

The proverb means that a single opportunity taken is worth two potential ones (which might not come to anything.)

So...

next one..

I have three stitches in time, how many have I saved?





Posted 29 Aug 2011
Ken_Smith
Photographer
Ken_Smith
whicker

I have three stitches in time, how many have I saved?


You still only save nine, because the first of your three stitches was in time, making the following two stitches superfluous...

cheeky
Posted 30 Aug 2011
TMG
Photographer
TMG


The question refers to relative values. In its literal sense, a bird in the hand really is worth two in the bush. It's the same equation a gambler uses. My one pound stake has a value relative to the odds on a horse in a given race. At evens I have a choice whether to gamble or keep my £1 stake. If I gamble and win I double my money - I wager my bird in the hand against the likelihood of getting two back. So my £1 in my pocket is, sometimes anyway, worth £2 I don't yet have.

If we take the proverb literally, we have to accept the given values, and the correct answer is indeed 40 ( a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush, not three, or four or any other number).

If we take it metaphorically, then the question as put has no meaning.
Posted 30 Aug 2011
Edited by TMG 30 Aug 2011
Ken_Smith
Photographer
Ken_Smith
TMG

If we take the proverb literally, we have to accept the given values, and the correct answer is indeed 40 ( a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush, not three, or four or any other number).


There might be 40 in the bush, but you wouldn't have 40 in the bush.

By your own gambling analogy, you would have a 50% chance of winning the 40 if you stake your 20 in hand. Only after you have bet your 20 could you win the 40 so at no time would you have both the 20 and the 40 simultaneously. So when you have the 20 in hand you don't have any of the birds in the bush yet...
Posted 30 Aug 2011
TMG
Photographer
TMG
Ken_Smith

There might be 40 in the bush, but you wouldn't have 40 in the bush.

By your own gambling analogy, you would have a 50% chance of winning the 40 if you stake your 20 in hand. Only after you have bet your 20 could you win the 40 so at no time would you have both the 20 and the 40 simultaneously. So when you have the 20 in hand you don't have any of the birds in the bush yet...



Depends what you mean by "have". If you have 1 bird in the hand, and that 1 bird has a value of 2 birds (in the bush)  placed on it, then for the purposes of calculation, having 20 birds in the hand means you have 40 birds in the bush. You don't have 40 birds in the hand, but you do have them in the bush.





Posted 31 Aug 2011
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