Approaching the house you notice there are no lights on. Sitting at the front is an old man. He say, "I am sorry, but we have no lights. If you must find your way through the house then you only need to know the first room and you will know all rooms."

Ignoring the single room house solution, what are some possible floor plans for the house?
Posted on 2005-01-25 23:37:52 by bitRAKE
The layout could be like a stack of cards, each room the same as the others, one on top of the other - stairs at the opposite wall as the one you entered.

The furniture in the first room is arranged in such a way so that it lays out a map of the rest of the house - empty spaces are hallways while couches, chairs, and lamps are walls or other obstacles.

There aren't any rooms at all.

Sitting in the middle of the first room are night vision goggles ;-)

There is somebody else in the first room that isn't senile and can tell you the layout of the rest of the house.

The house is inside-out and you're already in it. By walking through the door of the first room you're actualy leaving the house altogether!

Each successive room is smaller than the previous and is located in the center of the one you're currently in. Kind of like the Russian dolls that fit inside eachother.

The first room is in the shape of the number 1 and so logicaly you'll expect the next one to be shaped as the number 2... unless Fibonacci built it, in which case you should expect lots of rabbits.

Posted on 2005-01-26 01:18:52 by Sparafusile
There can be no stairs, as that would make the house infinitely tall.

Each room must have at least one door that leads to the outside.

Each room can have no more than 1 door leading to another room otherwise there will be infinite rooms.




Variants then can be made by having more than one door that leads to the outside world.

This is of course dependant on whether you have two types of door (room->room doors, and room->outside doors). If this distinction is not made, then things change quite a bit...

Posted on 2005-01-26 04:14:05 by Mirno
the rooms could have no walls at all
Posted on 2005-01-26 07:30:41 by arafel
I'm trying not to duplicate solutions from other people here, but it's hard thinking up new stuff :)

As you enter the first room, you recognize the building. You know how to find your way now. :)

The first room locks you in until the sun rises :o

The front door leads to a corridor which runs around the entire perimiter of the house, so it can be reasonably said that all other rooms are a part of one large room of which you already know everything. I don't know *how* you would know, though :)

It is also possible to have multiple identical rooms arranged in a circle, or any other loop of regular-shaped rooms. Of course to be identical, each must have an outside door.
Posted on 2005-01-26 08:23:28 by Qweerdy
take 2 stones and a paper..
smash them together few times on the paper.. this creates a spark and finally fire.
have fun walking in the house. ;)
Posted on 2005-01-26 12:07:40 by wizzra
All the floors are dark.
Posted on 2005-01-26 13:59:45 by SpooK
I made the puzzle up, so there are no 'correct' answers. The justifications and humor is most appreciated. My mind looked for some symetry at first:

| |
(With each of the X's being rooms and doorways being lines to other rooms -- lines without a destination lead outside.) Of course, there is a mirrored version.

Different solutions are possible depending on the perceptual assumptions. It seems safe to assume we can tell the outside from the inside. Sparafusile keenly brings this to light with "The house is inside-out and you're already in it." But if this were the case then might we already know the first room and hence all others. Therefore, we would know we are inside which is a contradiction of the stated problem. Additionally, if we did not know the inside from the outside we would be lost without chance of finding our way.

Following this first assumption, I questioned what we know of the room. Spook nailed that one - they are dark. :) It does not seem we can enter a room and know all the doorways leading from the room (dark meaning we cannot see). So, we know where we came from (outside) and are in a room (the conventional meaning of a space enclosed by walls, sorry arafel). Mirno understood every room must lead outside (let us hope there is only one level :)).

Do we explore the room, or can we get by without tracing the walls? If we are allowed to trace the walls then the number of solutions are infinte -- I ignore this possiblity for that reason. This is not abundantly clear. Think about the possible interpretations of any room layout with respect of symetry. The solutions are restricted greatly by only being allowed to find another doorway and exit to another room or outside.

Multiple exits to outside are not possible because leaving the house after entering would not give us complete information about the house's rooms. (How are the rooms connected?) So, we enter from the outside and pass through the first room and doing so completely informs us about the other rooms. This was atleast my thinking when I came up with the problem...

...a better way to state the problem would be to ask how by entering and exiting the first room might we know the rest of the house. I tried to make a little story of it and not give too much away, though.
Posted on 2005-01-27 22:04:34 by bitRAKE
I am curious to know what made you come up with such a riddle?
Posted on 2005-01-28 16:05:41 by clippy
Play Final Fantasy(, watch all the gundams, believe in god,
Tenkku No Shurato, etc.

Well, I would use my millions of matches then I would pray to god, bless me in this path.
Posted on 2005-01-28 17:11:34 by Statix Star
I am curious to know what made you come up with such a riddle?
This was wrote down over five years ago during a period of great self reflection.
Posted on 2005-01-28 20:14:07 by bitRAKE
As you approach the house you realise that you are not familar with the first room so decide to turn around and ask the old man for further help but he has gone. As you're in an open space you wonder where the old man could have gone in just a few seconds. You turn back and realise there is no longer a house, this makes you question weather either were real in the first place. After much though you start to question the existence of everything and come to the conculsion that nothing exists which your mind cannot perceive. After further thought you realise that what the man refered to by "first room" wasn't a physical room but was your own mind and that once you knew your own mind you would know all that it can perceive.
Posted on 2005-01-29 08:52:51 by QuantumMatrix1024
All life consumes, but is thought required for consumption? It seems clear to me that we can consume without thought. It is thought itself which restricts the minds ablity to perceive. Therefore, knowing ones self through thought only allows one to see themself in others, but does little to assist one in seeing others unless we assume all people (things) are the same. we turn around to find that we are the old man (or house)? :lol:
Posted on 2005-01-29 13:59:14 by bitRAKE
What are u guys talking?
I cant get a thing.... :roll:
Posted on 2005-01-30 14:59:18 by clippy
I can't tell if you two have been reading too much of Zeno's work, or if you've been watching too many Outer Limits episodes. I would guess the former for bitRAKE and the later for QM1024.

Posted on 2005-01-30 15:42:27 by Sparafusile
I see movies sometimes, but I don't watch TV and I'll have to google for Zeno. I think too much about nothing. :) My girlfriend doesn't like my comparison of consumption to perception, and really doesn't like the use of general statements about organisms being applied to a theory of mind.

Does anyone else believe there might be a psuedo-similar framework encompassing our understanding across several fields of study? Maybe the search would help us understand complexity better? Or maybe it would help us find a better way to teach the topics?

...I like this Zeno guy.
Posted on 2005-01-30 20:31:31 by bitRAKE