Monday, October 8, 2007

The Thompson Paradox

Tomorrow actor and former Senator Fred Thompson debates for the first time as a Presidential candidate. Originally hailed as the 2008 Republican Party savior, Thompson has recently been on the receiving end of a vitriolic press, having been called lazy, rambling, subdued, unprepared, vague, and soporific.

Voters don’t often listen to the press. Thompson raised over $3 million/month in his first fund-raising quarter and nationally polls a solid second behind front-runner Rudy Giuliani.

In math, the Thompson Lamp Paradox describes a thought experiment in which a lamp is turned on for half a minute, then off for a quarter of a minute, then on for an eighth of a minute and so on. At the end of one minute, will the lamp be on or off?

Like all major candidates under the bright lights of national exposure, and true to the thought experiment that coincidentally shares him name, Thompson is a paradox. Voters love that. And soon we’ll find out, if at the end of the campaign, voters will have turned Thompson’s light on or off.

No comments: