The Dining Hall Paradox

Written by Achal

It’s been, I guess, 3-4 months at SNU now since I came across one of the peculiarities relating to the experience of having meals in the dining hall. For the sake of clarification, our campus has got three dining halls named by their respective numbers. Being an integrated part of this ever-advancing technology, we humans have also developed the art of feeding ourselves with a variety of stuff. Over time, people have got accustomed to the various variations in the food we eat.

It’s always a fascinating experience whenever we begin a new phase in life. Also, each one has completely new surprises packed in it. Although this was supposed to be an obvious one, what it brought up along with it was unimaginable. Given the parenthesis of ‘practicality’ that is deeply engrossed in minds of today’s society and science, upholding an ‘enigma’ of logic, I am considering my readers to have heard of the term “String Theory”. Even if this isn’t the case, I will surely give a brief introduction to it.

String theory is just another ontology, it can also be viewed as another misstep to answer questions such as what is reality. The reason I have referred to it as a ‘misstep’ is that, it presents almost all the answers in an elegant manner which is an achievement but on the other hand, it has crossed boundaries with what we call the observable universe. It has pushed forward the limits of Mathematics to things whose existence can neither be proved nor be disproved. One such beautiful concept is of the existence of parallel universes.

Although, this concept takes rise from the very nature of the microscopic realm, it becomes a question of paradoxes when extended to the macroscopic one. It starts taking into account multiple things happening simultaneously, wherein, if possible by any chance, we would a part of a world where ‘time’ itself would lose its significance. Well, by this time, one would have at least acquired the slightest of the ideas about this theory. If you are more interested in it, you might want to check out this link:

Luckily, one such remarkable irony was observable in our dining hall. Before reaching to the point where it transcends into a paradoxical situation, one ought to know the whole procedure in which the food is being served. Our Dining Hall (DH) comprises of two electronic coupon counters and each coupon has got a unique number. As soon as the order is ready, the respective order number is displayed on the screen, thereafter which, students are meant to receive their respective meals from in front of the mess window. Here is where the funny part begins. Suppose your order number is 1100, what will be your reaction when both 1101 and 1099 appear before 1100? This sort of melancholic state can still be accepted to some extent but what if the same happens with almost everyone Then the obvious question that strikes in the mind is, WHO GETS THEIR FOOD IN TIME?

Not exaggerating the matter, but the next time you walk into DH, just keep a keen eye on your order number and rather than cursing the workers inside, sit back and enjoy the paradox you have just become a part of by literally doing nothing!

About the author


Life is beautiful when I follow 'check and change' yet not the same when tried to 'check-mate'

Leave a Comment