The Mathematician’s Son


There once lived in a village a smart professor of physics. One day, the village president told the professor: “You may be a great professor, but I have to tell you that your son does not know the value of gold or silver, and this is a shame.”

The professor called the boy and asked, “Son what is more valuable – gold or silver?” The son replied “Gold, of course.”

“Yes, that is the right answer. But why is it then, that the village president claims you can’t tell the difference between the value of gold or silver?”

“I have a very good explanation for this,” replied his son. “Every day after school, as I am on my way home, I see the village president sitting in his yard with several village elders around him. He calls me to come near and in front of everyone, he takes out a silver coin and a gold coin. He asks me to pick up the more valuable coin. I pick the silver coin. They laugh and send me home. Every day the president calls me, asks me to pick and lets me go with the silver coin in my pocket. That is why they tell you I do not know the value of gold or silver. ”

“I see but… why don’t you pick up the gold coin?” the professor asked.

The professor’s son showed his father a jar filled with silver coins and said, “The day I pick up the gold coin, their game will stop because they will stop having fun. And I will stop making money.”


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