Friday, June 29, 2007

Mystery Question

Which is easier? To plan "the perfect" crime or to solve one? (Similarly, who needs more resources?)

1 comment:

Sean said...

I assume that the definition of a "perfect" crime implies that it can't be solved - you plan the deed, you do the deed, and you don't get caught. I'll take it a step further and say that a "perfect" crime is one that is executed so well that nobody even harbors suspicions that a crime took place, i.e. a "perfect" crime is one that doesn't motivate people to solve it, to begin with.

If that's the case, then it seems as though it would be much more difficult to solve a "perfect" crime. How does one solve a crime when it leaves no traces of its passing at all? When a tree falls in the middle of the woods with nobody around, how do we measure the frequency of its sound?

But then we must realize that the likelihood of committing a "perfect" crime would be pretty low. You'd need to have every single detail and circumstance placed just right, in order for everyone to think that the deed doesn't deserve further investigation. For that matter, you'd need everyone to completely ignore everything and go back to their daily meanderings. For that matter, you'd have to hope that nobody even so much as realizes something any number of years down the line. And even if everything comes together like you planned, there's still the fact that you know about the crime yourself, and you'd still have to cover that up in some way.

I figure that the difficulty is about the same for each one. It's like the concept of infinity, which is more or less the same wherever you go. The difference is that committing the "perfect" crime goes into the divergence of endless detail, and that solving a "perfect" crime is a matter of noticing something that's not even there. You might as well count all the numbers in the universe and then divide the resulting sum by zero -- you'll get the same thing either way.