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Let’s avoid black holes, Okay?

Let’s avoid black holes, Okay?

When I finished my studies, I felt an irresistible desire to get to know the world a little better. Since I had always been interested in experiencing cultures, and because I believe that it is not possible to get to know the realities of life looking at monuments and visiting popular tourist destinations, I decided to find a job abroad to satisfy my curiosity.

I managed to secure a job very quickly and found myself in a bread rolls factory in Western Europe. On the first day at work, or rather the first night since I was working the night shift (22:00-6:00), I was navigated through an extremely brief professional training session lasting 10 seconds. The job description was relatively straightforward: the rolls arrive on a line heading towards the store room. If you spot a roll that differs from the rest in terms of approved shape and form, you take it off the line and put in the trash. I thought to myself “this is not quite a demanding occupation – I will have a lot of time to think about my life”. At 02:00, I had already managed to think through my life four times. Hence, for the lack of better alternatives, I decided to start analyzing the Liar Paradox.  

A Cretan says: all Cretans are lying”. This statement has been providing entertainment for different types of thinkers from around the world since 4th century B.C. The authorship of the paradox is attributed to Eubulides of Miletus who included it among a list of seven puzzles. He said, “A man says that he is lying. Is what he says true or false?”. Interestingly, he dealt with the most radical version of this expression: “All Cretans are always lying”. Analysing this, we will be fascinated by this paradox:

  • A Cretan saying "all Cretans lie" - says the truth, because "all Cretans are always lying"
  • A Cretan saying "all Cretans lie" – lies, because, by telling the truth, he denies that he always lies.

The phenomenon of this statement is that a person is simultaneously telling the truth and telling a lie – two mutually exclusive conditions. This can be described as a “black hole in logic”. Reflecting on this, I came to the conclusion that the key to solving the puzzle is the correct understanding of the word “lies”. In colloquial terms, the word "lie" can be used both to determine the action and its effects (logical value: true, false). The sentence is grammatically correct, but in a logical sense it is not complete. Completion of the sentence with "what a Cretan lies about", will eliminate the paradox. Of course, one issue is the understanding of the phenomenon, and the other is presenting convincing evidence. I have analyzed recent reference documents. The dispute continues to the present day – new arguments are being proposed to the solutions and interpretations presented to date.

At GAEU Consulting, we do not have time to deal with philosophy. In GAEU, we respect and value our customers’ time and our own time. The Liar Paradox, however, comes back to me at almost all occasions when I discuss cooperation possibilities with prospective clients. In our field, the precision of information is of utmost importance, both at the stage of analyzing and identifying appropriate funding sources, as well as the stage of drafting application for funding.

In Horizon 2020, there are more than 200 different topics and calls for proposals, each of which co-finances different types of projects. There are also funding opportunities in national funding programs in all EU Member States. Due to varying funding rules and requirements on the scope and character of the projects, it is not possible to define the optimal source of funding on the basis of a few general statements about the project.

In the application drafting stage, the specific requirements of the program (e.g. single participant project vs consortium project) will translate into a concrete amount of time that both GAEU’s team and the Client’s team will need to invest in the preparation of application documents.

The key to the ultimate success and time-efficiency of this process is the contribution and the engagement from the Client. This is because the most valuable information about the project, technology, market and strategies are always inside the Client’s company. The data found on the Internet can be a good complement to this knowledge, but it is the practical insight into the product and its market applications which will make the grant proposal unique and stand out from the crowd. The timely delivery of this project specific data is the key to our common success.

Dear Customers, as illustrated by the Liar’s Paradox, one incomplete and imprecise statement can be pondered upon and discussed for over 2000 years. If we are to win the funding for your project in a time-efficient manner, please put all your efforts in delivering the complete and precise project information to us. As shown by our exceptional track record in securing SME Instrument funding for our Clients, co-operations based on those premises do pay off!

Rafał Stachórski

Senior Key Account Manager, GAEU Consulting