This post originally appeared on the Annexe.

“It is also true that our intuitions have been known to fail. Indeed, many of the deliverances of reason don’t seem to be reasonable at first glance. When asked how thick a piece of newspaper would be if one could fold it upon itself one hundred times in succession, most of us imagine something about the size of a brick. A little arithmetic reveals, however, that such an object would be as thick as the known universe. If we’ve learned anything in the last two thousand years, it is that a person’s sense of what is reasonable sometimes needs a little help finding its feet.