Got that? Well, in all honesty I don't either, but the gist of it is that intelligent people were toying with the question of whether something can be two things at once until someone actually sees them, in which case they can only be one thing.
I remember back in 1991 packs of O-Pee-Chee Premier were - very briefly - the most heavily anticipated thing in the baseball card world. The previous year's hockey release had been a massive success, I remember packs of that disappearing from shelves in seconds and single cards from the set being highly sought after at shows that year.
Everyone thought the baseball set, which is identical in design, would repeat that success. It came out a bit later than the other releases that year, and I remember that in the first Beckett to come out with them listed the prices were extremely high - the Frank Thomas was like 15$, way more than his cards in any other set that year up to that time. It looked like it would be a huge hit.
The thing in question is the cards inside an unopened box of junk wax era baseball cards. The two competing states of existence are 1) having value and 2) not having value.
I have a lot of trouble getting my head around this. When I pulled the trigger on this box, I was genuinely excited about it. It took a few days for them to arrive in the mail over the holidays and every day I was out there checking the mailbox. That is how excited I was.
But why was I so excited? I hate 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier. If someone came up to me and asked me "Hey, I have a 5,000 card box full of O-Pee-Chee Premier cards, stars included, you want it for free?" I would say "Not in a million years."
So there is this weird paradox going on. Here is a question and response between a fictional interviewer and me on the subject:
Q: "Do you want O-Pee-Chee Premier cards?
Q: "Do you want an unopened box of O-Pee-Chee Premier cards?"
A: OH YES!!! That makes me so excited!!!
Q: "Because you want the box or something?"
A: No, because I want to rip it open and see those cards SO MUCH!
Q: "But you just said you don't want O-Pee-Chee Premier cards."
A: "Yes, that is right, I hate them."
Just run this test on yourself. Look at the below photo. You want that, right? Not because you want the pack, but because you want to open it up to see what is inside, right?