Ok, but by wording such a problem as if it is about people, I think the problem mis-represents what it says the problem is. As with many math “story problems”, there is a mathematical problem that the author *really* wants the reader to translate it into. But the wording could be translated differently, in ways that that seem to me as much (or more) reasonable or realistic for the story given.

Also common is to not very clearly state what mathematical aspect the question wants answered, because again it’s hidden by describing the question as if it were natural. In this example, maybe the question is thinking of infinitesimal points and micro-distances, and is going to tell the reader that they never meet, because they’re always only moving half the distance, never the whole distance (even though in reality, people would declare each other to have “met” when they reached whatever distance they considered having met).

And as typical, the question is about behavior and curiosity that almost no one would ever have any real reason or way to do or to ask. Zero effort is put into saying why anyone would ever even think to move half the distance toward another person, nor how they would know the distance of someone a mile away, nor how they’d ever measure or even perceive how far they went (I guess those things are more possible now with smart phones), or why they would care how far each had gone.

Not that the any of the actual math around it isn’t interesting (it is, to me). It’s the gap between what I think when I read about the situation, and what the author expected me to think about the situation, and the displacement of responsibility of communicating that from the author to the student, that bothers me.

Several times in school and university math and physics classes, I tried answering with something like “I am confident that this problem expects me to so standard math problem type 14 here, but the description of the problem I would actually model like [description of a more accurate way to model the problem], which I solve like [elaborate solving of that problem]”, which almost always resulted in zero credit from the teacher.