Saturday, April 01, 2006
Trainwrecks, Enterprise Architecture, Ruby and the Meaning of Life...
- A man is standing next to a tree. On the other side of the tree is a frightened squirrel who is clinging belly-first to the side of the tree. The man walks around the tree, and the squirrel keeps his position directly opposite the man, belly flat to the tree at all times. Finally, the man walks all the way around the tree, and stands back in his original position, without having caught a glimpse of the squirrel. Question: Has the man walked around the squirrel?
Some people will answer yes, some people will answer no. If you ask a group of philosophy students, they will argue for hours on end. Some will say that since the man passed from the south, to the west, to the north, to the east, and back to the south again, the man has therefore walked around the squirrel. Some will say that since the squirrel kept his belly facing the man the whole time, the man could not have walked around the squirrel.
The real answer is: Who cares? It makes no difference one way or the other. We all understand exactly what happened, and arguing about the definition of the word 'around' does not change that understanding in any useful way...
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