# [rescue] FrameMaker FYI

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Thu Mar 25 20:00:16 CST 2004

```On Thu, Mar 25, 2004 at 08:43:04PM -0500, Dave McGuire wrote:
>   I am reminded of the famous story of Edison working on his light
> bulbs.  He walked up to his young college-boy assistant, handed him a
> freshly-blown glass bulb, and asked him to get the volume of the bulb.
> The kid sat there ALL AFTERNOON executing complex calculations of the
> sphere, the taper toward the stem, the stem itself...generating pages
> of calculations.  At the end of the day, Edison grabbed the bulb from
> him in frustration, filled it with water, dumped the water into a
> graduated cylinder, and voila...there's the volume, in ten seconds
> flat.
>
>   Mathematics isn't always king.

This SO reminds me of the story of the Greek philosophers and the Arab.

There's a bunch of Greek philosophers sitting in a tavern, drinking wine
and arguing about the number of teeth in a horse's mouth.  They all have
their wonderfully-constructed theories about how many teeth a horse
should have, and why, but can't come to an agreement between themselves
on which theory is correct.  So, deadlocked, they grab the first
passer-by on the street, who happens to be an Arab, sit him down at
their table, give him a cup of wine, and ask him to act as a judge for
them.  He sits at the table drinking their wine while they explain their
different theories to him, one after the other, and when they're all
done, he excuses himself for a moment.  A few minutes later he comes
back and tells them the correct answer, which turns out to be a result
two of them had reached by different means.

"But whose argument was the more elegant?" they demand to know.  "Whose
logic was the sounder?"

"Logic be damned," says the Arab, "I've just been round the back to the
stable and counted them."

--
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