Accueil > BLAGUES-L > Archives 1995 >

Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 10:11:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: BLAGUES-L: Elephant Hunting: Holiday Humor

Envoye par Martine Gingras:

 ******************* HUNTING AN ELEPHANT*************************

MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything
that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left.

EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICIANS will attempt to prove the existence of at least
one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate exercise.

PROFESSORS OF MATHEMATICS will prove the existence of at least one unique
elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as
an exercise for their graduate students.

COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
      1. Go to Africa.
      2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
      3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent
         alternately east and west.
      4. During each traverse pass,
            a. Catch each animal seen.
            b. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.
            c. Stop when a match is detected.

EXPERIENCED COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known
elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate.

ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMMERS prefer to execute Algorithm A on their hands
and knees.

ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at
random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15
percent of any previously observed elephant.

ECONOMISTS don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are
paid enough, they will hunt themselves.

STATISTICIANS hunt the first animal they see N times and call it an

CONSULTANTS don't hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at
all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do.

OPERATIONS RESEARCH CONSULTANTS can also measure the correlation of hat
size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if
someone else will only identify the elephants.

POLITICIANS don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you
catch with the people who voted for them.

LAWYERS don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing
about who owns the droppings.

SOFTWARE LAWYERS will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look
and feel of one dropping.

elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it.  When the vice
president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that
all possible elephants are completely prehunted before the vice president
sees them.  If the vice president does see a nonprehunted elephant, the
staff will (1) compliment the vice president's keen eyesight and (2)
enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.

SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption
that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.

QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for mistakes
the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.

SALES PEOPLE don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants
they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens.

SOFTWARE SALES PEOPLE ship the first thing they catch and write up an
invoice for an elephant.

HARDWARE SALES PEOPLE catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as
desktop elephants.

ANTHROPOLOGISTS are not sure they believe in elephants as these may simply
be a cultural construction.  However, since post-modernist anthropologists
believe that all constructions are valid, they must exist.  A symposium to
examine this problem will soon be convened to discuss whether elephants
are subject only to gene driven behavior (the sociobiologists' position),
are capable of having their behavior modified by experience (an
old-fashioned, wishy-washy, social anthropologists' position) or whether
their behavior is better evoked by imaginary observers (back to
post-modernism).  It is hoped that elephants will participate.

Accueil > BLAGUES-L > Archives 1995 >