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:
Go to Africa.
Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
Work nortward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately
east and west.
During each traverse pass,
a./ Catch each animal seen.
b./ Compare each animal cought to a known elephant.
c./ Stop when 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 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 elephant.|
|CONSULTANTS||don´t hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advice 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.|
|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 grey, and sell them as desktop elephants.|