ALL EN FR ES IT

Logo

≡ ▲

How do you hunt elephants?

Arbeitswelt

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. "C" 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 1st animal they see N times & 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 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.

VICE PRESIDENTS

of engineering, research, and development try hard to hunt 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.

SALESPEOPLE

don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens. Software salespeople ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant. Hardware salespeople catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as DESKTOP ELEPHANTS.

TECHNICAL WRITERS

don't hunt elephants but prepare documentation that explains how to identify & hunt elephants they've never seen. Though they try hard to accompany elephant hunters, they will settle for a photo, illustration, rough sketch, or verbal description of an elephant to help them complete & deliver guides & references in time for simultaneous world-wide GA. Economic changes now require that they also design & develop elephant-hunting brochures, posters, packaging, posters, & other marketing publications & trinkets. In addition, state-of-the-art technology has allowed them to introduce the ONLINE ELEPHANT.