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Hunting an Elephant in the Sahara

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.

TOPOLOGISTS build a cage, with outside-side facing in, and with one opening somewhere. Then they stretch and invert the works, Earth and all, through the opening. Thus capturing every elephant, and everything else in the known universe, "inside". They really never get to the point where they collect the elephants because they are all arguing about the best angle to view the cage.

COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:

  1. Go to Africa
  2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
  3. Work nothward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
  4. During each traverse pass,
    • Catch each animal seen.
    • Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.
    • 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.

MAC DEVELOPERS never actually succeed in hunting elephants. They will, however, put on lavish hunt launching parties, at which they distribute T-shirts displaying a pre-hunted elephant.

WINDOWS PROGRAMMERS aren't ever able to hunt elephants because elephants are afraid of mice.

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 elephant.

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

OPERATION 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.

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.

Source: Unknown...but shared via e-mails