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Uber and Under

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How to Find and Catch an Elephant

[
author unknown]

A PROGRAMMER
   1. Begins at the tip of South Africa
   2. Performs alternating west to east, east to west searches
   3. Decrements the latitude argument in a non-integer sequence between each search
   4. Finds an animal
   5. Compares found animal to known elephant
   6. If found animal matches known elephant, terminates search, else resumes at 3
   7. End

AN ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMMER
   Will perform the same search on hands and knees.

AN EXPERIENCED PROGRAMMER
   Places an elephant in Cairo, Egypt to ensure that the search will terminate properly
   before initiating the above.

A REALLY EXPERIENCED PROGRAMMER
   Either:
     1. Places the elephant JUST OFF-SHORE from Cairo, Egypt or
     2. Ensures that the elephant placed in Cairo is sky-blue and scarlet with purple spots,
         green stripes and yellow polka-dots in order to distinguish it from any elephant
         which may have been hiding there already.

AN ENGINEER
   After determining that an elephant is a mammal, gray, and weighs 3.628 x 103 kg,
   will begin the search by collecting all gray mammals. When the sum of the weight
   of all the collected gray mammals equals the specified weight of an elephant 10%,
   the search terminates.

CONSULTANTS
   Don't actually hunt elephants and indeed may never have hunted elephants,
   but they can be hired at great expense to advise those who do. This will include
   the time it takes to find out what an elephant is.

AN ACCOUNTANT
   1. Formulates a monthly budget and designs an Elephant Journal Entry.
   2. Formats a batch logging book, adds appropriate accounts (both P&L and B/S)
       and a list of approved authorizations for the Journals.
   3. Enters accruals for the estimated numbers to be caught per month.
   4. As elephants are caught, journal them into the appropriate period and reverse out
       the accruals.
   5. Keep the droppings in a filing cabinet for audit purposes.

A MATHEMATICIAN
   Will first develop a hypothesis supporting the existence of a unique elephant before
   proceeding with the search as a subordinate operation, collecting all animals found,
   testing them against the hypothesis and discarding all that don't fit.

A PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS
   Will first develop a hypothesis supporting the existence of a unique elephant before
   sending his/her students on the search, requiring that they collect all animals found,
   test them against the hypothesis and bring all matching animals to him for publication.

STATISTICIANS
   Hunt the first animal they encounter n times and call it an elephant.

TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMISTS
   Don't hunt elephants. They believe that if you give the elephants a small tax incentive
   they will hunt themselves.

POLITICIANS
   Don't hunt elephants, but will share any elephants YOU catch with the people who
   voted for them.

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

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYERS
   Will claim that they know who owns the entire herd based on the look and feel of
   one pile of droppings.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT
   Sets broad elephant hunting policies based on the assumption that elephants are just like
   big field mice, but with deeper voices.

CEOs
   May try to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the CEO
   does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are
   completely pre-hunted before the CEO sees them. If the CEO does see
   a non-pre-hunted elephant, the staff will:
      1) Compliment the CEO's keen eyesight, and
      2) Enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.

QUALITY ASSURANCE STAFF
   Ignore the elephants and spend their time looking for mistakes the hunters made
   while packing the jeep.

SALES STAFF
   Don't hunt elephants, but spend their time selling elephants the hunters haven't caught yet
   and promise delivery two days before the opening of elephant hunting season.

SOFTWARE SALES STAFF
   Ship the first thing they catch, write up an invoice for an elephant, modify the
   documentation to match, and promise a real elephant at the next update.

HARDWARE SALES STAFF
   Catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as laptop elephants.