Debugging the problem

By Friday, February 14, 2020 0 No tags Permalink 4

Once a young man came to a renowned Indian Sage. He went to him and said, “I have come to you because I wish to study Vedas.” Sage asked, “Do you know Sanskrit?” Young man confidently said, “No but I just finished my doctoral dissertation at Harvard on Socratic logic. Now, I would just like to round out my education with little study of Vedas.

 

Sage replied, “I doubt that you ready to study Vedas. It’s deepest knowledge ever known. But if still wish to study then I am willing to  examine you in logic and if you pass that test than i will teach you Vedas.”

 

Young man agreed. Sage said, “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?” Young man stares at Sage and said, “Is that really a test of logic?” Sage nods. “The one with dirty face washes his face.”, young man answered confidently. Sage replied, “Wrong. The one with the clean face washes his face. Examine the logic – The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face.”

 

Young man responded, “Very clever. Please give me another chance.” Sage said, “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?” Young man replied, “But we have already established that. The one with clean face washes his face.” Sage replied, “Wrong again. Each one washes his face. Examine the logic – The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So, the one with the clean face washes his face. When the one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face wash his face, he also washes his face. So, each one washes his face.” “I didn’t think of that.. It’s shocking to me that i could make an error in logic. Please test me again.”, young man replied.

 

Sage said, “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?” Young man replied with confused face, “Each one washes his face.” Sage responded, “Wrong. Neither one washes his face. Examine the logic – The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. But when the one with the clean face sees the one with the dirty face doesn’t wash his face, he also doesn’t wash his face. So, neither one washes his face.” Young man got desperate and said, “Please give me one more chance.”

 

Young man groans, though, when Sage said, “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?” Young man replied, “Neither one washes his face.” Sage smiled and said, “Wrong again. Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face?”

 

Moral: While most are stuck finding solution to a superficial problem, smart folks take a while to analyze behind the scene, understand the real problem, and look for a viable solution from a different angle.

Every problem has a solution. If an approach doesn’t solve it, you just have to be creative enough to find the real one!!

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