The Pre-Fighting Philosopher’s Problem


I mentioned Brian Beckman in my 'What am I doing at Microsoft' post.


The following is a sample of what I meant by saying that talking to Brian was like watching one of those Channel 9 videos, from Brian's latest post - The Pre-Fighting Philosopher's Problem:



"Take three PhD specialists in programming languages, three PhD specialists in relational database, and three PhD specialists in network security, and seat them around a table. Now take three coconut-cream pies, three chocolate-cream pies, and three banana-cream pies and randomly place one pie in front of each philosopher. Finally, give them three hours to come up with a position paper on the concept of "Identity." Calculate how many philosophers at the end of three hours have three kinds of cream-pie on their faces, how many have two kinds, and how many have just one kind."


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