Undermining your own proclamation

I'm pulling for the Mars rovers as much as the next geek, but you still have to scratch your head at the following statement:

Charles Elachi, the JPL director, said: "I am completely confident, without any hesitation, that I think we will get that rover back to full operation."

So he's absolutely sure that he "thinks" something.

Comments (4)
  1. Duncan says:

    Not only that, but the phrase "without any hesitation" is hesitation :-)

  2. Tim Marman says:

    No, I think it’s actually a correct statement. His confidence is applied to the fact that he thinks it will happen, not that it will happen :)

    (Err ok, what I said isn’t that clear, but hopefully you understand what I mean).

  3. Centaur says:

    In Russia, we have an anecdote that goes like this:


    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are flying a balloon. It’s misty. They lose their way.

    Suddenly they see a skyscraper and a man in one of the windows. “Where are we?” they ask him. He thinks for a while and answers, “In the basket of a balloon.”

    “Damn those mathematicians,” says Holmes, as the fly away from the skyscraper.

    “Holmes, how did you know he was a mathematician?”

    “Elementary, Watson. His answer was absolutely correct and absolutely irrelevant to us.”


  4. Markus K says:

    You get the same joke with a manager and an engineer. The manager asks where he is and the engineer’s answer is absolutely correct but completely useless. Then the manager says "I’m lost, get me out of here!" – ordering the engineer to do something impossible to fix the manager’s mistake. Oh well…

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