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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Distributing Strawberries Evenly

Do you ever think that we get so bogged down in our ability to count things that we forget they might not all be of equal value or of the same size? When I am working on a project, sometimes I assess my progress by the number of files I have completed. But if some of the files are in the megabytes and some in kilobytes, is it any wonder that the assessment is not all that useful? The same principle apparently holds for the equitable distribution of strawberries, as Bow reminded me this morning.

I had six strawberries, which I hoped to divide equally among Sword, Bow and me. I meticulously counted them out, and then I went over to Bow's side to see what he would ask for first, his big bunch of grapes, or his small, but equitable allotment of strawberries.

Bow took my hand and spelled: "Again you get more."

I knew he must be talking about the strawberries, because he clearly got more grapes than I did, as I didn't get any. "But Bow, we have the same number. I have two and you have two."

Bow spelled: "Yours are big."

I looked at them. They were bigger! I really didn't intend to cheat Bow. I had been too busy counting to notice anything else. "Do you want to switch?" I asked.

"Yes."

We switched, and he immediately asked to eat the strawberries first.

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