Wednesday, May 31, 2006

An Animated Crayon

Imagine a crayon. We all know what it is. Available in a variety of colours, it can be used to write and draw. Children can use it safely, because it has no sharp points. We seem to have a clear idea of what a crayon is.

Now, suppose that the crayon has, through some unknown process, been granted life. It is now animated, capable of movement. Strangely, it is now alive.

The animated crayon walks along a sheet of paper. With each step it makes, the crayon diminishes in size. At the same time, colourful markings appear on the paper. The crayon does not notice the markings, and moves wildly on the paper. Quickly, the crayon is used up and disappears. We observe that it can no longer move. Perhaps it has died.

Maybe it was foolish for the crayon to move so quickly. Would it have been wiser for it to plod along slowly, hence lengthening its own existence? If so, wouldn't it be wiser still for it to be motionless, hence enjoying a potentially infinite lifespan?

It appears that I have a box of highly intelligent animated crayons in my drawer.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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