The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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8:37am on Thursday, 20th December, 2018:
Suppose you went to an army base and came across a tin of brown shoe polish. You know that only officers are allowed to wear brown shoes, and there's only a major and a captain on the base, so your question is: does this polish belong to the major or is it the captain's?
You ask around, and discover that the officers don't clean their own shoes. Each of them has a valet. Your question now becomes: does this polish belong to the major's valet or is it the captain's's?
You ask around some more. It turns out that the date on the tin of polish is a month ago, at which time there were two majors and two captains on the base. Your question changes to: does this polish belong to the majors' valet or is it the captains''s?
Oh. It turns out that the other major and captain each had a valet too, and those valets shared the shoe polish between them. Now, your question is: does this polish belong to the majors' valets' or is it the captains''?
The major's valet appears and says, "Hey, thanks! I've been looking for that. Its ours."
You hand it over, glad that valets don't have assistants.
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