Monday, January 30, 2006

The Wolves' Dilemna 

You've probably heard about the famous Donkey's Dilemna which asserts that a donkey, if placed in a position equidistant between two identical piles of food, will starve to death while it dithers over which pile of food to approach and eat.

With all of the Palestinian infighting going on between Hamas and Fatah, I'm starting to see a corollary to this, in which the Donkey's Dilemna is turned inside out to make a Wolves' Dilemna. In this scenario, imagine there are two wolves preparing to attack a person -- could be Israeli, I don't know -- and the person tosses a single juicy slab of meat equidistant between the two wolves. So long as a piece of raw meat is at least marginally the easier prey, one can imagine this person avoiding the attack of the two wolves. Of course he's not on Easy Street yet. He still has to fight off the eventual survivor of the wolves' internecine squabble; although, if he's clever, he'll take a moment to snap off a great big stick from any nearby tree while the wolves wage war over the meat. That is, unless the two wolves actually manage to incapacitate each other, which is also good.

Nevertheless, the person's strategic position is improved regardless of exactly how the meat match plays out. The tricky part is always having some meat handy.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: