# Let ε < 0.

## 01.9.09

### Execution

Filed under: Diff'rent strokes — Travis @

#### The guillotine version

A physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer vacationing abroad, when (for reasons never made clear to them), they are arrested and sentenced to death by guillotine. The day of the execution come, and the three unlucky men are lead up to the top of the platform.

The mathematician is put on the block, and the executioner pulls the rope. Nothing happens: the blade does not move. Quickly, the mathematician exclaims “the events are equally likely, so P(E)=1/2 and all is well.” He declares that he cannot be executed for the same crime twice. The executioner mulls over this slowly, and decides the law is on the side of the mathematician. He is set free.

Next on the block is the physicist. The executioner pulls the rope, and again nothing happens. Remembering what the mathematician did, the physicist declares, “KE = mv2/2 and v=0 so all is well.” He reminds the executioner that he cannot be executed for the same crime twice. He is set free.

Finally, the engineer, who has been watching the goings-on intently, is up. As his head is shoved into the guillotine, he looks up at the release mechanism and replies “Wait a minute! I see the your problem…”

#### The elctric chair version

A priest, a lawyer, and an engineer vacationing in Texas, when (for reasons never made clear to them), they are arrested and sentenced to death by electric chair. The day of the execution come, and the three unlucky men are lead up into the execution chamber.

The priest is strapped in first, and for his last words declares “I believe God will intervene on my behalf!” The guards throw the switch and nothing happens, so they assume God has intervened and let the priest go free.

The lawyer is strapped in next, and for his last words declares “I believe in the power of justice to protect the innocent!” The guards throw the switch and nothing happens, so they assume justice has been served and let the lawyer go free.

Finally, the engineer is strapped in, and for his last words declares “Well shoot! You ain’t gonna electrocute nobody if you don’t plug this dang thing in!”