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Another Cultural TC: A bear-hunt.

Posted Over 15 Years ago by eldin raigmore

[unparsed][quote:ffc8083cf6="The Cultural TC"]A man leaves his hunting camp and walks a mile south, whereupon he discovers bear-sign. He tracks the bear a mile east, where he kills the bear. He then ports the bear a mile north, and thus comes back to his original camp.

What color was the bear?[/quote:ffc8083cf6]

BTW: What if the speaker and addressee are an extraterrestrial alien and an intelligent machine (or the other way 'round), one of whom has never been to Earth and neither of whom can come to Earth during the conversation?

There are 5 Replies

[unparsed]Pedantically, there are an infinite number of possible positions for his camp, disregarding typical bear habitats. Apart from the obvious place, at the North Pole, it might also be close to the South Pole. In that case, his journey South would take him to a point a fraction of a mile from the Pole, his journey East would take him some integral number of time round the pole, and his journey North would be the exact reverse of his journey South, along the same path.

The Kigdatsi answer is that there have not been any bears at the South Pole for millions of years, and there have not been any at the North pole for over a hundred years. The man would not have been able to walk in a straight line either, as the moving and disintegrating/re-forming ice creates terrain consisting mostly of cliffs and crevasses; in fact the North pole is a very silly place to put a base camp. (This is a parallel Earth, which is slightly warmer than ours. Our North Polar ice sheet is already becoming harder to traverse due to warming.) OTOH, they Kigdatsi would immediately spot that this had something to do with the North or South Pole, because of the strange shape of the journey.

Over 14 Years ago

[unparsed]Among Xala, this joke would probably only be told by a yela'kaja who had come accross the riddle itself and the contextual information necessary to solve it while studying Earth. Yela'kaja being one of the most free-thinking of all the subcaste (within their own caste -- the Elites -- as well as among all cloned Xala), it wouldn't be unusual for one of them to develop an idiosyncratic sense of humor, including a taste for alien jokes.

As for the Xala equivalent, it might center around a species of fish that lives near the [i:e37f7901e7]ke'a coax[/i:e37f7901e7], or "place of the spirits", which is a point in the ocean where Coaxta is directly overhead. On Jed proper, this is considered a "pole" as far as coordinate systems are concerned, with all locations on the planet defined relative to it, which made Coaxta a very large, very stable navigation point on the inner side of Jed before the Xala developed more advanced navigation technologies.

Over 14 Years ago

[unparsed]@simon, @fonori; Thanks.

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore

[unparsed][quote:4754490647="Fonori"]... a taste for alien jokes.[/quote:4754490647]

Little boy on bus in Moscow: "Daddy, how tall is the Russian government?"
Father: "Son, that's a ridiculous question. It has no answer."
Old man on bus: "Excuse me, sir, your son's question has a very precise answer. The Russian government is exactly 150 centimeters tall. I know, because I am 160 centimeters tall, and I'm up to here* with it."

*(On "here", holds hand just under nose.)
(Could say; "I'm fed to the eyeteeth with it", I suppose.)

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore

OK, I liked these, too!

1 Month ago

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