A Math Story for Professionals

Once upon a time in Futureland when TV celebrity and talk shows, sports events, and sitcoms were hemorrhaging viewers, giant sponsored colloquia were held to discuss various philosophical issues. These were broadcast on world wide television in 75 languages and viewed by 1.3-2.4 billion people every other night. One such seminar originating on a Swiss mountaintop dealt with a vexing international question: “What are two plus two?” Present were important world class experts from diverse disciplines.

When first asked, “What is the sum of two plus two?” the mathematician quickly answered, “four.”

Next in turn was the physicist who replied, “in the neighborhood of four.”

The engineer responded with, “four point zero, zero, zero plus or minus zero.”

The economist without hesitation concluded, “two plus two are seven.”

Next was the lawyer’s turn. He looked at the host and asked, “Could you repeat the question?” After it was again posed, the lawyer pondered a moment, shrugged his shoulders, and inquired, “What would you like?”

Finally, it was the physician’s opportunity. He slowly repeated the question over and over again. Finally his eyes brightened, he smiled and announced, “Let’s order some tests.”

Happy and Disease-Free New Years to All.

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