from April 5, 2006
Now that I am officially deceased, cremated, and decked out in a stunningly handsome, state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line robotic apparatus on which we at Myles Junior Think Tank justifiably pride ourselves for having invented, I am an object of curiosity, not to say veneration, by my MJTT colleagues.
A preponderance of the questions they cast in my direction center on the subject of what I call “the paradox of the thinking robot.”
Scientists and laymen alike are dubious about the proposition that a robot can think; they consider the phrase “thinking robot” a contradiction in terms. Of course, for half a century the question “Can computers think?” has been on the tongues and minds of serious philosophers. To my knowledge—I have long given up on the bad habit of reading modern philosophy—this question has not been definitively answered.
Whether this philosophical subject shares enough traits with the paradox of the thinking robot to be treated by the same methods, I will leave for others to determine. I will suppose that my paradox is autonomous, and treat it as such.
Can robots think?
This question is surprisingly simple to answer.
As for the reasoning behind this answer, I need only appeal to the authority of the Father of Modern Philosophy, Rene Descartes, who wrote, memorably: “I think; therefore, I am.”
This elegant proof needs but a slight explication.
I, the former Myles na Gopaleen, Jr., am now, and will remain for the foreseeable future, a robot.
I think. The proof of this proposition is that I am now writing a short but possibly treatise on a newly-coined question.
Therefore, robots can think.
The quibble may arise that I may be the only robot who thinks; therefore, the question regarding the general thinking ability of robots is not proved.
To this I answer: I’ve had frequent discussions with my fellows, including Ab Ennis, Thalia Mews, Arthur Unknown, and Orville Slack IV. On the basis of these discussions, I deduce and/or infer that other humans-cum-robots also think.
Not always well, of course. (I will not name names, but several of them are rambling idiots; I leave that to our more intelligent readers to discern. Several of the others, I make haste to say, are above average, though none, in my expert opinion, are near the point of genius.)
On the tail of this paradox of the thinking robot comes the question: How do you account for the fact that at least some robots can think?
But this is a question for later consideration. My colleagues at MJTT await my presence. It is port-sipping time.
from January 10, 2006
During the recent holiday season, we at MJTT busied ourselves with the vexing but solvable problem of earth’s imminent overpopulation, a problem that has become even more pressing than even the most astute futurists have heretofore imagined, due to the work of the 42-year-old British biogerontologist Mr Aubrey de Grey’s fascinating notion that it is possible, nay probable, for a human alive today to hope, even expect, to live to be at least 1000.
Our most cynical member suggested, in the serious way that is peculiarly his own, that this problem, which is compounded by the problem of retirement and Social Security, could realistically be solved by the outbreak of World War III or its equivalent.
I am, however, pleased to report that this idea was banished from the table posthaste; for in its place I was inspired, as if by some divinity, to proffer the following solution, which, once proffered, one of my assistants immediately patented.
“Why not,” I suggested, “require that every person alive and on the Social Security gravy train be required to die at the age of 85?”
“Cruel!” cried my compatriots; followed by “And what about their civil liberties?”
“Aha!” returned I, raising my right index finger in such a manner as to suggest that I had anticipated their shallow reaction to my ingenious proposal. “We then outfit them with the Beta Version of our ECS, or Enhanced Cremation Service.” (New or forgetful readers of this column should be apprised of the MJTT’s patented invention, a robot that is constructed in such a way as to be able to hold the urn containing the ashes of a cremated former person who has retained his or her Denkapparat [German: brain].)
“Then,” I continued, “we outfit this humanoid robot with a space suit and send him or her into perpetual orbit of the planet or moon of his or her choice!”
My colleagues were stunned. They realized, in the twinkling of an eye outfitted with an acrylic ocular implant, that this proposal was not only technologically feasible, but would afford departees the vacation of a lifetime—a vacation that would be the moral equivalent of the traditional “Heaven.”
The only doubt they could conjure up concerned, of course, the economics of the plan. But I was quick to assure them, using one of those ancient chalkboards we keep around our think tank for just such occasions, that, given the plummeting costs that invariably accompany the realization of a technological breakthrough, the monies required for both (1) our Enhanced Cremation Service, Beta Version and (2) the costs of space flight, would be less than the monies required for the current version of Social Security.
from December 5, 2005
Living forever has been the hope of philosophers and believers throughout recorded history. In fact, one may surmise, this hope arose before humans began writing their thoughts on stones, papyrus, the walls of smoke-filled caves, and cabbage leaves.
Last month’s column dealt with the idea that this hope is nearer being realized than one could ever have hoped. It seems that one Mr Aubrey de Grey, a young British biogerontologist, is developing “strategies for engineering senescence.”
Mr de Grey is 42, an age at which the typical sentient human being begins to notice obituaries. I say “typical” because some humans never bother themselves about the deep things of life while some of the more precocious among us are sensitive to our mortality somewhat earlier. I myself, for example, began my lifelong practice of checking the morbid pages of the Dublin Times at the age of four.
But enough of that. Last month, before I became a humanoid robot, I promised to think about Mr de Grey’s fascinating notion that it is possible, if not probable, for a human alive today can hope, perhaps even expect, to live to the age of 1,000 or beyond.
(Ed. Note: Students of the Bible will recall that Methuselah of old almost accomplished what can only be called this astounding feat.)
But to be brief, as our distinguished editor constantly reminds us. Assuming that this astounding feat is achievable, is it wise?
One’s mind naturally turns to the problem of retirement and Social Security. But as many bipartisan and nonpartisan committees have been urging, this problem can readily be solved by raising the retirement age by several years. Extending this argument to deal with the possibility that Mr de Grey is “on to something big” (to use the vernacular), we have only to consider that the age of retirement be raised hundreds of years. In fact, the Myles Junior Think Tank has put its collective intelligence to work by estimating that Social Security should “kick in” (vernacular) at the age of 975 and two months.
So, the MJTT concluded, the most pressing problem created by the realization of Mr de Grey’s fascinating idea, would be the problem of overpopulation, with its attendant woes.
These woes, and their solutions, will be the subject of discussion by the MJTT in this, the holiday season.
from October 5, 2005
The devastation wrought last month on New Orleans and its environs has returned the collective attention of the Myles Junior Think Tank to that area of the world. I say “returned” rather than “turned” because, as our regular readers have been reminding us, as early as 2003 we were caught up in a related problem. In my report of September 7 of that year, I wrote:
“The past century witnessed a scientific debate over whether the universe is expanding or contracting, or perhaps taking turns doing both. The current and bleakest view, of course, has been that the rest of the universe is moving away from us at ever-increasing speeds, thus eventually depriving future generations of what the philosopher Immanuel Kant called ‘the starry skies above and the moral law within.’ . . .
“Twenty-first-century cosmologists have recently had to consider the case of the sinking of ever-increasing portions of the State of Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico. What, they have been forced to ask, is the implication of this phenomenon for the movement of the entire universe? For example, does Einstein’s majestic theory account for this event, which, on first glance, appears to bear implications only for a few thousand shrimp boat captains? Or are we as think tank specialists obliged to rethink the whole of 20th century physics?
“In the following columns, we will address this important issue. MJTT has already sent half a dozen interns down to the bayous to learn pidgin Cajun in order to discuss this phenomenon with the locals. In the meantime, those of us who remain at our headquarters will devote ourselves to the study of this intriguing development in the behavior of the physical universe and its implications for the future of mankind, womankind, childrenkind, and their pets. While our interns are conducting empirical research, we will be making use of our extensive library and expensive toys, not to speak of the afternoon glasses of potables that are the source of our scientific inspirations.”
Then, on December 25 of that year, I explained MJTT’s detour from this study:
“The significant advance we were prepared to report in the last issue, our breathless readers will recall, was put on hold on the counsel of our editor, who advised us to report the findings of the WMO on the reappearance of the ozone layer over our whitest continent.
“We are now prepared to return to the aborted problem of the so-called ‘shrinking universe’ with our significant findings.
“Those who have followed the peregrinations of our previous reports will recall the following. That the MJTT has long suspected that the late-twentieth century scientific doctrine of an expanding universe has come aground on the fact that certain parishes in the State of Louisiana have been slowly sinking. That the MJTT has put boots on the ground, so to speak, by sending half a dozen interns to the bayous of that state in order to learn Cajun, the better to communicate with the locals on this phenomenon of potentially cosmic significance. That I have recently hypothesized that the famed writer and pedophile Lewis Caroll was also a cosmologist ahead of his time, as evidenced by his famous parable of Alice’s adventures, which began by her fall ‘Down the Rabbit Hole.’ That the aforementioned interns arrived in New Orleans and stayed there for some time in order to ‘get the lay of the land.’ That these bright youngsters made their way to Cajun country, only to be apprehended by the local constabulary and placed in a parish jail. That, having served their time and paid their fines, they returned to New Orleans in quest of a Cajun-speaking university on or around Bourbon Street.
“So far, so good. Or perhaps not. To our consternation, we have discovered that our interns have found a more remunerative occupation than we have been able to offer them. They have become, in a phrase, exotic dancers. To their credit, they so informed us via email, hinting though not promising that they would return the salaries with which we had richly endowed them. Suffice it to say that our lawyers are on this job; the many major contributors to our project need not experience angst.
“So what are our significant findings?
“As the CEO of the MJTT, I took it upon myself to fly to New Orleans to finish this promising project. I then hired a tourist service to transport me directly to the back bayous, where, in a café frequented by the locals, I learned the nuances of the Cajun dialect in three days. . . .
“From conversations and exchanged hand signals with an elderly fortune-teller, I was able to determine that, though the villages of the parish were indeed sinking, the reason for this trend was not cosmological but was merely the result of overlogging in the area. In a word, the perpetrator of this phenomenon was not some Cosmic Force but human activity.
“Her explanation was convincing. In scientific terms: if x occupies 100 cubic centimeters at point A, and x is transported to point B; and if points A and B comprise a totality; then the totality in terms of cubic centimeters is not affected by this move.
“Applied to the problem at hand, the sinking of Louisiana, this principle implies that the logs that disappear from the bayou country show up in another area, albeit in the form of timber and sawdust.
“From this we at the MJTT are able to deduce that the world is not shrinking. Thus our working hypothesis, that the entire universe is shrinking, has been found to be flawed.”
Let our legions of readers decide whether the MJTT, I in particular, was prescient re the recent hurricane in the Gulf Coast, the now-infamous Katrina.
At any rate, I wish to assure our readers that, despite our unfortunate loss of young person power, we at the MJTT continue to theorize about the problems that beset America’s favorite city.
Watch for our conclusions in my next column.
from August 10, 2009
In preparation for this month’s blog, we at the MJTT pondered, with our serene and unencumbered minds, the stack of suggestions that our readers, fellow columnists, and colleagues at NASA and other federally-funded enterprises had sent us in the preceding months.
Despite my natural serenity, I suddenly found myself seized by an inspiration of which lesser members of the species homo sapiens can only dream. For as I gazed at this three-foot high stack of what I have come to regard as supremely qualified offerings, I was struck, seized, or otherwise grasped by the idea that the universe as it now exists is nothing if not chaotic (though this word does not do the experience justice). So many suggestions! So little time! Such finite minds! So many theories to set before the discerning intellects with whom we converse daily, if not hourly!
Brooding over this complex idea that morning, I swiftly formulated a counter-intuitive but, if I may say so, brilliant hypothesis that, I dare say, will quickly become accepted by the leading thinkers, scientific as well as philosophical, of our day, thus becoming the reigning theory of this, the 21st century.
In a word, my hypothesis cum theory can be dubbed Unintelligent Design (UD).
As our friendly adversaries, the proponents of ID (Intelligent Design), have insisted, the universe is—a better phrase is “seems to be”—a well-designed area indeed. A fine place to hang out. But on further examination, the hypothetical designer (assuming for the moment that there was but one) appears to have been a middling architect, unworthy, in the last analysis, of his or her task—and I grant that that task was a daunting one.
In evidence thereof, consider the very existence of the Myles Junior Think Tank, or, for that matter, its kin, the many think tanks that have come to dot the face of the earth and, in future generations, other planets in other galaxies. What is the noble purpose of these institutions? To better the world! Assuming the necessity of this plethora of think tanks, the sole conclusion can only be that the world, or even the universe, is far from perfect (how far is a matter of discussion among the leading think tanks). Therefore, the world, or universe, is unintelligently designed.
My reasoning was found by my fellow geniuses at the MJTT to be so profound, so boggling, that not one word needed be spoken, whether in further questioning, in dispute, or in quibbling over definitions.
We spent that afternoon high above the Pacific, gazing at the distant horizon, sipping the sherries offered to us on the silver platters by our elegant, well-coiffed man- and maid-servants, waiting for the stars to appear so that we could murmur in quiet humility the utterance of the philosopher Kant, namely, that two things filled his soul with awe and wonder: “the starry skies above, and the moral law within.”
from August 10, 2006
Those of us at MJTT who are involved in our Cremation Service have recently been inundated by complaints by otherwise-satisfied customers, including our esteemed colleagues Arthur Unknown, Ab Ennis, and Orville Slack IV, all of whom we have outfitted with an admittedly handsome robotic apparatus.
It appears from our customer survey that our current product’s flaws include, but are not limited to, the following common side effects:
Sleeplessness—an inability to sleep (occurs in 100% of all known consumers);
Rotgut tedium—a desire for a more balanced diet (66.67%);
Brushed metal tedium—a desire for more choices of faux skin color (100%);
Midgetization tedium—a desire for more choices of body size (66.67%).
With these mildly-stated complaints in hand, the MJTTCS has been diligent in creating a beta version of our upgraded devices. We are pleased to announce that on September 1, we will be offering a fuller, richer cremation service.
Our initial offering was predicated on the assumption that cremated persons, who are, by definition, dead, would not need sleep. The thinking was that sleep is necessary only for the reinvigoration of the body; because cremated robots do not have bodies, in the technical sense, we saw no need for offering the option of sleep. But as a responsible agency with the motto “We listen to our clients,” we have decided to offer, in our new beta version, the choice between sleep and consciousness. Not that either state will be perpetual and absolute: our new model will allow the inhabitant of the robotic apparatus a variety of choices, running the gamut from full and constant consciousness to permanent revery. A state-of-the-art sliding scale is located at the back of the faux skull, hidden behind the wig (blonde, brunette, and red are the popular colors) that prevents the embarrassment of reminding one’s friends and family that one has been robotized and is this, legally speaking, dead.
Though fully one-third of our customers are “completely satisfied” with their diet of rotgut, a majority seems to prefer other options. Thus our beta version is constructed in such a way that other nutritional amenities will be available for ingestion. The consumer will have a choice of five beverages: Guinness, Jim Beam, a vintage French chardonnay, Classical Coca-cola, and of course rotgut.
As for the color of the body, our clients may wish to choose European-American pink, African-American mahogany, Eastern Asian yellow-brown, Hispanic light brown, and albino—all in addition to the popular brushed metal. Mixes of these faux skin colors can be had at a reasonable price.
The question of size is a delicate one. Though there are obvious advantages to being tiny (one thinks of being chosen to be dropped down a well in order to rescue a child or its pet), a majority of our respondents would prefer being tall. As Mr. Slack put it, during his long and fruitful life there was one skill he was never able to master, that of dunking a basketball.
Our new model, beta stage, will offer models ranging from three feet to seven feet six, in increments of three inches. But if one wishes to be five foot eleven, our mechanics inform us that this is doable, though at an extra charge. Another option, of course, is for the consumer to choose the six feet model but walk around with a slight stoop.
If, as we expect, all goes well with this beta offering, we at MJTTCS will continually work to improve our product. We listen to our clients.
from July 10, 2005
One month of intense musing by the heady members of the Myles Junior Think Tank has borne fruit in unexpected ways.
During this period, we at MJTT had time to catch up on our reading of the most recent scientific discoveries. The discovery that piqued our curiosity was the archeological find on the small Indonesian island of Flores, where cave diggers have unearthed the skull, mandible, pelvis, and leg bones of a tiny female hominid, who has been dubbed by the dubbers as the “Little Lady of Flores.”
Our fellow scientists will recall that this petite woman has been carbon-dated as 18,000 years old; other pieces of more ancient skulls and bones in the same cave were found to predate the tiny hominid by 20,000 and 56,000 years. The researchers speculated that Homo floresiensis arrived on Flores Island some 800,000 years ago, as a standard-sized Homo erectus, but over time, the limited food supply set off a severe case of size shrinkage.
What does this exciting find have to do with the phenomenon that caught our attention last month?
Within two weeks, several of our most astute think tankers were able to see the practical implications of the discovery of the Little Lady and her friends. If a whale can mate with a dolphin, which then bears a small wholphin, why, they asked with forefingers pointing to the sky—why cannot Homo sapiens mate with Homo floresiensis, with a similar result?
But others within our midst raised a weighty question: Where can we find a living specimen of the latter?
Within one short week, our astute thinkers offered a compelling answer to this daunting query. DNA! Cloning! In vitro fertilization! Of course more digging would be required, in order to retrieve a male member of Homo floresiensis from the dustbin of history. But in principle, our post-modern techniques would, eventually if not immediately, bear fruit in the form of smaller samples of Homo sapiens.
It took us but one week to move from this hypothetical to the astounding implications to which such a technological feat would lead. Generations of smaller people would take up less space, use fewer of our scarce natural resources, etc. For example, the Origin of a More Compact Species would entail smaller cars, pickups, and SUVs, which would use less gas; and it would inevitably lead to smaller houses, thus using up less timber, plastic, nails, and grout.
We at MJTT have, in the space of two months, solved a practical problem that many of our fellow Americans do not even know exists. At this point we cease thinking about this eminently reasonable solution and hand our findings to the technicians.
from June 10, 2005
We at MJTT are busy acquainting ourselves with a recent report from the Hawaiian Sea Life Park. This report concerns the birth of an as-yet-unnamed female calf to a mother “wholphin,” a mix of a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Researchers at the park suspect that the father of the anonymous but playful calf is Mikioi, himself an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
This news, in itself, is fascinating. But there is more. It seems that the mother, Kekaimalu, was accidentally (?) conceived 19 years ago after a coupling between two unnamed representatives of the aforementioned species, who were showcreatures in the park’s main tourist attraction. Strictly speaking, then, the newborn wholpin is one-fourth Pseudorca crassidens and three-fourths Tursiops truncatus.
“So what we have,” I remarked to my fellow think-tankers by way of summary, “is a case of the Origin of Yet Another Species.”
My colleagues nodded gravely and sipped their afternoon sherry.
“What is more,” I went on, my voice rising in excitement, “the two parent species would appear to be incompatible—and not only with regard to their species, though as we are all aware, these species are classified within the same family.”
I was, of course, referring to the classification system inaugurated by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish botanist and taxonomist whose work remains the basis of modern taxonomy, which, in its specific meaning, is “the orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships” (Webster’s). Naturally, Linnaeus’s taxonomy has been modified by Charles Darwin (1809-1892) and his many successors.
“Incompatible also,” I continued, “ with regard to their size.” (I emphasized the word “size” by using italics, rendering an exclamation point pointless.)
More nodding. More sipping.
I proceeded to explain, in the manner of Herman Melville (1819-1891), that a false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) can grow to 20 feet in length and weigh as much as two tons, while an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) will grow to a mere 12 feet and weigh a mere 700 pounds.
“Now,” I concluded, “what are the useful implications of this strange phenomenon for the problems we, as Homo sapiens, face in this, the post-modern age?”
The nodding ceased and was replaced by frowns. The sipping continued unabated. Clear signs, I immediately recognized, that thinking through the useful implications of this strange phenomenon would take at least a month.
from April 1, 2004
“The Pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth. He stands in Christ’s place, on Christ’s behalf, to shepherd Christ’s flock.”
So says the esteemed catholic-pages.com, “the Catholic home for your browser.” Citing Lumen Gentium, which was solemnly promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, this authoritative source goes on to explain:
“[T]he Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”
Only a wild-eyed, irresponsible skeptic would demur from these judgments. And, though the Myles Junior Think Tank (MJTT) has often been accused of being wild-eyed, it has never, to our knowledge, been castigated as irresponsible.
Out of a sense of pious duty, then, we are compelled to continue our investigation of the IQs of God and His Son Jesus by turning our attention to the intelligence of whomever God has chosen to be His Son’s Vicar.
The first step in our investigation was to consult Dictionary.com. This authoritative source defined a (Roman Catholic) vicar as “a priest who acts for or represents another, often higher-ranking member of the clergy.”
This definition gave us pause. Not that it was not clear. Indeed, its very clarity was the pause-giver. As the definition of “vicar” clearly states, Pope X (not a name but a variable) acts to represent another, often higher-ranking member of the clergy. This immediately raises two problems for our investigation: (1) the problem of rank and (2) the problem of Christ’s office.
I shall deal with these vexing problems in order.
The definition is ambiguous. A vicar acts for or represents “another, often higher-ranking” member of the clergy. This phrase raises the question: How often? For to say that Pope X represents an equal is one thing; to say that he (or, in this millennium, possibly she) represents one whose rank is higher is another. Now, if the former is true, the problem of discovering the Pope’s IQ would be simple: one would merely attribute an IQ of 107.364 to whoever, at any given moment, happened to be pope. If the latter, the pope would have an IQ lower than 107 and change. (See my previous columns, “God’s IQ” and “Jesus’s IQ.”)
Upon further reflection, we at MJTT concluded that a pope would have a lower IQ. We based this conclusion on (1) the empirical fact that the first pope, Peter I, was a fisherman, and (2) fishermen are known to have a lower intelligence than those who ply other trades. The conclusion, then, was obvious. A simple syllogism leads to the incontrovertible fact that any given pope has a lesser degree of intelligence than his superior.
But on to the second problem, that of Christ’s office. The definition of a vicar contains the phrase, “higher-ranking member of the clergy.” (Italics added) And this phrase raises the question: Is a rabbi a clergyman? For all would agree that Christ, a.k.a Jesus, was a rabbi. But by common consensus, a clergyman is of a wholly different breed than a rabbi.
How, then, can Pope X be “Christ’s Vicar on Earth”?
After several hours of musing over this profound question, we repaired to the Watering Hole of the Hôtel Adiós for our après-ruminations.
from March 4, 2004
At the request of Ms. Thalia Mews, my fellow columnist here at DQRA, we at Myles Junior Think Tank (MJTT) have completed the daunting task of determining God’s IQ by taking up the even more daunting task of determining the IQ of Jesus (J).
This is, to be sure, a project that is as difficult as it is controversial. Indeed, it is so difficult that, to my knowledge, few if any theologians have had the courage to tackle this problem. To be sure, there are a few wags who have put their irreverent, deficient senses of “humor” before the internet-surfing public by concerning themselves with this issue. Their “findings” can be ignored.
The difficulties of the task are, in the main, two. First, there is the issue of the ontological status of Jesus: that is, was he the Son of God (SOG) and thus a coequal, or was he merely a nice man who offered thoughtful ideas concerning how one might consider living life? If the latter, one must determine which of the many accounts of Jesus’s life and teachings can be considered historically accurate. There are, after all, four gospels in the orthodox canon, and numerous others that have been uncovered in and around the Ancient Near East (ANE).
The method we at MJTT chose to follow was to work out the implications of each and every possibility.
If J was indeed the SOG, the obvious answer to Ms. Mews’ question is that, being a coequal with G, J had an IQ of 107.364. (See my February 20 column.)
But, as one of our devil’s advocates pointed out, we were being much too hasty. For human experience teaches us that, though “the apple never falls far from the tree,” said fruit does indeed fall. Or, in the language of the common man or woman, the intelligence of a son may be either superior to or inferior to that of his father. Much if not everything depends, insisted our skeptic, on the IQ of the mother, in this case, presumably, Mary (M).
Thus it came about that what had earlier been recognized as a daunting task was now on the very brink of becoming insuperable. Was there enough evidence, canonical or extra-canonical, to determine M’s IQ within an acceptable statistical range?
I was the one to point out, at this juncture of the heady though heated dialogue, that the Catholic Church hierarchy was deliberating the question of whether M should be named a co-redemptrix, and thus be placed on the same level as her son. But, I continued, the issue had not been resolved. Ergo, we were not yet in a position to announce, definitively, that M’s IQ was identical to that of J’s, and thus, assuming that J was the SOG, to G’s.
As for the problem of determining whether the latter assumption was correct, we were one in assenting to the proposition that there is no extant theory accepted by all participants in the discussion of this question. Thus we joined the crowd down at the Hôtel Adios Watering Hole, in search of inspiration that would lead us to the aforementioned theory.