A philosopher, a scientist and a simple man – none of whom could swim – were trapped in a cove with sheer cliff faces. They split up, but the tide kept coming in. Rescuers lowered a rope with a safety harness.
The philosopher said, ‘Ah, this looks like a rope, but I might be mistaken – it could be wishful thinking or an illusion.’ So he didn’t attach himself, and he was drowned.
The scientist said, ‘Ah, this is an 11 mm polyester rope with a breaking strain of 2800 kg. It conforms to the MR 10-81 standard,’ and then proceeded to give an exhaustive, and entirely correct, analysis of the rope’s physical and chemical properties; but he didn’t attach himself, and he was drowned.
The simple man said, ‘Ah, I’m not sure if it’s a rope or a python tail, but it’s my only chance, so I’m grabbing it and holding on with my whole life.’ He was saved.
This story was rewritten by Malladi Venkata Krishna Murthy – the original author is unknown.