A blast from the past and nothing has changed. An old farmer named Van was overseeing his herd in a remote pasture in the platteland when suddenly a brand-new BMW® advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.
The driver of the BMW®, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asks the old man, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”
I received this from a good friend in Australia. I have taken the liberty to localise it a little … (the story is in the public domain.)
Van looks at the young man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
The yuppie then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany ……
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to Van and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, help yourself to one of my animals, then, since you won it fair and square.” says Van.
He watches the smartly dressed yuppie select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the man gingerly picks it up & pops it into the boot of his car.
As the yuppie is carefully brushing the dust & hair off his suit, Van says, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what work you do & where you come from, will you give me back my calf?”
The yuppie thinks about it for a second, wondering what this wrinkled up dirt encrusted old man could possibly know? He grins and then says, “Okay, old fella, why not? I’m a believer in fair play.”
“You’re a politician & you work in Pretoria.” says the old timer.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but, tell me how on earth did you guess that?”
“No guessing required” answers Van. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of Rands worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living – or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.
Now give me back my dog.”