The fifth dimension
Original post made by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Apr 24, 2009
THIS WEEK I read one of the most amazing and wondrous sentences I have ever laid eyes upon.
It was spoken by city manager Kevin Duggan, and written down by ==I Voice== reporter Daniel DeBolt, and regards the [Web Link proposed Shoreline hotel], which Duggan endorses.
As part of his endorsement, Duggan stated the following, which at first I believed may be evidence of an [Web Link alternate universe]:
"We would not do it if revenue from doing it would not generate more revenue than not doing it."
I spent a long time mulling over this remarkable sentence. Like a [Web Link Moebius strip], it seems to point to new ways of seeing things, to open up new doors of perception.
But as always, a little mathematical rigor can sweep away those cobwebs. Consider the following: We have the revenue from doing it (A), and the revenue from not doing it (B), and this says that if B is larger than A then we would not do it.
Now let's turn the sentence inside-out mathematically, to see if the inverse is true (or is it the [Web Link converse]? I always mix those up):
"We would do it if revenue from not doing it would generate less revenue than doing it."
In this case, if B is smaller than A, then we would do it. So the inverse holds true, and we are grounded mathematically. Duggan's statement makes sense.
It remains to be seen whether I'm very well-grounded satirically. But Duggan is a good sport, and knows this whole silly exercise was all in fun.