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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

 
Tailless Kangaroos
Sometimes, my textbooks make me laugh out loud. The following is from Kate Kearns' Semantics, in an attempt to make a discussion of "possible worlds" more concrete:

"If kangaroos had no tails, they would topple over."
If in considering the tailless kangaroo worlds you decided that they do topple over, you cooperated with the hypothesis in a number of important respects, by considering worlds which also contain other relevant features carried over from reality. But the range of tailless kangaroo worlds also includes these:

[...]

w4) Kangaroos have no tails. When they are weaned they are issued with gas-powered jet thrusters mounted on a harness, connected to orientation sensors and a little computer. When a kangaroo leans too far from vertical the jet thruster fires a burst to push it back upright. Kangaroos do not topple over.
I will now leave you with the extremely entertaining image of jet-powered kangaroos.

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