Monday, July 26, 2010

A Tall Ship In Rough Seas

Imagine a tall ship sailing through rough seas.

The rich passengers on the upper decks discover that they can dampen the rough sailing by attaching massive lead weights to their bunks. These weights shift against the waves to provide localized stability.

They call these massive lead weights a hedge.

The massive lead weights become a craze, and all the passengers living in the upper decks (above the center of gravity of the ship) get one.

A pundit on the ship makes the casual observation that the hedges used by the rich passengers will regulate the rough seas for all the passengers. And so the captain of the tall ship encourages the installment of massive lead hedges throughout the upper decks.

Then, one day, a wave broadsides the top heavy ship and all the hedges swing starboard. The people panic and start throwing their weight to the port when a second wave hits and the hedges swing violently toward port.

And so it came to pass that that the heavy lead hedges designed to even out the bumps in moderate seas caused the top heavy boat to capsize in the waves … and all the passengers drown.

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