How do you hunt elephants?
Mathematicians hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left. Experienced mathematicians will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate excercise. Professors of mathematics will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an excercise for their graduate students.

Physicists hunt elephants by treating the elephant as a unstable W-Z particle and spend a fortune developing a Particle Accelerator large enough to detect one when a hippo and Rhino collide.

Computer Scientists hunt elephants by excercising Algorithm A:

• Go to Africa.
• Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
• Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
• During each traverse pass,
• Catch each animal seen.
• Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.
• Stop when a match is detected.
Experienced computer programmers modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate. Assembly language programmers prefer to execute Algorithm A on their hands and knees.

Engineers hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching grey animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.

Economists don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough, they will hunt themselves.

Statisticians hunt the 1st animal they see N times & call it an elephant.

Consultants don't hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do. Operations research consultants can also measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if someone else will only identify the elephants.

Politicians don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.

Lawyers don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing about who owns the droppings. Software lawyers will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look and feel of one dropping.

Vice Presidents of engineering, research, and development try hard to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the vice president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are completely prehunted before the vice president sees them. If the vice president does see a nonprehunted elephant, the staff will (1) compliment the vice president's keen eyesight and (2) enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.

Senior managers set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.

Quality assurance inspectors ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.

Salespeople don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens. Software salespeople ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant. Hardware salespeople catch rabbits, paint them grey, and sell them as desktop elephants.

Librarians do an on-line search (k=elephant). Depending on the jungle, they may have to undertake a retrospective conversion project on all animals first. They have to look through their LC schedules to find the proper classification (Mammals get classified under M, reptiles under R, etc. An elephant would probably get an MP call number [P for pachyderm]). Then all the elephants would have to be tagged (100:00:Jumbo,[d]1945- ) and given bar codes. The patron could then search for the desired elephant. If not found, the librarian would then put a tracer on it, or, if the patron is really desperate, they could put out a request on IJL (Inter-jungle loan). The patron would get the elephant for 6 months, and after a 9 day grace period would accrue a fine of 10 bags of peanuts a day. If the elephant is still unreturned the patron's account would be flagged and a threat to revoke the patron's insurance policy would be made until said elephant was returned. This generally isn't a problem, since an elephant never forgets. The experienced animal librarian knows not to check out elephants to patrons wearing lots of ivory. Nevertheless, elephants in many jungles are being declared missing and in time may be withdrawn altogether.