January 21, 2011

« “Can you do Addition?” the White Queen asked. “What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?” “I don’t know”, said Alice. “I lost count”. “She can’t do Addition”, the Red Queen interrupted. “Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight”. “Nine from eight I can’t, you know”, Alice replied very readily: “but –” “She can’t do Subtraction”, said the White Queen. “Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife — what’s the answer to that?” “I suppose –” Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for her. “Bread-and-butter, of course. Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: what remains?” Alice considered. “The bone wouldn’t remain, of course, if I took it — and the dog wouldn’t remain: it would come to bite me — and I’m sure I shouldn’t remain!” “Then you think nothing would remain?” said the Red Queen. “I think that’s the answer”. “Wrong, as usual”, said the Red Queen: “the dog’s temper would remain”. “But I don’t see how –” “Why, look here!” the Red Queen cried. “The dog would lose its temper, wouldn’t it?” “Perhaps it would”, Alice replied cautiously. “Then if the dog went away, its temper would remain!” the Queen exclaimed triumphantly. »

~ “Through the looking-glass, and what Alice found there”, L. Carroll.

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