Let them eat cake
The distribution of cake can be tricky business. It takes some pretty serious math to take a look at a crowd and a cake and figure out the appropriate cutting grid to ensure each person gets an equal portion. No doubt there is someone somewhere who has lost a friend because they miscalculated. In fact, there should probably be a cheat sheet carried by mothers and grandmothers which has the math already figured, like a football coach and his two-point conversion card.
While the math of cake distribution may at times be complicated, the physics of it are quite simple. If Charlie eats a piece of cake, that piece is no longer available for his friend Tommy. It’s a zero sum game, where the deliciousness experienced by one person is directly tied to the empty stomach experienced by the other.
I received a book this Christmas called “Metaphor.” It is a cleverly-titled book about metaphors. In one of the early chapters, the authors discuss the trend of using battle language when referring to debates or arguments. For example, we hear phrases like, “he attacked her point of view,” or “her criticism was right on target,” and of course, “they won the debate.” There is something wrong with our terminology here. I hope to one day see two people discuss an issue in such a way that one of the participants actually comes around to the other’s way of thinking, not because there was a winner or a loser, but because truth was found where it had not been before.
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