Two monks took their argument to Java master Kaimu. They asked him, “Is null a value, or the absence of a value?”
“Null,” said the master, and walked away.
The monks then proceeded to argue about the meaning of the master’s response, even after the clan had retired to the dormitory and all the lamps were doused:
The first monk insisted that null must be a value, because the master had used it to answer a question.
The second monk insisted that null must not be a value, because the answerless-answer did not include either of the proposed alternatives.
A third monk, who was trying to sleep, screamed and threw his sandal into the darkness.
A fourth monk asked slyly: “Was that an eloquent request for silence, or the absence of an eloquent request for silence?”
As the first two monks considered this, the moon rose.
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