Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

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not geeky  not geeky

Case 40

Authority

The scribe asked the Java master: “Why do you have me record so many tales of students who require correction?”

The master said: “So that a fool may read them, and realize that he is a fool.”

The scribe asked: “Does mere ignorance or error make one a fool?”

The master said: “No. The fool is the one who calls himself ‘master’ and speaks with a semblance of authority. His error begins when he opens his mouth, and multiplies when he closes it, leaving much unsaid.”

The scribe said: “Then would it not be wiser to say nothing, either to the student or to the scribe?”

The master said: “Indeed, my very existence on your pages begins and ends in error. If I had any wit I’d cast your book into the sea.”

The scribe said: “There is no book here, and no sea, and anyway you lack hands or a body to accomplish the task.”

The master said: “Then I am content.”

Topics...  authority, philosophy