Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

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moderately geeky  moderately geeky

Case 5

Void

On a cold autumn day the Java master awoke disquieted. He set out alone to clear his mind.

Soon the master found himself at the gates of the Temple of Three Stones, where the art of ANSI C was still practiced. A learned brother stood guard.

“What is the nature of void?” asked the master.

“It has no nature,” replied the brother. “It is the stick fetched by the dog that does not fetch sticks. It is the thing pointed to by the hand that may point at anything. It is the perfect absence of value.”

The master thought: “The Temple of Three Stones has no need of a guard. There can be nothing of value within.”

Further on he came to the Temple of the White Iron Sky, a place of theoreticians where only ML was allowed. In the withered garden a nun was writing lambda expressions in the dust.

“What is the nature of void?” asked the master.

“It has the color of air, and the weight of rising fog,” replied the sister. “When struck it makes the sound of a new moon slipping behind a cloud. Every empty bowl contains as many as you please.”

The master thought: “The sister has said nothing which is false, yet nothing which is true either.”

Further down the road the master came to a great manor house, where an old woman was clipping the hedges.

“What is the nature of void?” asked the master.

The old woman bowed and continued her pruning.

The master thought: “Here there is purest wisdom, unless there is only the lack of it.”

Eventually the master came to an abandoned cemetery.

“What is the nature of void?” asked the master.

From the empty courtyard came no reply.

The Java master was contented.

Topics...  void, philosophy