Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

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Case 85

Suku's Golden Mean

Two monks approached master Suku to settle a dispute.

The first monk said, “I have proposed a truly elegant design, but this monk says it is too complex and cannot be maintained.”

The second monk said, “I have proposed a truly simple design, but this monk says it is too limited and will not be useful.”

Suku turned to her whiteboard and drew a large phi, thusly:

Φ

The first monk said, “I do not understand.”

The second monk said, “Nor do I.”

Suku replied, “You argue in booleans; in zeros and ones. Come back when you have learned floating point.”

Qi’s commentary

Kaimu holds court over novices and masters, but they send the real fools to Suku. Kaimu's null can un-ask a bad question, but Suku’s phi will undo two bad answers.

Qi’s poem

Kaimu has his null.
Suku prefers her golden mean.
The first commands reconsideration—
the second, compromise.