A man flying in a hot air balloon realises that he is
lost, so he reduces his altitude and spots a man on
the ground down below. Lowering the balloon a little
further, the balloonist shouts 'Excuse me Sir! But can
you help me? I promised my friend that I would meet
him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am!'
The man on the ground replies, 'Yes. You are in a
hot air balloon, hovering at approximately 30 feet.
You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude,
and between 58 and 59 degrees west longitude.'
'You must be a geologist,' says the balloonist.
'Why, yes I am,' replies the man on the ground.
'How on earth did you know?'
'Well', says the balloonist, 'Everything you have
told me is well described. It is also technically and
geographically accurate. However, I have no idea
what to make of your information, and the fact of the
matter is I have spent much valuable time conversing
with you and I am still lost. Furthermore, I will not be
able to make my appointment now.'
The geologist below nods his head and says,
'You must be a Mining Engineer.'
'Why, yes I am,' replies the balloonist, 'But how did
you guess that?'
'Well,' says the geologist, 'You have no idea where
you are or where you are going. Also, you have made
a promise which you have no idea how to keep,
and you expect me to solve your problem for you.
The real fact of the matter is that you are in exactly
the same position now as what you were in before
we met, yet now your predicament has somehow
become my fault.'