The two barbers
Tue 4 Nov 2014, 01:25 PM
by Ben Langhinrichs
There's a famous riddle which you have probably heard before, but I'll repeat it here. Skip to the end if you already know it.
There is a small town in the midwest with exactly two barbershops, one on each side of town. The barbershop on the west side of town is pristine. Its floors are spotless, the windows are always perfectly clear, and the air always smells fresh. The barber has a friendly smile, shined shoes, a well-groomed head of hair, and a fancy shirt. The barbershop on the east side of town is a mess. Its floors and windows are dirty, and the air smells of garbage. The barber always has a grimace on his face. His skin is oily, his hair is short and ragged, and he has food on his clothes all the time.
A man travelling through the town realizes he needs a haircut. Knowing the stories of the two barbers, the man decides to go to the dirty barbershop on the east side of town. Why does he do this?
The answer, as you probably know, is that with only two barbers, the grumpy barber with the dirty shop must have cut the hair of the nice man with the clean shop. Since the nice barber has the better haircut, the man goes to the grumpy barber who must have cut his hair.
So, if you understand that, why do you assume that Notes mail renders fine based on the mail you receive? Don't be the clean barber who gives lousy haircuts.
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