An Economist, A Logician, and A Mathematician Walk Into a Bar

So I picked up The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time in the airport (it’s a story of the adventures of what to my inexperienced eye seems to be a high-functioning autistic teenager). Having enjoyed it thoroughly, I passed it on to Honey Bear, (btw, now my fiance’!). Her response, other than also liking the book, was to highlight the following passage for me:

[Protagonist speaking] And I realize that I told a lie in Chapter 13 because I said “I cannot tell jokes,” because I do know 3 jokes that I can tell and I understand and one of them is about a cow…

And this is the joke.

There are three men on a train. One of them is an economist and one of them is a logician and one of them is a mathematician. And they have just crossed the border into Scotland (I don’t know why they are going to Scotland) and they see a brown cow standing in a field from the window of the train (and the cow is standing parallel to the train).

And the economist says, “Look, the cows in Scotland are brown.”

And the logician says, “No. there are cows in Scotland of which one at least is brown.”

And the mathematician says, “No. there is at least one cow in Scotland, of which one side appears to be brown.”

And it is funny because economists are not real scientists, and because logicians think more clearly, but mathematicians are best.

(In grim times of monumental ineptitude, a bit of levity might be good for the spirit.)