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Collision Course

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A young captain was in command of an impressive warship for the first time. One night the sea was churning, and the ship was shrouded in heavy fog. The captain received a signal from the bridge: a strange light was approaching directly, at high speed.

The fearless captain didn't have to think for more than a second; he gave the order to transmit a message. "You're on a collision course. Change your course to 20 degrees to the south immediately."

The reply made the captain furious. He was given a counter-order. "Change your course 20 degrees to the north, immediately."

A few messages went back and forth in this fashion, with the captain demanding that the other party change its course, and the counter-command coming back the same every time. Finally in desperation, the captain signaled:
"I warn you, this is a battleship, we will shoot you."

The answer was quick: "I warn you, this is a lighthouse!"



Source: Jeff Gaspersz, Griip je kans! Vind en benut nieuwe mogelijkheden (Spectrum, 2009) cited by Berthold Gunster in the book Flip Thinking

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