Linguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game Hunting


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Linguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game Hunting; by R. Mathiesen; From Lingua Pranca, June, 1978 — The Mathematical Theory of Big-Game Hunting must surely be ranked among the major scientific achievements of the twentieth century. That this is so is largely the work of one man, H. Pétard, in whose fundamental paper (1938) certain recent advances in mathematics and physics were employed with great skill to create a theory of unmatched—not to say unmatchable!—power and elegance. One must not, of course, dismiss Pétard’s predecessors totally out of hand: the field had a long and distinguished history as a technology, was raised to the rank of a science by the Mysore and Nairobi schools during the nineteenth century, and finally achieved the exalted status of a professional discipline at the seminal First International Congress of Elephantology (held at London in 1910), where delegates from many nations discovered that they shared not only a common set of goals, aims, and targets, but also a common set of methods, theoretical predispositions and indispositions, and preferences in hard drink. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Pétard was the first to treat any aspect of the field with full mathematical rigor mortis. (Read by Les Strabismus.)

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