Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Diagonally Walking Dogs.


As a dog owner, you notice that sort of thing, and it makes you think. Whenever you take a dog for a walk, it will always pull ahead, as if it knows where you are going. The thing is, you need to vary the routes, to keep things interesting, and the dog knows this. It will always map its own route in its mind, and then try to lead you along it. The result is that the dog and leash form a vector, aligned with the dogs path, but following yours. This leads to the dog walking along diagonally next to the owner.

(On a side note: This only happens if you are lucky enough to own a small to medium sized dog. Things work a bit differently owners of big dogs. In general, the owner gets dragged face down on the ground along the dog’s route, and is given ten seconds to stand up every time the dog finds an interesting tree.)

To me, this is undeniable proof that dogs are mathematically superior than humans. The dog knows where it wants to be – somewhere on the other side of the road – and it has plotted all possible routes to get there. In it’s mind, it has calculated the efficiency of all routes, and worked out that walking diagonally is, of course, 41.4% more efficient than just crossing the road.

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