Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why did the chicken cross the road?

This is one of the most popular questions and jokes in physics and philosophy: 


Plato:                For the greater good.

Karl Marx:            It was a historical inevitability.

Machiavelli:          So that its subjects will view it with admiration,
                      as a chicken which has the daring and courage to
                      boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom
                      among them has the strength to contend with such a
                      paragon of avian virtue?  In such a manner is the
                      princely chicken's dominion maintained.

Hippocrates:          Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its

Jacques Derrida:      Any number of contending discourses may be discovered
                      within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and
                      each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial
                      intent can never be discerned, because structuralism
                      is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Timothy Leary:        Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment
                      would let it take.

Douglas Adams:        Forty-two.

Nietzsche:            Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road
                      gazes also across you.

Oliver North:         National Security was at stake.

B.F. Skinner:         Because the external influences which had pervaded its
                      sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a
                      fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while
                      believing these actions to be of its own free will.

Carl Jung:            The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt
                      necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at
                      this historical juncture, and therefore
                      synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre:     In order to act in good faith and be true to itself,
                      the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:  The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the
                      objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came
                      into being which caused the actualization of this
                      potential occurrence.

Albert Einstein:      Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed
                      the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Aristotle:            To actualize its potential.

Buddha:               If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-

Howard Cosell:        It may very well have been one of the most astonishing
                      events to grace the annals of history.  An historic,
                      unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt
                      such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to
                      homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurence.

Salvador Dali:        The Fish.

Darwin:               It was the logical next step after coming down from
                      the trees.

Emily Dickinson:      Because it could not stop for death.

Epicurus:             For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:  It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann von Goethe:    The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway:     To die. In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg:    We are not sure which side of the road the chicken
                      was on, but it was moving very fast.

David Hume:           Out of custom and habit.

Jack Nicholson:      'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored)

Pyrrho the Skeptic:   What road?

Ronald Reagan:        I forget.

John Sununu:          The Air Force was only too happy to provide the
                      transportation, so quite understandably the chicken
                      availed himself of the opportunity.

The Sphinx:           You tell me.

Mr. T:                If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!

Henry David Thoreau:  To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow
                      out of life.

Mark Twain:           The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Molly Yard:           It was a hen!

Zeno of Elea:         To prove it could never reach the other side.

Chaucer:              So priketh hem nature in hir corages.

Wordsworth:           To wander lonely as a cloud.

The Godfather:        I didn't want its mother to see it like that.

Keats:                Philosophy will clip a chicken's wings.

Blake:                To see heaven in a wild fowl.

Othello:              Jealousy.

Dr Johnson:           Sir, had you known the Chicken for as long as I have,
                      you would not so readily enquire, but feel rather the
                      Need to resist such a public Display of your own 
                      lamentable and incorrigible Ignorance.

Mrs Thatcher:         This chicken's not for turning.

Supreme Soviet:       There has never been a chicken in this photograph.

Oscar Wilde:          Why, indeed? One's social engagements whilst in
                      town ought never expose one to such barbarous
                      inconvenience - although, perhaps, if one must cross a 
                      road, one may do far worse than to cross it as the 
                      chicken in question.

Kafka:                Hardly the most urgent enquiry to make of a low-grade 
                      insurance clerk who woke up that morning as a hen.

Swift:                It is, of course, inevitable that such a loathsome,
                      filth-ridden and degraded creature as Man should assume
                      to question the actions of one in all respects his

Macbeth:              To have turned back were as tedious as to go o'er.

Whitehead:            Clearly, having fallen victim to the fallacy of
                      misplaced concreteness.

Freud:                An die andere Seite zu kommen. (Much laughter)

Hamlet:               That is not the question.

Donne:                It crosseth for thee.

Pope:                 It was mimicking my Lord Hervey.

Constable:            To get a better view.
(source: Internet)