Maybe. Maybe the best explanation is that a young man who is truly intelligent, as opposed to merely clever, avoids disagreeing with a young woman.

And in line with that, I don't plan to tell either of them how far off they were.

(I was pretty close; I thought it was 150 yards tall.)

I'm curious about the specifics of this situation in trying to figure out the most likely explanation.

Did the two people go to Italy together or separately? Are they romantically involved? If not, is the woman conventionally attractive? And if so, did the exchange roughly fit the pattern of "woman expressing an opinion" and "man agreeing with woman not matter what"?

5Douglas_Knight11yDid you remember to worry about being primed, even by the absurd 30 feet?

Calibration fail

by PhilGoetz 1 min read9th Aug 200936 comments


I was talking on Friday with two people who've been to Italy recently and saw the leaning tower of Pisa.  One of them was surprised at how short it was:  "about 30 feet tall", she said.  Then the other person, who'd also seen it, agreed that it was surprisingly short, and said it was "only about as tall as the Washington Monument".

"Wait," I said. "You just said it's 30 feet tall; and you just said it's as tall as the Washington monument, which has got to be at least 100 yards tall.  And you agreed with each other."

And they both shook their heads, and said, "No, the Washington Monument isn't anywhere near 100 yards tall."  We all live near Washington DC, and have seen the Washington Monument many times.

I said that the Washington Monument must be taller than that.  One of them said that it was just as tiring to walk to the top of the Leaning Tower as to walk to the top of the Washington Monument; which was odd, since the WM stairs have been closed since before he was born.

They finally agreed that both structures were about 30 yards tall.

The Leaning Tower is 183 feet tall, and the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall.