Give an Example

Maybe its a cliche by now, if not, it should be, but it’s a common occurrence when an interlocutor speaks to the person being interviewed, and hears a thought, or an idea, or a principle, and demands an example.

And, as if he’s accomplished some great feat, the one being questioned, fails on the spot, to give 1, or 2, or 3, enumerations of the idea being exemplified.

And we are all supposed to marvel, at the interviewer’s prowess, that he has somehow defeated the notion being brought to bare, because of his own inability to conjure examples from the statement, or debate the idea on its own merits.

Perhaps, if he could conjure a counter example, one that disqualifies the notion at hand, there’d be some further to the discussion, and at least then he will have demonstrated comprehension of the idea.

But what this approach illuminates is that it is fundamentally work to derive all specifics from a general statement, and often meaningless at that, having already arrived at the truth by some sound means.

So that if we were to discuss the formula for the area of a square it would make no difference were you to illustrate that the same is true for s=1 as it is for s=2 or s=3… and so on, and indeed even to ask for examples in such a case demonstrates only a failure to grasp the principles involved.

179 thoughts on “Give an Example”

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