The Blind Men and the Elephant

Table of Contents

The Original Tale: The Blind Men and the Elephant

John Godfrey Saxe’s last four lines in ‘’The Blind Men and the Elephant’’, a poem based on an Indian fable about six blind men who come across an elephant for the first time in their lives and try to conceptualise it by touching it. However, all blind men come to feel a different part of the elephant, leading to complete disagreement on what an elephant is. The story illustrates how humans tend to take their partial experiences as a whole truth, and their individual perspectives as the one and only version of reality. Yet their perceptions are very limited; one should keep in mind that they may be only partially right, and only hold partial information.

Although the identification of an elephant may not sound very meaningful or relevant, the story gives us some useful insights. What if we replace the six blind men by six men from different disciplines (e.g., psychology, law, economics, geography, mathematics, and physics)? And instead of asking them about the identity of an elephant, we ask them to identify the world’s biggest environmental issues. Or, to make it even more challenging, we ask them their individual solution(s) to these issues. Chances are you will receive six completely different answers. Question is, are these answers different yet adequate approaches to the solution, or is there only a complete answer achievable if the men merge their areas of expertise and come up with an interdisciplinary solution together?

If the six blind men in the Indian tale were to share their different ideas and experiences with each other, the story could have ended quite differently: by combining the bits of information each man obtained, the truth could be discovered and the elephant could have been identified without a problem. Shouldn’t it be the same with addressing environmental issues? Yes, if you ask me. And so do a myriad researchers. Scholars from different disciplines should collaborate and integrate their individual expertise to address environmental problems. In this case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Many benefits could arise from merging perceptions: research points at an increased awareness of one’s own disciplinary knowledge, stimulation of the ability to perceive matters from different perspectives, establishment of extensive networks for idea sharing, and the initiation of more holistic outcomes. These advantages are useful for a wide range of issues, but could be especially beneficial for the environmental ones, because of their nature

The Modern Twist: The Parable of Code: Unveiling Multi-Faceted Views in a Tech Startup

In the bustling heart of Silicon Valley, nestled among giants, was a burgeoning startup named TechnoGrove. This startup was heralded far and wide for its groundbreaking AI software, a marvel of innovation whose codebase was as vast and enigmatic as it was revolutionary. Despite its fame, the true essence of this codebase was an enigma, a mystery unraveled only in the minds of six lead developers, each a virtuoso in their sphere, and each harboring a distinct understanding of the codebase sculpted by their expertise and the modules they had nurtured.

The Characters

  1. The Vision of the Frontend Developer:
    • Ronald, the craftsman of user interactions, beheld the codebase as a canvas of sleek, user-friendly interfaces. In his world, the codebase was a realm of simplicity and intuitiveness, his days were spent refining the UI, rendering the application a visual delight and a breeze to traverse.
  2. The Insight of the Backend Developer:
    • Venture into the lair of Beatrice, the Backend Developer, and you’d find a realm of servers, databases, and core application logic. Through her lens, the codebase emerged as a sprawling, complex engine powering the heartbeat of the application, a maze of algorithms and data structures intertwined in a delicate dance.
  3. The Guard of the Security Expert:
    • Samuel, the sentinel of cybersecurity, envisaged the codebase as a stronghold awaiting siege. His vigil was ceaseless, patching vulnerabilities and fortifying the code against the relentless onslaught of external threats.
  4. The Probe of the Data Scientist:
    • To Diana, the Data Scientist, the codebase was a treasure trove of insights waiting to be unearthed. Engrossed in a perpetual quest, she mined data, tuned algorithms, and carved out insights that steered the product into unchartered territories.
  5. The Mechanism of the DevOps Engineer:
    • The world of Oliver, the DevOps Engineer, was one of precision and seamless transitions. He perceived the codebase as a well-oiled behemoth, his realm was one where development and operations meshed seamlessly, ensuring the code was always in a state of readiness.
  6. The Scrutiny of the Quality Assurance Specialist:
    • Quincy, the harbinger of quality, explored the codebase as a realm of endless testing, his quest was to ferret out bugs and ensure that the software was a hallmark of excellence and reliability.

Everyone’s different views

One fine dawn, the CEO of TechnoGrove summoned a conclave to envisage the future roadmap of their software. Each lead developer was beckoned to share their unique perspective on the codebase.

As the discourse unfurled, it was a revelation that though their quest was centered on the same codebase, the lens through which they perceived it was vastly disparate. The CEO, an astute visionary, recognized that this kaleidoscope of perspectives was not a discord but a symphony. By interweaving these diverse viewpoints, TechnoGrove could transcend conventional boundaries and foster innovation that could hurdle challenges hitherto deemed insurmountable.

The odyssey of TechnoGrove illuminates that akin to the fable of the blind men and the elephant, different maestros may hold divergent views of the same endeavor. Yet, when harmonized, these distinct notes can compose a melody that resonates with success and innovation.

Thus, the lore of The Codebase and the Startup continues to echo through the corridors of tech forums, a testament to the essence of diverse perspectives and the alchemy of collaborative innovation in the ever-evolving narrative of technology.


Our perceptions are shaped by our perspectives, and it takes a collective effort to see the whole picture. So the next time you find yourself in a situation where viewpoints clash, remember the tale of the blind men and the elephant. Sometimes, all it takes to find common ground is a willingness to see through someone else’s lens.

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