Post by occam Post by Jerry Friedman
I wonder whether picking up snails is hunting or gathering.
It's gathering if you are human. You pick them up as you would fruit.
It's hunting if you are a slow moving animal (relative to the snail),
involving a chase.
Consider a spherical snail in a vacuum.
The snail makes one orbit around the earth every 93 minutes. Its apogee
and perigee are 6881km and 6879km respectively from the earth's centre.
You may assume that the snail's shell protects it from the deleterious
consequences of the high-altitude and low-pressure aspects of its
You are in the same orbit, but you are 1km behind the snail. You are hungry.
Q1: what is your best strategy for capturing the snail?
Q2: does your answer to Q1 make you a hunter, a gatherer, both, or neither?
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
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