could surely be taken care of by five thousand

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "could surely be taken care of by five thousand" mean "could surely be solved by five thousand experts"?

Thanks in advance

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He notes that officials overseeing the project assume that “if one man dug a hole with a volume of one cubic meter in ten hours, then a hundred thousand diggers of holes could do the job in a fraction of a second… The thought that our guardians were people who held that a problem that five experts were unable to solve could surely be taken care of by five thousand was hair-raising.”

By John Horgan on April 16, 2018

-Scientific American

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  • NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you.

    Why was hair-raising then? Experts are different to money. 5 experts could not figure out the way of going to the moon. 5000 would do the job as Kennedy's moon project proved.
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Have you read what comes before that sentence? Lem gives an example of why such thinking is hair-raising.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Have you read what comes before that sentence? Lem gives an example of why such thinking is hair-raising.
    Well, that sentence is "if one man dug a hole with a volume of one cubic meter in ten hours, then a hundred thousand diggers of holes could do the job in a fraction of a second."

    So why it is hair-raising is that the people think that 5000 experts could solve the problem in a fraction of a second, which is going too far and impossible.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well, that sentence is "if one man dug a hole with a volume of one cubic meter in ten hours, then a hundred thousand diggers of holes could do the job in a fraction of a second."

    So why it is hair-raising is that the people think that 5000 experts could solve the problem in a fraction of a second, which is going too far and impossible.
    Because solving a problem is not like digging a hole. Someone who does not appreciate the difference is "hair-raisingly stupid":)
     
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