Random Thought…

There’s a thought experiment known as Theseus’s paradox (and a couple of variants) and it goes something like this.

If you have a raft and replace the oars and planks due to them rotting or being old, or similar, to such a level that the entire raft is eventually replaced, is it still the same ship?

If you inherited an axe from your uncle and you replace the axe head because it’s blunt, and then the wooden handle because it broke — is that axe still the same one you inherited? Can you still call it your uncle’s axe?

Similarly, if all parts of a computer program are replaced by patches/hotfixes (not as full releases), is it still the same program? Can you, for example, call Microsoft Excel V1 a V1 if every part of it has been replaced with new code through patches and hotfixes? Can you even call it Microsoft Excel?

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