This is a short story that was collected in the book Gold.


An old man named Hargrove was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. But he was also a well-known computer programmer. He had, for quite a long time, been busy in developing a computer program that can simulate a war among nations taking into account every possible factor and combination. But the number of factors and the possible combinations are overwhelmingly large that he hadn't yet reached a state where the computer would say go-ahead to the simulation.

He plans to propose this ultimate simulation to the government to help their nation dominate in the world. But Herman Gelb, whom Hargrove had reached to improve his program, asserts that such a program is impossible to realize because a computer would always account for the number of human lives lost in the foremost place and thus would never give a go-ahead and besides, loss of human lives is inevitable in a war. He finally points out that a computer lacks a sense of self-righteousness which means such a program is impossible.