I really liked Jon’s jigsaw analogy yesterday. Perhaps I can add my two cents to the blog based on our subsequent discussion of this.
That is – actually, I see it as worse than just not having the box top to guide you. It’s not having any idea whatsoever what the resulting picture is supposed to be. Is it an Impressionist painting? A safari scene? A quiet harbor at dawn? Then compound the difficulty with the distinct possibility that the pieces of several jigsaw puzzles have been mixed together as well (as happens when approaches and concepts from various knowledge experts differ).
Daunting? I say it’s close to or even impossible. (Of course, there are those who, when confronted with pieces that don’t fit together as they should, resort to cutting the pieces up and/or pounding on them with a hammer….and I’ve seen a few proposals in my time that appear to have undergone this process!)