Print Story Sundre
Diary
By 606 (Wed Dec 05, 2007 at 08:20:13 PM EST) armchair philosophy (all tags)
...is a town in Alberta I've never visited. Sundry is a list of unrelated things.


Ten minutes before the DVD I'm burning is done. One two three go. Let's do this fast.

It was minus 17 C earlier this week. Cold enough to freeze the nuts off a squirrel. The local hares are white with tips of brown on the tops of their ears. You see them running away from you when you go for a walk.

I feel like I'm waking up from a long hibernation, which is backwards considering the season. Sometimes you don't realize how dead you feel until something jars you to realize just how complacent you are in your reality. Things have jarred me that I can't talk about, but let's say my home, my job, my life are imperiled by opportunities. I feel both terribly afraid and unimaginably optimistic. The linear future stretching before me appears now a cloud of unnavigable pathways. Choose your own adventure. To page 35 or 114?

When I was a kid I read a lot of Choose your own adventure books. I reveled in the non-linearity. I would read them six or seven times maybe, but I'd never try to span the tree of the book. To discover every ending. I'd be happy to get to a decent ending and leave it at that. It seems now this makes me different from my peers (coworkers) who would read until every path was taken. When they play video games they play them over and over until every path is tried. An RPG with a branching story arc is madness to be avoided.

I believe this is the difference between computer science and engineering. In computer science every answer must be right. Every node must be visited, every algorithm must be optimal. In engineering things must merely be good enough. After all, if you spend all your time on one problem you'll miss the chance to solve all the other ones. And there are no shortage of problems in this world.

Maybe this is why many computer scientists aren't creative (except in the field of algorithms and research). Creative endeavours have no optimum. You never know when you're done. Of course, some computer scientists are creative. They are the smartest ones.

Life is not a solveable problem. Life is a tree whose nodes you can't all visit. It's a optimization function over an infinite set. To live a life everyone has to be an engineer. Solve one problem, and move to the next. You can't ever go back.

Ding! Disc is up. Time to watch a movie.

< It's 12:52 am | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Sundre | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
I would suggest page 114 . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 03:30:09 AM EST
. . . I've read ahead, and 35 is a dead end.

Sometimes I would do that... by 606 (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:46:16 PM EST
Jump to the page, see that it's a short page with a "The End" at the bottom, so jump back and go the other way...

Can't do that in life, though.

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imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
Aye, therein lies . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 11:50:50 AM EST
. . . the rub.

You, my friend, need a time machine!

[ Parent ]
Sundre | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)