Tech Today w/ Ken May

Enlarge / It looks like science. (credit: Tri Alpha Energy ) If there is one thing I hate, it’s optimization. Computers don’t actually understand what they are optimizing. And that creates problems for everything from bicycles to nuclear fusion. The process goes something like this: you have a mathematical model of a bicycle. You want your bike to perform better, but there are so many things that can be changed, so you can’t imagine finding the best configuration on your own. So you write a script. The script will vary the configuration of the bicycle and evaluate whether it is improved. After many iterations, you have the perfect bike, right? No, you don’t. What you didn’t imagine was that the computer would remove the seat. Or that it would place, for no apparent reason, a third wheel between the (now removed) saddle and handlebars. Even worse, the stupid machine has got the chain passing through a bit of solid steel. Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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