Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quote of the day

"If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no-one dares criticize it."

-- W. H. Auden
US (English-born) critic & poet (1907 - 1973)

To most this is true. They trust computers and never question the equations that make up the results. Computers don't lie.

Actually this isn't completely true. I used to work with a guy who was scary smart. Whenever given a spreadsheet or other computer generated output, he'd whip out his small pocket calculator and "run the numbers". Often he'd find the final numbers didn't make sense. Somewhere there was a formula mistake which resulted in inaccurate totals. I miss working with him.

BTW, I have no idea why the finger numbers are as they are. They aren't intuitive at all. One is three fingers?!!! Source of finger numbers is here. And may I add one hell of a lot more number shit.

Via Quotes of the Day.




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