It’s, The Law!!!

I’ve spoken about this elsewhere in the past, but so you don’t have to leave this page, The Law!!! is of course, the law of unintended consequences. In twenty five words or less, no matter what choice you make when you come to a decision point, you’re probably screwed.

Maybe because you made the wrong choice. Decision trees being what they are. This all goes back to something I learned, forgot about, and then learned again, when I was getting my degree in computer science from the University currently banned from Bowl games for two years. Back before they had degrees in Information Technology, which is what I would have now, if I were studying, and 30 years younger, attending the same place.

Chess, a game of perfect information, has basically been solved by the fastest computers with practically unlimited memory, simply by employing what is called the brute force method. Generate all possible moves at any point in the game, follow the branch, find the outcome, and make a choice. Wash, rinse, repeat. As there are rules that govern the game, and they are finite, and ultimately simple, if you program the computer properly, you can achieve the desired result.

Checkers is even simpler, which is why every-time I need to feel superior to my Mac, I play checkers. And win. I do this when I get the feeling, or more likely read about, someone fearing the takeover of the planet by robots.

These are two games that you should learn the rules before you start, in order to play perfectly, as previously discussed.  Logically, you should be able to form patterns to make decisions in life, if you can play either of these games successfully.

Unfortunately, life itself doesn’t deal with perfect information, simply because, you can’t possibly know everything, even when you think you do.  There’s a lot of incomplete information out there about you. And for that matter, me. Have any of you looked it up? Probably not. I have a Google alert set to my real name, that returns articles written by this other guy with my same real name.

Which recalls part of my standup act wherein I ask someone, “Have you ever seen me before?” To which they most often reply, “No.” My immediate response at that point is, “Then how do you know it’s me?” usually garners a laugh or three from the impromptu audience that has inadvertently been gathered for that particular ‘performance’. Remember, all the world is indeed, a stage.

Sometimes, I need a reminder of this. Most decision trees are not in fact binary, simply because there’s probably more than two choices. There may be three, or even more than that. And as opposed to your computing device of choice, there’s probably no undo, either. If the branches of the decision tree have already been pruned, you may not know that you’ve already lost the game, yet you may still be playing.

If you’ve read this far, and any of this makes sense, by all means, leave a comment. However, as I’ve buried the lead, as I am wont to do, I’m going to write some more, which may or may not make sense either. Lest these look like morning pages….

It will be hard to tie up all these threads, however, I shall attempt to do so in the arbitrary number of words I have left. I made an incorrect choice, based on incomplete information, and there is no undo. I said all that already. Now I have to figure out, how to recover. This will take time. I hope you, my three readers, will help me do that, although, you probably have your own storylines to write, in which case, I may be on my own. I’m ok with that.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

Adjust your expectations accordingly.

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3 thoughts on “It’s, The Law!!!

  1. Pingback: In Lieu of Actual Writing…. | The Random Rant

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