Knuth on Knowing

We often fail to realize how little we know about a thing until we attempt to simulate it on a computer.
Donald E. Knuth
The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1, Third Edition
Section 2.2.5, Exercise 10 (p. 298) 

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  1. You wouldn’t believe how precisely this nails the nut of what I’ve been working on for … for such a long time.
    Here are two I squirreled away in an old snapshot of my work:

    “The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion but rather to know it.”
    –Andre Maurois (1885-1967); French biographer, novelist, essayist

    “He who knows only his side of the case, knows little of that.”
    –John Stuart Mill (1806-1873); British philosopher, economist

    What I’ve been going on about is this, relating to how we go about making decisions regarding policy, public and otherwise: conversation and discussion can be really, really pleasant without actually being sensible. :-)

    Reply

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