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We live in a culture that's been hijacked by the management consultant ethos. We want everything boiled down to a Power Point slide. We want metrics and 'show me the numbers.' That runs counter to the immensely complex nature of so many social, economic and political problems. You cannot devise an algorithm to fix them.
Trees and bones are constantly reforming themselves along lines of stress. This algorithm has been put into a software program that's now being used to make bridges lightweight, to make building beams lightweight.
An algorithm must be seen to be believed.
The problem with digital architecture is that an algorithm can produce endless variations, so an architect has many choices.
A metaphysical tour de force of untethered meaning and involuting interlocking contrapuntal rhythms, 'The Clock' is more than a movie or even a work of art. It is so strange and other-ish that it becomes a stream-of-consciousness algorithm unto itself - something almost inhuman.
The Google algorithm was a significant development. I've had thank-you emails from people whose lives have been saved by information on a medical website or who have found the love of their life on a dating website.
We know that no algorithm can solve global poverty; no pill can cure a chronic illness; no box of chocolates can mend a broken relationship; no educational DVD can transform a child into a baby Einstein; no drone strike can end a terrorist conflict. Sadly, there is no such thing as 'One Tip to a Flat Stomach.'
In comparison, Google is brilliant because it uses an algorithm that ranks Web pages by the number of links to them, with those links themselves valued by the number of links to their page of origin.
Despite all of our technological advances, content creation still requires time, inspiration, and a certain amount of sweat. There aren't any shortcuts. You can't write an algorithm for it. You can't predict it. You can't code it.
You want to evaluate future borrowers, but in order to train an algorithm that will help you identify future defaults, you have to train it and evaluate it on past data.
Where folks like Google have fallen down is in just putting a little review box up, then closing their eyes and letting the algorithm take care of itself. Yelp is a technology company, but also a company that understands how people want to connect with one another.
I suppose I sort of like effects that have some organic elements rather than ones that are entirely generated by a computer. Just because, no matter how complex the algorithm is, it's still an algorithm.
Frankly, the reason I joined MENSA is because I was dating a guy at the time who spoke five languages and could solve a Rubik's Cube literally with his eyes closed because it's just an algorithm.
This is where the world is going: direct access from anywhere to any type of data, whether it's a small piece of data or a small answer but a long algorithm to create that answer. The user doesn't care about this.
Nature doesn't feel compelled to stick to a mathematically precise algorithm; in fact, nature probably can't stick to an algorithm.
There are a lot of people, who want to be writers, who stumble at a blank page. You could imagine an algorithm that could give writers a first draft or a starter kit, so it could enable people to be more prolific in their writing.
Philip M. Parker
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