Excessively precise economic analysis can lead to assessing everything in terms of its easily measurable melt value – the value that thieves get from stealing copper wiring from isolated houses, that vandals got from tearing down Greek temples for the lead joints holding the marble blocks together, that shortsighted timber companies get from liquidating their forests. The standard to insist on is live value. What is something worth when it's working?
The practice of first developing a clear and precise definition of a process without regard for efficiency, and then using it as a guide and a test in exploring equivalent processes possessing other characteristics, such as greater efficiency, is very common in mathematics. It is a very fruitful practice which should not be blighted by premature emphasis on efficiency in computer execution.kenneth e. iverson
“Titus, have you ever had your heart broken?”
“Oh, son. How could you ask a man who used to play the blues a question like that?”
“How long does it take to go away?”
“A broken heart?”
“There’s no precise formula, Sammy.”
“Just give me an estimate.”
“A good rule of thumb is at least half the time that you were in love. Or twice the time. It all just depends.”
...in the 12th and 13th centuries believed that such a clock [mechanical clock] would provide a precise regularity to the seven periods of devotion...
There wasn't any answer to that. So he tried harder, and the question got more circumstantial and tentative, and at the same time more precise and exact; and still there were no answers, only the fuller and fuller form of the question, evolving as Auberon had described to her all life evolving, reaching out limbs and inventing organs, reticulating joints, doing and being in more and more complex yet more and more compact and individuated ways, until the question, perfectly asked, understood its own answerlessness.john crowley
Just released in 1994 is Christina Hoff Sommers’s landmark study, Who Stole Feminism? , which uses ingenious detective work to unmask the shocking fraud and propaganda of establishment feminism and the servility of American media and academe to Machiavellian feminist manipulation. This bracingly precise, fact-based book should be required reading for every journalist. Sommers is a courageous academic philosopher who was one of the very first to systematically critique current feminist ideology and who took tremendous abuse for it. … Sommers has done a great service for women and for feminism, whose fundamental precepts she has clarified and strengthened.camille paglia
If you want to build a recursively self-improving AI, have it go through a billion sequential self-modifications, become vastly smarter than you, and not die, you've got to work to a pretty precise standard.eliezer yudkowsky
Literature is the human activity that takes the fullest and most precise account of variousness, possibility, complexity, and difficulty.Lionel Trilling
The automatic machine, whatever we thinkof any feelings it may or may not have, is the precise economic equivalent of the slave.Norbert Wiener
Von Neumann languages do not have useful properties for reasoning about programs. Axiomatic and denotational semantics are precise tools for describing and understanding conventional programs, but they only talk about them and cannot alter their ungainly properties. Unlike von Neumann languages, the language of ordinary algebra is suitable both for stating its laws and for transforming an equation into its solution, all within the "language."john backus
With the computer and programming languages, mathematics has newly-acquired tools, and its notation should be reviewed in the light of them. The computer may, in effect, be used as a patient, precise, and knowledgeable "native speaker" of mathematical notation.kenneth e. iverson
An approximate answer to the right question is worth a great deal more than a precise answer to the wrong question.john tukey
Very soon I discovered that if one gets a feeling for no more than a dozen other radiation and nuclear constants, one can imagine the subatomic world almost tangibly, and manipulate the picture dimensionally and qualitatively, before calculating more precise relationships.stanislaw ulam
We don't know what energy is, any more than we know what information is, but as a now robust scientific concept we can describe it in precise mathematical terms, and as a commodity we can measure, market, regulate and tax it.hans christian von baeyer
There are plenty of good people, but only a very, very few are precise and disciplined.Anton Chekhov
In the 1950s and 1960s we put several thousand nuclear weapons into Europe. To be sure, we had no precise idea of what to do with them.henry kissinger
Lyndsay, with all his ancient coarseness…maintained for two centuries, even among the precise, his position as the popular poet of Scotland.david lyndsay
The difference between [perjury and prevarication] consists in this, that perjury is a distinct assertion of that which can be proved not to be, or a denial of that which can be proved to be; whereas prevarication is the giving of contradictory or inconsistent evidence , which affects the credibility of the evidence, though neither the extent of the witness’s falsehood , nor the precise points in which he has departed from the truth be capable of ascertainment.
I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from President Mubarak , who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point.
A regular guy named John Pike has become the new face of evil among people following the Occupy protests around the country. The UC Davis police officer's matter-of-fact pepper spraying of seated, obviously peaceful students has provoked justifiable outrage. James Fallows summed up the situation with his usual precise moral compass. "This is what happens when authority is unaccountable and has lost any sense of human connection to a subject population," he wrote. "That's what I think here."
We may, I believe, anticipate that the chemist of the future who is interested in the structure of proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and other complex substances with high molecular weight will come to rely upon a new structural chemistry, involving precise geometrical relationships among the atoms in the molecules and the rigorous application of the new structural principles, and that great progress will be made, through this technique, in the attack, by chemical methods, on the problems of biology and medicine.
When struck by a thunderbolt it is unnecessary to consult the Book of Dates as to the precise meaning of the omen.
The initial motive for developing APL was to provide a tool for writing and teaching. Although APL has been exploited mostly in commercial programming, I continue to believe that its most important use remains to be exploited: as a simple, precise, executable notation for the teaching of a wide range of subjects.
A blind neuroscientist could give precise quantitative details regarding electrical discharges in the eye produced by the stimulus of light, and a blind craftsman could with instruction fashion a good material model of the eye; but sight and seeing can be known only by one who sees.
A symbol is always in general and, however precise its translation, an artist can restore to it only its movement: there is no word -for-word rendering. Moreover, nothing is harder to understand than a symbolic work. A symbol always transcends the one who makes use of it and makes him say in reality more than he is aware of expressing.
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