[next] [prev] [up] Date: Fri, 25 Jul 80 10:53:00 -0400 (EDT)
[next] [prev] [up] From: Bernard S. Greenberg <Greenberg.Multics@MIT-Multics >
~~~ [prev] [up] Subject: Re: "blindfold" cube?

This interchange very elegantly points out the difference between
the Mathematician's view of the Cube and the
Hacker(System Programmer-type)'s view. While an algorithm
that looked at the initial state and categorized it
("Perform the folliwng 152 steps for configuration
106xy205a (left-handed) and it will be solved") would thrill mathematicians, practical
cube-solving ALGORITHMS require iteration, conditionals,
subroutines, and other program-like techniques. Ineed, many
non-cognoscenti have watched me solve the cube, noting that
I look at it only a very small percent of the time
(seeing which subroutine to invoke, as you will, )
but they don't know that, and conclude that I "solve cubes
basically without looking". The whole notion of algorithmic
cubism is based upon "I will do this hairy thing and it will
have this desired effect, and I need not thinK about the
intermediate states, unless, god forbid, the phone rings, etc."
To contain a cube map and intermediate states of transforms
in one's head woud, in my mind, involve a greater skill
than blindfold chess; it is not a normal human-memory
capability, although doubtless institutiOnalized freaks
with pathological intelligence/visulization problems
(in the positive direction) exist who could conceivable do such a thing.

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