Lucy (lucy_k_p) wrote in metaquotes,

shevek ponders washing machines:

How do you think washing machine designers design the programs?

Do they sit there going "Hm, we have 40 minutes to fill. Let's go left a bit. Right a bit. OK, we've been going right for a while now, let's go left a bit, then go WHIZZZ."

Do they have a huge computer simulation where they optimize for washing performance over the entire space of "left", "right" and "whizz" for 5 second segments over an hour?

Do they use an etch-a-sketch to draw a picture portrait of Boris Yeltsin and then translate the knob movements into drum movements?

Perhaps they observe a two-year-old attempting to fit the bright red square block into the bright green plastic box through the round hole and encode his every effort in the washing machine code.

Perhaps it's random. I could watch two entire cycles of my washing machine and compare them.

The washing machine has about 20 different programs. Are they all different, or do they derive from a base class? class Cotton90 : public Cotton, Temperature { Cotton90() : Cotton(), Temperature(90) { } };

Are they all different, or did some Greek like Archimedes with a stick and a bucket work it out once, and everyone's done it that way ever since (except James Dyson, of course). Maybe watching my machine for two cycles isn't enough, we need a national survey.

I bet there are imps in the back. I know there weren't in the old one, because I took the lid off and electrocuted myself on it, but perhaps there are in this new, modern one.

Context, QWP.
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