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RE: Philidor: No Class
In response to a comment by Richard Forrest:
>The basic rule of any computer programme is 'garbage in, garbage
<Ah, a Luddite.>
Well, no. Old computer slogan, and true.
In addition, the computer needs guidance.
Old science fiction story by Isaac Asimov (I recall):
People are in the streets celebrating a victory in war because
of the invincible skill of the computer which made strategic
decisions. Inside a building are all the people closest to the
After some celebration, the person in charge of assembling the
raw data admits that he massaged it to make up for the difficulties
in data gathering. The person who compiled the data from all
sources admits that he skewed it a bit to make sure it aligned
with his appraisal of the situation. The programmer admits he
[old story] changed the program a bit so the result would be
realistic. And the person who received the output admits he
ignored it in reaching the decisions that were promulgated.
If any of these important steps were omitted the war might have
Whatever the virtues of PAUP, etc., we're better off for the
presence of someone like HP Holtz, and I'll extend that to HP
I'll also give the credit for insightful analysis to HP Holtz,
and HP Mortimer, because that's where it belongs.
By the way, the dino/bird connection looks far too tight to ignore.
HP Forrest can speak for himself, but he may have been referring
to naming rather than analytic issues.
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