Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Next Olympic Sport

Having watched Idea Channel "Are the Olympics A Model for Creating Geniuses?" I wondered if we could address one daily chore. To explain this a little further I have to explain computer code optimisation.

Imagine that you have a program that does just two things. Firstly it adds 1 (one) and then it prints.

If the adding is easy for the computer and the printing is proportionally hard, (takes 10 times as much work) then if you can find a better way to print that halves the effort, then your program goes from 1+10 to 1+5. You sit back and feel good. But this isn't the whole story. The program actually loops through the addition 100 times and then prints. So really the effort is 100+10, and with your optimisation it is 100+5. If I can find a way to half the effort of addition then with the original code I get to 50+10.

So what are the things that we do often that require energy? As an aside, I was looking at the stats for this blog and was surprised to see that more people read one entry then any other entry!

Washing up. Electric dishwashers use far more electricity than me. ( I run on food, but I'm going to eat anyway.) It might be possible for the electric dishwasher to use less water, but this is where the Olympics comes in.

Imagine, if you will, a large podium with two people. Above them is a huge transparent tank of water. Below that, (but still above the contestants) is a water heater. Between then is a solid partition and two kitchen sinks. (The contestants can bring their own sink.) They will be judged on the volume of liquid soap that they use, (less is better) and the volume of water that they use, (which will be collected in the grey-tanks below, (that way the audience can watch the tanks under he podium fill up.

The competition will be timed and there will be deductions for chips and breakages and grease spots.

There are competitions where computers play each other at chess - why not have electic dishwashers go head-to-head, or better yet - against a human.

As this becomes competitive efficiencies will be found. As the speed reaches a asymptote we can abandon it for some other task. I'm sure that the cup-stackers and speed-cubers will be able to help coach these sorts of sports.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About this blog

Sort of a test blog... until it isn't