I drove to St. Louis yesterday to visit my Little Brother at WashU and to meet with a researcher tomorrow for a potential job. It’s a long drive, and my mind was whirring all the way, so I thought I’d throw out a few random things I was contemplating (my apologies for the unpolished, poorly-written quality):
I became (relatively) enraged when my new GPS lost signal near Iowa City. It uses satellites. In space. What could possibly cause the stupid thing to not have signal? Then I had no emotional response to getting pulled over for speeding. I wasn’t speeding that much, but it was in a construction zone. Turns out the investment in cruise control might have been worth it.
As I was watching the odometer, I realized that the tenths place is probably a floor function, meaning that it shows you the value .1 for .1 through .19, so that you would never know how many tenths of a mile you had actually traveled. Then I also thought that it could be a rounding function, so it would show .1 for .05 through 1.4, and I wondered which would be better. I think either could be better, depending on the situation, but no matter what you have a possible error of .09 miles. With the floor function, that error is all on one side of the measured distance. With rounding, you split it to both directions.
How would you find out which function was being used? The easiest way would be to get up to a constant speed (definitely should have gotten cruise control) and reset the odometer. Time how long it takes to get from .0-.1, and then from .1-.2. If these times are the same, it’s a floor function. If they are different, it’s a rounding function.
As I drove across some massive bridge in St. Louis, I marveled at human ingenuity. I was listening to Fox News Radio at the time, so I was simultaneously marveling at human stupidity.
I’m sure there were other disjointed thoughts, but it has now been a full day since then and I can’t recall anything else. My life is basically a dream, so if I don’t record anything it will all disappear forever. I find myself to not be terribly concerned about this.