Power Cycling

A silly (maybe) story, from earlier days of computing:

A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.

Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong."

Knight turned the machine off and on.

The machine worked.

Sometimes, that seems to make sense — at which point, clearly, it's time to (not) think again!

(cf. Hacker koan, "Some AI Koans", ...) - ^z - 2014-05-30