rss

Cogitate Inc Newsletters


Here you can find archives of our newsletters and other important information.

December 2014 Newsletter Bookmark

Save Schrödinger’s Cat!

Schrodinger’s cat is neither alive nor dead. It is in a box and until a human opens the box the cat is in a juxtaposition of quantum states where the cat is both alive and dead. Ah, quantum physics at its unknowable best! This famous thought experiment in the early 20th century, by Erwin Schrödinger, was meant to show the absurdity of Neil Bohr’s theory that an atomic object exists in all possible states until it is observed.

No, I don’t understand any of this either.

But I find my programs are always in a duality of states: ‘there is no bug’ and ‘there is a bug’. Any program can have a bug or it can be perfect, but that is unknowable until a human interacts with it and observes the result. Hopefully that human is the programmer, and in my case me, but it frequently is the program’s user who causes the ‘quantum wave function to collapse’ into either the no bugs or bugs infested state. We always get a phone call when it’s the latter and it’s never from Erwin.

Most findings of a bug are done by a diligent programmer, but many are found right away or years later by the even more diligent users of the program. It is the ‘years later’ discovery of the bugs that have lurked in a program that I find most, let me say, ‘interesting.’ If a bug can lie undiscovered for a number of years then there’s a lot of subtleties lurking about and they can be quite challenging to solve. I spend a fair amount of my time chasing these bugs down and fixing them. I sort of enjoy these challenges (with emphasis on the ‘sort of’).

But the solution is easy: Don’t look! This would save Schrödinger’s Cat from being found dead and it would save my programs from being found imperfect and you and I will be living in an idyllic state where my programs would both contain bugs and not contain bugs, but we wouldn’t care because we’re not looking!

Of course, I wouldn’t have much work to do either!

--Jim Harlan

 

Read Full December 2014 Newsletter

Save Schrödinger’s Cat!

Schrodinger’s cat is neither alive nor dead. It is in a box and until a human opens the box the cat is in a juxtaposition of quantum states where the cat is both alive and dead. Ah, quantum physics at its unknowable best! This famous thought experiment in the early 20th century, by Erwin Schrödinger, was meant to show the absurdity of Neil Bohr’s theory that an atomic object exists in all possible states until it is observed.

No, I don’t understand any of this either.

But I find my programs are always in a duality of states: ‘there is no bug’ and ‘there is a bug’. Any program can have a bug or it can be perfect, but that is unknowable until a human interacts with it and observes the result. Hopefully that human is the programmer, and in my case me, but it frequently is the program’s user who causes the ‘quantum wave function to collapse’ into either the no bugs or bugs infested state. We always get a phone call when it’s the latter and it’s never from Erwin.

Most findings of a bug are done by a diligent programmer, but many are found right away or years later by the even more diligent users of the program. It is the ‘years later’ discovery of the bugs that have lurked in a program that I find most, let me say, ‘interesting.’ If a bug can lie undiscovered for a number of years then there’s a lot of subtleties lurking about and they can be quite challenging to solve. I spend a fair amount of my time chasing these bugs down and fixing them. I sort of enjoy these challenges (with emphasis on the ‘sort of’).

But the solution is easy: Don’t look! This would save Schrödinger’s Cat from being found dead and it would save my programs from being found imperfect and you and I will be living in an idyllic state where my programs would both contain bugs and not contain bugs, but we wouldn’t care because we’re not looking!

Of course, I wouldn’t have much work to do either!

--Jim Harlan

 

Read Full December 2014 Newsletter



Comments are closed.

Contact Us

PO Box 980685, Ypsilanti MI, 48198
(866)-634-9991