Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thinking vs. Reacting

As computer scientists, we tend to try to get the computer to 'think' about problems using all sorts of complicated processes. The result is that often our programs are clumsy, slow, and not elegant. If you think about how humans tend to perform operations quickly, elegantly, and precisely, you will realize that we train for the operations. We perform them so many times, that we can do them without thinking about them. We have developed a complex series of reactions and are no longer thinking about the things we are doing.

Of course, as we are in our training mode, we will have to think about what we are doing. But when we master tasks, we will be able to do them without thinking. I think that computer scientists need to keep this in mind when they are designing complex systems. There is a time for thinking, and a time for reacting.

No comments: