In which I surmise that P and NP are likely disjoint sets and other amusing anecdotes

Still no word on my start date.  I talked with my recruiter today.  I’ve taken to getting up at 6 in the morning just in case.  Heck, this morning I even shaved.

I nearly died last night.  Perhaps you noticed a rather extravagant thunderstorm?  There was one lightning strike that was so close that from within my room, just reading a book, it flashed so bright I got after images in my eyes.  The thunder wasn’t simultaneous, but it happened quick enough that there wasn’t really a noticeable gap between the lightning and thunder.

The lightning did something to the fire alarm.  Moments later it went off and we needed to evacuate the building.  Or try to evacuate.  I was already abed and by the time I had dressed, found my shoes and phone it stopped.  I was standing at the front door buttoning the last button when it stopped.  I was moving at top speed!

In contrast to my hyperbole I spoke with Dano today.  I won’t tell his harrowing tale of injury, exfiltration and surgery, he can tell it himself if you see him.  I called to make sure he was alive.  “You are going to upstage my bad knee story!” I said in my most sympathetic and understanding manner.

“Don’t worry.  It isn’t that bad,” he said, “You can continue complaining.”  I then got the story out of him and I’ve since seen pictures.  It looks to me like it is indeed “that bad.”  I barely managed to finish my burger as I saw the photos.  Alright, it didn’t interfere at all, but as I looked at them I thought, “this should make me less hungry,” as I continued to eat.

Get well Dan!

In other sad news, Troy and his family are leaving town in the near future.  Congratulations on the new opportunity Troy!  Note that it is sad because the world revolves around me and I’ll miss him and his family.

Finally Craig sent me a link last night to a math paper that provides a proof that P and NP are disjoint sets.  Proof

This is good because a lot of assumptions that we make about computational difficulty sort of depend on this being true anyway, but this is the first proof.  The proof seems to be real, but it has only been in the wild for a very short time.  There is a good chance that a flaw may be found in the proof.  Still up until now a lot of the efforts have only proven that this problem is really hard to solve and that existing methods can’t do it.

This problem is one of the premiere unsolved problems in mathematics.  There is actually a $1m prize for a successful proof.

Finding the reverse, that the set of P problems and NP problems are the same set, would have been more dramatic.  Lots of very difficult problems would then be known to be solvable with powerful enough computers within a reasonable amount of time.  One such problem is decrypting ciphertext using existing encryption algorithms.  Or put in another way, the black box stolen by Robert Redford in Sneakers might actually exist.

Sneakers.  Good movie.  You should watch it.  Can you tell my what reward Dan Ackroyd’s character Mother asks for without googling it?  How about River Phoenix’s character?

“Tomorrow is another day.”  TTFN.


4 thoughts on “In which I surmise that P and NP are likely disjoint sets and other amusing anecdotes

  1. Tim Dyck says:

    I can. But then that’s no surprise.

  2. craig says:

    As can I (its bigger then a bread box)

  3. Suellen says:

    And yet neither answered the question.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s