Saturday, December 31, 2011

Local versus Global

Pilots always carried maps aloft. Cars and railroads led the way.
Flags were flown, lamps were lit, water towers proclaiming
the town of White Pigeon circled.

In computing it's a local search.  One small step, then another, then another, until
the way to the destination is clear. No giant leaps. The plan is vague.

Bellamy taught a different way.  Use the wind.  Not the local wind,
that tips a craft as it touches down, but the wind in the air.

The Sun warms a spot on the ground, air rises, increasing
essence.  Air moves in to replace it, more essence.

The Earth turns.  The inrush of air whirls as well, to the right in the
North, to the left in the South.


Bellamy showed how to join the circle, to gyre
and gimbal, to draw essence from the wind.

One giant leap. More than an infinitude of small steps.

But small steps matter. The craft must turn to stay within the circle.

The pressure of expediency broke the pattern.  The navigator retired. The wind is ignored. The approach is more direct, one long step, turning to verify Mercator's equations.

The circle is squared.

Essence is lost.

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2 Comments:

At December 31, 2011 at 8:35 PM , Blogger Frank Van Haste said...

Jim:

Henceforth, let us refer to the cyclonic spiral as the wabe, wherein we gyre and gimbal!

In 2012, may your mome raths always outgrabe. Happy New Year!

Frank

 
At January 1, 2012 at 12:36 AM , Blogger Dr.ATP said...

Frank, it was a reference, not a quote. Happy New Year to you, too.

 

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