Saturday, May 9, 2009

Playing a hunch and algorithms

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.0 (note I have combined two journal entries); Coinage = $1.85, 75 pennies, 1 nickel, 8 dimes, 1 quarter; glass bottles = 10; Ground Scores = 5. Significant coinage find, a 30 penny scatter at the McDonald Drive Through. I also am proposing a new coinage distinction--commercial finds and street finds. If the coins can be linked to a commercial establishment such as a fast food store, it is a commercial find; if found on a sidewalk, curb, or other neutral site, it is a street find.

Feature Entry: We like this expression, “playing a hunch.” Following a hunch is one of the MoneyWalker’s favorite strategies for finding coinage. I also combine hunch strategy with algorithm, a computer programming word. An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem. In college, the instructional problem began with a beginning and end point; we student programmers were required to develop flow charts to solve the problem. If the problem was complex, successful algorithms had one thing in common, they solved the problem, but the flow charts were nearly always different—some elegant, some wasteful in terms of binary time, mine were usually in the wasteful camp.

It is similar with my walking strategy. With my home as the starting point, the end point is predetermined. I then develop an algorithm in terms of my walking route. For variety, I experiment with different routes that take me to the end point, an inefficient practice. Here is another rub, as I walk, I am tempted to play a hunch. Suddenly I am zooming off target to track down a money hunch. These practices make for a highly inelegant walks, but often more profitable ones; and besides the detours add additional steps which consume more calories.

We will revisit the notion of “playing a hunch” in a future blog. You will want to know what Dr. Bernard G. Suran has to say about SWAGs (Scientific wild-assed guesses) and how “Intuition drapes SWAGs over the window of your mind.”

It is all good!

Money Walker

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