John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.



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#98: You’re Killing Your Father

February 21st, 2019 · 95 minutes

Can't we just always have the flaps face the same way? Shouldn't we just stack the forks here in the forks area? Why is Daisy leaving caltrops in the hallway?

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Links and Show Notes

This week kicks off with some weather talk but quickly pivots to the frustrating world of presentations and bad presentation culture. Why does this have to take over the whole screen, and why is that control thingee covering a bunch of the slide? Also, who just joined the call?

In a mini-topic, Merlin risks John's wrath by asking a technical question: why does turning something off and on fix so many problems? John has answers, and anecdotes about state-confused devices are shared. Why won't children let parents share their expertise with them? Just, why?

John has a mental model about how the TV remotes flow, but no one seems very interested. Unsurprisingly, this leads to the airing of household grievances.

Does a child's backpack really need to extend seventeen feet? Can we please just leave some space that accommodates the snack bags? Do we really need all this toothpaste?

Good try!


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Combinatorial explosion - Wikipedia

In mathematics, a combinatorial explosion is the rapid growth of the complexity of a problem due to how the combinatorics of the problem is affected by the input, constraints, and bounds of the problem. Combinatorial explosion is sometimes used to justify the intractability of certain problems. Examples of such problems include certain mathematical functions, the analysis of some puzzles and games, and some pathological examples which can be modelled as the Ackermann function.

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