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David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. He keeps a ukulele by his desk, just in case.
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Bignum

Imagine a 2.  Good job!  Now imagine that same two with 170 zeros behind it.  That’s bigger than a googol.  That’s how many legal combinations there are in the game Go.

A few things these past couple of days have impressed upon me the power of large numbers that are beyond comprehension.

First, there’s the book I’m reading, which talks about the probability of life in the universe.  Shereef, the founder of Dev Bootcamp, also told a story about how learning how to code is like trying to move a lake with a cup.  The punch line is that even though you cannot, you will realize how clean your cup is – that learning is more about the process and the clarity of your mind than the possession of information.  The lake will never be moved into your mind.

We’re working with databases this week and I’ve come to really appreciate the importance of managing large volumes of information.  Mastering lots of data is what makes websites like FindTheBest.com get $17M in funding from people like KPCB.  And here I am thinking that managing even 10,000 voting records in our exercises is proving to be a bit daunting.

Hopefully, like Go, the game is still fun despite the near infinity of what is possible.

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David wen avatar
David Wen
Entrepreneur, software developer, management consultant. His favourite season is autumn.