I 💙 constraints

27 Dec 2022

Constraints limit the number of possible actions, which makes your life easier because you have fewer possible outcomes to ponder. For instance: giving a person a time constraint, “Let’s meet next Tuesday between 1PM and 2PM”, is a verification problem (Am I free at that time?). Whereas “Let’s meet some time next week” is a search problem. Verification is easier and faster than search. 1

Another constraint: marriage. I told Laura that one of the advantages of being married is it turns a man’s women problems into a woman problem, and a woman problem is manageable.

Constraints are guardrails, not shackles.

Further Reading

Christian, Brian, and Tom Griffiths. Algorithms To Live By: The Computer Science Of Human Decisions. Henry Holt and Co, 2016.

  1. If I ask you to find the house of Bob Jones but don’t know where he lives you have to knock on every door in the community. If I tell you to verify that Bob Jones lives at 1234 Main Street, you have to knock on one door. Verification is faster.