A message from L. A. Zadeh: Efficiency


Subject: A message from L. A. Zadeh: Efficiency
From: Michelle T. Lin (michlin@cs.berkeley.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 20 2000 - 23:51:33 MET


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Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
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To: BISC Group
From: L. A. Zadeh <zadeh@cs.berkeley.edu>

As we all know, efficiency is becoming an object of worship. The
following story, which I got from Steve Kahne, serves as an example of
ways in which higher efficiency may be achieved.

SCHUBERT'S UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

A Company Chairman was given ticket for a performance of Schubert's
Unfinished Symphony. Being unable to go, he passed the invitation to
the Company's Work Study Consultant. The next morning, the Chairman
asked him how he had enjoyed it and, instead of a few plausible
observations, he was handed a memorandum which read as follows:

a. For considerable periods, the oboe players had nothing to do. The
number should be reduced and their work spread over the whole
orchestra, thus eliminating peaks of inactivity.

b. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems
unnecessary duplication, and the staff of this section should be
drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is really required, this
should be obtained through the use of an amplifier.

c. Much effort was absorbed in the playing of demisemiquavers. This
seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes
should be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver. If this were done, it
should be possible to use trainees and low grade operators.

d. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage
that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant
passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours
to twenty minutes.

In the light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert
given attention to these maters, he would probably have had time to
finish his Symphony.

A Work Study of similar symphonies according to these suggestions
would permit various concerts each evening. Each second concert hall
in the town would thus be free for other purposes. The resulting
energy saving would be an important secondary effect.

----------------------------------------------------------
Lotfi A. Zadeh
Professor in the Graduate School and Director,
Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
CS Division, Department of EECS
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1776
Tel/office: (510) 642-4959 Fax/office: (510) 642-1712
Tel/home: (510) 526-2569 Fax/home: (510) 526-2433
email: zadeh@cs.berkeley.edu
http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/People/Faculty/Homepages/zadeh.html
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