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Sufficiently Momentous

Now it is sunny.

P = NP problem solved?

Pretty big news breaking today about a possible breakthrough on the P vs NP problem, probably the most important unsolved problem in computer science today. Everyone suspects, to a degree bordering on knowledge, that P != NP, but no one has been able to prove that it is the case. Falsifying this belief (that is to say, proving that P = NP) would be rather catastrophic for cryptography and very shocking to everyone in computer science, although perhaps it would also unlock amazing new possibilities in computer algorithms. According to a recently distributed (leaked?) paper, cryptographers can remain calm since P != NP. Even though this is what people believe, its proof would be a significant milestone for computer science.

I promptly downloaded the paper, and as I suspected it was way out of my ability to comprehend without looking things up every few seconds at least, so if I really want to dive into the proof, I’d have to devote a lot more time to it, and if I really want to understand it I will have to devote years of study to complexity theory — assuming I’m smart enough to even get there. Nevertheless, if you want to take a look at the paper, but don’t want to download it from the login-required Scribd link that everyone seems to be sharing, you can grab it here.

Old La Honda to Lexington Reservoir Loop

Pretty epic afternoon ride today. I started by searching out the Old La Honda Road climb to Skyline Boulevard (I took a wrong turn the first time and had to loop around to find it again), and then I headed south on Skyline all the way down to Black Road, which turned out to be a pretty crazy descent down to Highway 17. I found my way across, and then encountered an unexpected gravel descent on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. A mountain bike would have been appropriate at that point, but I survived. I then made my way back via Los Gatos-Saratoga Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road before stopping for dinner at In-N-Out on El Camino and finishing up the ride. Skyline turned out to whip me pretty well, and I was struggling to keep up the pace on the flats afterward. Half of that is mental discipline, and the other half is physical readiness. At any rate, I haven’t been this sore after a ride since last year’s Seattle to Portland bike ride, which was more than three times as long.

  • Distance: 66 miles / 106 km
  • Time: 4:50:51
  • Average Speed: 13.6 mph / 21.9 kph
  • Max speed: 39.2 mph / 63.0
  • Cumulative ascent: 3820 ft / 1164 m

Crystal Springs Ride says 40.5 miles; My odometer said 43 point something — the truth is somewhere in there, as I did a few side sprints.