# We Live In An Algorithmic World

Old timers like the Tennessee Mountain Man have a hard enough time dealing with all these new fangled gadgets and methods of research, advertising, shopping and communicating without the added insult of having to deal with the geek speak of the nerds. Take algorithm for instance. What is an algorithm, and why should anyone care?

Please allow the computer man to attempt to bring the algorithmic world in which we must live, worship, work, and play to a place where we old dogs can understand it.

Do you recall grade school? Our grade school is what is most often called middle school in the early 21st century. That is where much to our dismay, everything we had learned about adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying went up in smoke. Do you remember your introduction to mathematical skills beyond basic arithmetic? Were you frustrated with algebra, graphing, and calculus? Ever doubt that, Albert Einstein not withstanding, it was a real science?

Have you ever wished you had been more committed to the development of your mathematical skills? Ever wished you had paid more attention? Have you found the answer to every high school student’s burning question, “What will I ever use this stuff for”?

In a generation where there are seemingly overwhelming problems grappling with counting by ten (10), we are now challenged to grasp a new math and count by bits and bytes or by multiples of eight (8), if you will. Forget those math tables you were forced to memorize in the second grade. With the possible exception of the multiples of eight (8) such rote memory is of little value now except to balance the checkbook. Those tables are of little use or importance in an algorithmic world where we have been forced to accept that not all things are of equal value.

Oh, an algorithm is, simply stated, a specific set of instructions for carrying out a procedure or solving a problem. It may be simplistic or unbelievably convoluted depending on the data to be analyzed, how it is to be…