Comparing lists - somewhat OT, but still ...

Ron Adam rrr at
Sun Oct 16 19:48:52 CEST 2005

Christian Stapfer wrote:

>     It turned out that the VAX compiler had been
> clever enough to hoist his simple-minded test
> code out of the driving loop. In fact, our VAX
> calculated the body of the loop only *once*
> and thus *immediately* announced that it had finished
> the whole test - the compiler on this student's
> PC, on the other hand, had not been clever enough
> for this type of optimization: hence the difference...
>   I think this is really a cautionary tale for
> experimentalists: don't *believe* in the decisiveness
> of the outcomes your experiments, but try to *understand*
> them instead (i.e. relate them to your theoretical grasp
> of the situation)...
> Regards,
> Christian

True understanding is of course the ideal, but as complexity increases 
even theoretical information on a complex system becomes incomplete as 
there are often other influences that will effect the outcome.

So the you could say: don't *depend* on the completeness of your 
theoretical information, try to *verify* the validity of your results 
with experiments.


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