Ray Hari

Truth is inexact

Ray Hari

December 2020

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Truth is inexact. When someone shows an object and says it is red, most of us will accept it as the truth if it is some shade of red. Some may say it is a shade of burgundy. But for others it is still red. 


But now we live in a digital world where everything is represented as 0 or 1. There is no fuzzy area between 0 and 1. As Carl Sagan would say, everyday billions of computers around the world, check billions and billions of times whether something is true or false by checking whether a result is 1 or 0. Sometimes billions of True or False checks are required to give you just one truth. And billions of people around the world stare at their computing devices looking for billions of truths, by doing Google search. It is no small feat for Google, given that humans process truth/information using Fuzzy Logic ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic ) while computers use precise 1s and 0s for determining truth. What Google returns as truth is based on a lot of factors. The main factor has nothing to do with truth itself, but which website has the best SEO and what they say is the truth. The funny thing is people are not satisfied with the truth returned by Google. They want it ‘fact checked’. The whole thing is mind boggling.


Ever since Search Engines came into our lives, we are all on a constant search mode. We search for this and we search for that. We expect every website to be searchable. When I set out to develop the website for Silicon Valley Woodturners (sometime around August 2020), storing and displaying information was not good enough for me. I wanted the website to be searchable. When I say searchable, I do not mean by Google, but directly by you as a visitor to the site. After months of poring over data and figuring out ways to store the data in such a way that I could use Fuzzy Logic to implement my search algorithm we have the beginning of a killer search feature for our website.


During the initial stages of the development of the site, I had 3 main criteria I wanted to satisfy. 


1. The website should be easy to maintain.

2. It should be visually pleasing to the user.

3. It should have a killer search feature.


With the implementation of my Fuzzy Search Algorithm (FSA) the website is taking shape. With Fuzzy Logic, data can be looked in a way humans are used to. If something borders around the truth, we take it as the truth.


From the start, each page of the website was developed by laying out the foundation for FSA. The data you see on the FSA search page will look just like what you see on any other page. Not as a bunch of text like in Google. FSA is very fast and sometimes as fast as a tachyon. To that extend, I had to throttle it down by adding artificial delays to prevent the user from getting dizzy during search.


There is a giant magnifying glass on the header of every page of https://www.svwoodturners.com. That is the entry to the search page. When you search for something it gives you the truth about wood turning at SVW and nothing but the truth. No fact checking required.


The implementation of FSA is only 2 days old as of this writing and not all data is captured yet. But you can kick the tires to get a feel for how it works and give me some feedback. I would greatly appreciate it.


Wish you all a safe and happy holiday and a happy New Year.




~ Hari ~


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