Sorting and searching at the library

This post is about searching and sorting, two fundamental aspects of data processing, and what the library has to teach us about them.

If there’s a theme here, it is that the library is doing things that are recongizable as algorithms from computer science. But not the obvious textbook algorithms! I guess when an algorithm is going to take up a human being’s time, it tends to get optimized. These algorithms seem to be tuned very well indeed. But perhaps if you looked inside any organization you’d find something similar.

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