Daily Archives: June 7, 2008

The true, sad story of a data analysis expert

And then I was suddenly awake. It was the middle of the night, and something was wrong. Terribly wrong. I felt it in by bones. I felt it in the dark room closing around me. I was aware of a terrible inconsistency in the way I slept. It took me a few minutes to understand: the way I used to sleep was misguided. My configuration was terrible. All my inner organs were misplaced. My muscles were all strained. This was no way to sleep. I no longer knew the correct way to sleep. In fact, it dawned on me, I never did. It was always wrong. I didn’t know how to sleep. I never did.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a thought nagged: “Man”, it said, “you were just sleeping a minute ago. You slept well last night, and you have done so for every night for thirty years now. Surely, you do know how to do that”. But the thought did not linger. I could not sleep. I did not know how to do so.

For a long time I lay down in the dark, squirming around in vain, looking for the correct geometric configuration, squeezing my body into impossible shapes, and running algorithm after algorithm in my mind. To no avail. Sleep evaded me. It took me an hour to give up. I stood up, exhausted, and suddenly, I had a revelation:

I am no data series. I do not need to an efficient data compression algorithm to sleep.