On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 7:09 PM, Steve Richfield

> Ben,
> On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 3:47 PM, Ben Goertzel <b...@goertzel.org> wrote:
>>  know what dimensional analysis is, but it would be great if you could
>> give an example of how it's useful for everyday commonsense reasoning such
>> as, say, a service robot might need to do to figure out how to clean a
>> house...
> How much detergent will it need to clean the floors? Hmmm, we need to know
> ounces. We have the length and width of the floor, and the bottle says to
> use 1 oz/M^2. How could we manipulate two M-dimensioned quantities and 1
> oz/M^2 dimensioned quantity to get oz? The only way would seem to be to
> multiply all three numbers together to get ounces. This WITHOUT
> "understanding" things like surface area, utilization, etc.

I think that the El Salvadorean maids who come to clean my house
occasionally, solve this problem without any dimensional analysis or any
quantitative reasoning at all...

Probably they solve it based on nearest-neighbor matching against past
experiences cleaning other dirty floors with water in similarly sized and
shaped buckets...

-- ben g

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