Ha ha, I am a design/controls engineer who deals with speeds and
accelerations on a daily basis and yet I was also confused by
I guess the confusion arises from what one expects (as opposed to
understands) by the word "speed" in the given context.
In the context of compiling my SW programs, I only see a dark
console with a blocked cursor which I cannot use and every second
waited will be felt directly. I don't see any action or hint of
speed. This makes me think that a faster compiler supposed to
make me wait less. This creates a kind of mental link between the
word "speed" and the feeling of waiting. Hence the expectation:
50% faster compiler should make me wait less by 50%.
Instead of a dark console with a blocked cursor, if I see lots of
lines which are been compiled scrolling at very high speed on the
screen (like when installing some programs) then I would relate
speed with the number of lines scrolling. And my expectation
would probably change to: 50% faster compiler would compile 50%
more lines per second.
What I am saying is that even though technically we understand
what speed is, its the intuitive subjective feeling based on the
context which causes an experience of "something doesn't add up".
I will stop blabbering now.