- Sherlock Holmes doesn't know what the Mill. Prizes are. I thought most educated people did. Everyone I know knows about them. Could be the company I keep.
- The show indicates that `Solving P vs NP' means `showing P=NP' It never seems to dawn on them that maybe P is NOT NP.
- The show assumes that once P=NP is proven it will take a very short time to write a program to use it. If P=NP is true then I suspect taking the proof and making it work on real world problems would take several years.
- The show focuses on P=NP's implications for crypto. As Lance has pointed out in his book if P=NP then the benefits for society are GINORMOUS, and would dwarf the relatively minor problem of having to switch to private key (I agree with Lance for the long term, but I think the short term would be chaotic for security).
- The show refers to seven Mill problems. While this is technically correct they really should mention that one of them (Poincare's conj.) was already solved.
- They seem to think that algebraic geom would be used on P vs NP. If they were claiming it was being use to prove P NE NP then I would think of the Geometric Complexity Theory Program and be impressed. Since they were using it to work on P=NP I'm less impressed. If Alg Geom really is used to prove P=NP then I'll be impressed.
- How was the episode- I am a fan of the show in general, and this was a solid but not outstanding episode. I wonder if I knew less about P vs NP would I enjoy it more.
- They are talking about P vs NP on National TV! That's kind-of nice. Only danger is the overhype. If P NE NP is shown and this has no real world applications then the public may be confused. I suspect we won't have to worry about that for at least 300 years.
Monday, October 07, 2013
P vs NP is Elementary? No-- P vs NP is ON Elementary
As I am sure you all know, the TV show Elementary (Premise- Sherlock Homes in Modern Day NY. He emails and Texts! Watson is a female! and...) had an episode that involved P vs NP in a big way. I think they would have been better off with a fictional problem (Bourbaki's conjecture in Recursive Algebraic Topology?) rather than a real problem that they could say rather odd things about.