I had some spare energy last week since I wasn't able to train and I came up with sort of a half baked idea about math and dog training.
Sometime last year I discovered the t.v. show Numb3rs and because I've got my thumb on the pulse of all things cultural this show started 7-8 years ago and has been off the air for several years now I'd only just discovered it. How a crime drama involving a genius messy haired mathematician solving crimes for the FBI by using math escaped me for so long is a mystery. I love math and crime solving and I even went out with a genius mathematician with messy hair in college so how did I miss this? It's possible I did try to watch it and happened to surf onto it during one of the scenes with machine guns blaring, explosions, car chases, etc. because this show has quite a lot of that in every episode. Apparently Hollywood thinks it can't sell a show about math to Americans unless it has lots of gunfire and loud noises and bloodshed. And I don't know, maybe they're right, but the great thing about Netflix is that I can fast forward through the gunfire and explosions to the nerdy, mathy stuff.
They talk about Game Theory a lot in the show and this is another thing that has been around for a while that I was completely unaware of. So of course I have to wonder if there's a way to apply it to dog training and in particular the running dogwalk. A quick Google search doesn't reveal anybody trying this with dog training other than a short post in a blog about a little experiment involving a biscuit. However a quick search of books on Game Theory at the Boulder Public Library reveals a book called, 'Game Theory and Animal Behavior' and there's a whole chapter on learning. As you can see from the link this book costs $120 on Amazon but not only can I get it for free from the library but I can get an e-book that I can read on my fancy pants new tablet and I don't even have to leave the house or worry about late fees. Within a minute of coming up with a hair-brained scheme I can get expensive books on it for free without even getting out of my chair. Never mind all the zillions of other e-books at the library on Game Theory and YouTube videos and free online courses from universities like Yale. And this is about where my brain explodes from the endless possibilities of it all.
To add to the madness, I found this TED video about how algorithms are taking over the world. Algorithms are another thing they talk about a lot on the Numb3rs show and I'm convinced I can come up with a running dogwalk algorithm. Anyway, this video is both fascinating and terrifying. We're so worried about global warming and nuclear annihilation but I think we should put those things on the back burner and start turning our attention to the algorithms as yet another messy haired geek explains:
I'm pretty sure that if the algorithms are powerful enough to take down the stock market and catch a serial killer they can help me take my running dogwalk training to another level. In the meantime, better bust out those old calculus books.