Heuristics

I recently saw a talk by Jack Dorsey where he iterates a list of commandments for this life, and number three is drink only lemon water and red wine.

I love red wine and am intrigued by this lemon water idea. I investigated, and it led me to an article which asks how much lemon water is needed. They quote a heuristic:

For those who weigh less than 150 pounds, squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of water. If over 150, use an entire lemon’s juice.

Aforementioned is a heuristic, and it is beautiful. It saved the author from quoting an entire "bodyweight to lemon quantity" table.

The heuristic is one of my favourite concepts of all time. During engineering school in the late nineties, it became ever more apparent what a powerful concept it is, e.g. using lookup tables when designing flow systems with complex flow dynamics. It makes applied rocket science a bit easier. It makes pathfinding problems easier where the brute force method is just not a viable option in terms of time complexity.

I'm going to employ lazy blogging: I can't do this great concept any justice with just a few words, so I'll let the editors of Wikipedia enlighten you further.