Quotation of the Day: On Economist’s vs. Engineer’s algorithms

An economist’s algorithm, at its best, values being simple, being reasonably easy to analyze, and having clear mathematical properties that show why it’s optimal (or least-bad) for the task that it’s trying to solve, and ideally proves bounds on how much damage someone can do by trying to exploit it. An engineer’s algorithm, on the other hand, is a result of iterative trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t in the engineer’s operational context. Engineer’s algorithms are pragmatic and do the job; economist’s algorithms¬†don’t go totally crazy when confronted with the unexpected.

Vitalik Buterin, “What do I think about Community Notes?“16 August 2023