Fuzzy Logic

Words fascinate me. They always have – even as a child I regularly studied the meanings of words in a little dictionary. Early on – I must have been about 7 or 8 years old – I was given a Collins Gem Dictionary. This tiny volume would fit into a shirt pocket. I still have it somewhere though I haven’t used it for some years as I tend to use one of the following: the Concise Macquarie Dictionary, the Shorter Oxford Dictionary (I call it “Big Bertha” because of its size) or the various online dictionaries available these days.
Early fascination with words

From the moment I received the Collins Gem Dictionary I was hooked on words. Over the following years I probably read the whole dictionary, though I don’t recall any plan to do so. It would go with me to school every day and home again in the afternoon. Then back to school the next day and so on. This habit stayed with me all through primary and much of high school. Significant words were underlined. Meanings were studied and committed to memory. Interesting words were discovered and searched for. As I went to Teachers’ College I “graduated” to using a Penguin English Dictionary. I still use this occasionally despite its lack of a cover. Its covers disintegrated during many games of Scrabble over the years.

New Washing Machine

I recently “killed” our old twin-tub washing machine. At the age of 22 years it deserved a rest. Permanently. We bought a new top loading automatic. It has a label on the top saying it has “Fuzzy Logic”. What on earth does that mean? I’d heard the term without really finding out what it meant. The sales women tried to explain – without throwing much light on the subject.

Fuzzy Logic control

The owner’s manual just says the following:

Fuzzy Logic Control: A built-in load sensor automatically detects the laundry load and a microprocessor optimizes washing conditions such as ideal water level and washing time. Advanced technology is built into the Electronic Control System which ensure the best washing result.

Very clever. And very easy to use. And probably very expensive to fix. I’m trying not to miss the old machine too much.

What is “Fuzzy Logic”?

I wasn’t totally happy with the above explanation. So I went looking on the internet. Wrong move at 6:30 am when you wake up early – fuzzy headed – and can’t get back to sleep. My fuzziness only increased by reading only one article about it, the one in Wikipedia. When my brain can cope with clear logic I might do more research on fuzzy logic.

In the meantime – for those interested, the Wikipedia entry on the topic is found here.


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