The Loneliness of the Gods

I recently read about the innovative solution to the ITA interview problem:

If the integers from 1 to 999,999,999 are written as words, sorted alphabetically, and concatenated, what is the 51 billionth letter?

I loved the solution using lazily evaluated grammar trees, automatic differentiation for length calculation(!), with binary searching in such trees.

It was really mind blowing. My solution would have involved exactly what the problem asked me to do: strict enumeration of number names sorted alphabetically to find the correct letter.

To compute less is an art that belong to the gods.

I wonder if the gods are lonely. Would people appreciate them? Would people remember their names long after they are gone?


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