How I pick my prompts

I use WolframAlpha to help me pick my prompts. If you’ve never played with WolframAlpha before, you probably should.

Unlike a search engine, WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine. That is to say, the site’s seemingly simple interface can be used to execute code written in natural language or, if you’re willing to learn it, in the Wolfram Language.

So to generate a number between 1 and 365, I use the Wolfram Language and enter the following single line of code into the search bar:

RandomInteger[(1,365)]

In this case, the portion in parentheses represents the range of integers from 1 to 365, while the square braces accept the range as an argument for the function RandomInteger.

And while I could possibly get away with just typing in

RandomInteger[365]

I’m somewhat anal about my notation (don’t even get me started on how physicists abuse the symbols–unloving, ham-fisted, brutalizers of brilliant ideas.) If it isn’t obvious, in a range expressed (a,b) where a and b are integers, a is the lower bound and b is the upper. Consider:

RandomInteger[(-1000,1000)]

as an example of proper formatting and note the difference.

But WolframAlpha actually does a lot more than math. You can use it for music, medicine, language, and more. The Wolfram Language is intuitive and flexible, yet powerful enough to organize and operate factories.

It’s an amazing research tool.

Shriek into the Void...

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