How the Doubly Linked List will fix unsolvable problems in video games and the entire world
As I’m sure you know, the world today has a ton of social problems. Poverty, inequality, divisiveness, misinformation, all sort of predatory practices by people higher up in all kinds of power structures. What you may not know is the underlying reason for all this: Computer scientists have not yet designed the right data structure to solve these problems.
You are very lucky to be reading this. As far as I know, it is the first accounting of a new technological innovation that will take the world by storm. By coming in early in this inevitable revolution and investing your time, money and effort to spread the word, not only will you be remembered as a modern day hero who improved other people’s lives but also, far more importantly, you will make yourself rich in the process.
But before I tell you how we will change the world, let me describe the ingenious technology that will enable us to do so.
Solving unsolvable problems with the Doubly Linked List
As Wikipedia tells me, the original Linked List was developed in 1955–1956, by Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw and Herbert A. Simon at RAND Corporation. It was an ok tool for computer scientists to solve trivial early problems, such as teaching the computer how to play chess. Let me tell you, solving these kinds of problems won’t do any good for those starving children in Africa.
In the Linked List, every node of data contains a link to the next node. The entire data structure lives in memory in a set of data nodes that we can only visit from the first node to the last. And there’s the problem.
Imagine you have written the only kind of useful program: one that tracks money. In your case, let’s assume it tracks who owes money to whom. John owes money to Suzy, and Suzy owes money to Jack. This can all be described with a Linked List, like so: John->Suzy->Jack. It’s a great data structure to put in your program you’re trying to sell to debt collectors. Of course, your actual program would have millions of entries all linked together in a very long, very robust list. With this great data structure, your program can easily find any person and then determine who they owe money to by following the next link.
But now consider this. What if the debt collector needs to know for a given person, not who they owe money to, but who owes money to *them*? Gasp! I hear you say, and you’d be correct, for the linked list only has forward links to the person someone owes money to. It is *LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE* to find who owes money to a given person in the linked list, since there’s no backward link to the previous data node! This is a serious limitation of current technology.
Whether you realize it or not, your everyday life and freedoms up until this point have been severely restricted by this unacceptable technological limitation I made up and am also about to solve.
How do we solve the (as of today) unsolvable problem I described above? With the Doubly Linked List, the amazing breakthrough I’m introducing. The Doubly Linked List stores links not only to the next data node, but also to the previous one. So the previous example in the Doubly Linked List becomes John<->Suzy<->Jack. Genius, huh? Now we can go from a given person *backwards* on the list, and find who owes money to *them*!
The REAL power of the DOubly Linked lisT
The DOubly Linked lisT (DOLT for short) is such a unique and ground-breaking discovery, that it does all of us a disservice to refer to it as a lowly computer science data structure that can help us solve a certain class of programming problems more efficiently. No, it is far more than that. You can have a DOLT modelling doctor and patient relationships in the healthcare industry. You can have another DOLT verifying transactions in real estate. You can have a series of DOLTs to help you with one of the biggest problems in the world today, sending money abroad. Heck, you could even store all money transactions in the world in a massive DOLT, throw in some fancy hashing to make it sound secure, when you realize it’s not at all secure come up with a proof of work scheme that has massively growing requirements on the world’s computing power and electricity to make it quite secure for legitimate owners and scammers alike, then sell your innovation to venture capitalists that would no doubt be lining at the door. Boom — world changed for the better.
With a bunch of DOLTs modelling hard to solve social problems, we can easily disrupt existing power structures and make the world a better place, especially for people who are already rich. As DOLT technology continues to evolve, more sectors will be able to benefit from its use including automotive, enterprise software, manufacturing/automation, babysitting, marketing/advertising/marketing intelligence, shoe polishing, healthcare IT/pharma, logistics & supply chain management, milk delivery, and I’m certainly missing a lot more.
“How do we actually bring change into a sector using DOLT?”, I hear you ask. Well, the only limit is your imagination! The powerful application in tracking debt described above is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s up to you to imagine other similar industries that are ripe for disruption. Here’s just some examples from an industry I know well.
DOLT in video games
Ah, video games. They are such a powerful medium. You know how I know that? It’s the fact that so many of us like to play them, despite the fact we’re not even getting paid to do it. As a game developer myself, I can testify first hand that the DOLT is bringing groundbreaking revolution in the industry. With a DOLT in your game, an entire class of totally unsolvable problems are now finally easy to solve. There are thousands of examples, here are just some obvious ones:
a) It was previously impossible to share assets between different levels in your game. Now with the DOLT, the bi-directional communication in the list makes that a breeze to implement.
b) It was previously impossible to grant unique awards to your players. Now with the DOLT, the backwards pointer guarantees security, uniqueness and desirability of the award.
c) It was previously impossible for players to take their coins from Super Mario World and transfer them to Clash of Clans. Now with DOLT, they can easily do just that. Why shouldn’t they? Players worked hard for those coins, and it’s their coins to do whatever they want with them. Remember: my *only* interest in all this is the player’s well being.
d) It was previously impossible to make the main character in your game walk backwards. Now, all you have to do is traverse the movement DOLT in reverse order. The code writes itself.
Just present the list above to your programmers and watch them get excited about the possibilities unlocked by the DOLT. If they disagree with any of these points, then you know you have some anti-technology, anti-DOLT hippies on your team that are holding you back from making meaningful progress. Maybe if you gave them a taste of those financials in the form of juicy bonuses, they’d switch their tunes.
It’s very encouraging that some visionary video game companies have already seen the plain fact that others are blind to: DOLT has inherent value of its own, screw what the game is about. These companies have great plans to make gamers pay more to get a taste of that juicy value. Business-minded people everywhere are already scrambling to unlock the power of the DOLT. They are working around the clock to think what problem they can create that would be uniquely solved by a DOLT. Good for them — I always thought being literate in technology is an important quality in a business type person.
Oh! I just thought of yet another example of how the DOLT is solving unsolvable problems in the games industry:
e) It was previously impossible for your boss to buy their third villa in the Cayman Islands. Now it’s within reach, just make sure to support their efforts to evangelize the DOLT as I described above.
How the establishment will fight DOLTs
Now, make no mistake. The rotten power centers that have so far dominated these industries have everything to lose. They won’t like losing all the power they’ve held over us for far too long, like tracking our every purchase and knowing who we’re friends with. With DOLTs on the way, they realize they won’t be able to do any of that any more. They’ll have no choice but to follow the same rules as the rest of us. They will fight back, and they will use dirty techniques. They will call us idiots who don’t understand basic computer science. They will refer to DOLT as “just an extra pointer”. They will say shoehorning a data structure where it doesn’t belong will make problems harder to solve, not easier. They will claim our DOLT models are storing petabytes of data that literally nobody will ever give a shit about and is a colossal waste of resources that could be put to better use. I say ignore all of this — they are the ramblings of dinosaurs that know they are going away. People were similarly mocking Jeff Bezos in the 90’s, and look how rich he is now.
If you’re not in such a power center and you are still not convinced of DOLT, this is what I have to say to you: It’s ok. We can’t all be visionaries. You have never spent a day in your life chasing innovative new technologies and helping regular rich people like I have. But I will say, or rather repeat, one last argument on the topic. Many of my friends invested early in DOLT, and they convinced some well known, very tech-literate investors to give them a lot of money. The simple fact that these people made a lot of money, and will continue making a lot of money for decades in the future, is all the proof you should need that the technology works, and that the world is actually being improved.