Consistent progress
March 2018
In his book, "The Art of Doing Science and Engineering", and in the speeches the book was based on, Richard Hamming related a story about a drunken sailor who staggers left and right at random, and with n such steps will arrive, on average, at around square root of n steps away from where he started. But if there is a pretty girl in one direction, then all his steps accumulate towards that direction, adding to the progress of previous steps, and he will travel a distance proportional to n.

Progress proportional to √n:



Progress proportional to n: