I *really* like bets. Not that I'm a gambler; I just like the idea that strong feelings be backed up by dollars on the table (note: this is related to my distrust of focus groups & user feedback in general). One of my favorite recent bets is Felix Salmon vs. Ben Horowitz on Bitcoin, and I'm always on the lookout for things I feel strongly enough to place a stake on.
Well last week, that chance arose. I was having coffee with Andre Wegner, and (as is our wont) we got to talking about the prospects for simulation of physical systems. I've been playing more and more with design optimization (and therefore FEA) software, and have increasingly felt that design automation is impractical, and will develop slowly (if at all). Andre is a technological optimist; he believes that an increasingly large amount of our design, testing, and optimization will be done virtually.
A concrete example arose: Andre believes that the field of computational fluid dynamics will progress quickly enough to make wind tunnels obsolete within our lifetime. I believe it won't.
So, the bet:
If, in ten years (2025.09.18), wind tunnels are "still a thing," Andre owes me dinner. If they aren't, I owe him dinner.
I'm looking forward to this.