information processor <grinding> through an algorithm


Does "grinding" here refer to "working hard"? It seems to be so. But I am not able to rule out some potential stylistic use of other definitions of the word "grind".


What makes it hard to think “elastically”?

Elastic thinking comes naturally to all humans, but one way it may be inhibited is through another power exercised by our brain, the ability to ignore inappropriate urges and tune out “crazy” ideas. The human brain doesn’t act like a single information processor grinding through an algorithm on its way to solving a problem. Instead, it acts as a set of interacting and competing systems.

-Scientific American

  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    In this context, "to produce in a routine or mechanical way" 10. grind out in the WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English might fit well, although there is no "out" in this sentence. "Out" might be substituted by "through."
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The "hard (or dull) work" meaning of 'grind' probably always has a bit of an image of a meat grinder: you feed in a pork chop at one end, turn the handle, and mincemeat comes out the other. Usable solutions are extracted from intractable large input.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree with post #2 and #3. "Grinding through" something means the same as "working through" it, but "grinding" adds the concept of doing it mechanically, routinely. It may also imply "a lot of time" or "a lot of work".

    In MMOs (online games, which I play a lot) we use "grinding" to mean any repetitive boring work. If someone is criticizing how much work (and time) it takes to get to level 30, they will call it "grinding to level 30".
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