optimize a copy

garbage_cnbeta

Senior Member
Chinese

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars - Christopher Paolini​

In this si-fi book, they were on a planet and meant to accomplish some task.
Four months on the planet, hundreds of flights, and there hadn’t been a single accident. ... the only time it had malfunctioned was when some hotshot asteroid captain had tried to optimize a copy and ended up killing his crew as a result.
What does "optimize a copy" mean? I think "optimize" means to make something better. They definitely couldn't copy an asteroid.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    A copy of what? What did the asteroid captain try to optimize? Why was it a "copy"?

    Of course "asteroid captain" has some special meaning in this story. A "captain" is the person in charge of a vehicle (a car, ship, spaceship, etc.). An asteroid is not a vehicle.
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    A copy of what? What did the asteroid captain try to optimize? Why was it a "copy"?

    Of course "asteroid captain" has some special meaning in this story. A "captain" is the person in charge of a vehicle (a car, ship, spaceship, etc.). An asteroid is not a vehicle.
    The OP has snipped this information from the text he quoted. All will become clear if they post the missing text.
     

    JillN

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    So the whole quote is:

    Four months on the planet, hundreds of flights, and there hadn’t been a single accident. Geiger, the pseudo-intelligence that piloted the shuttle, had a nearly flawless record; the only time it had malfunctioned was when some hotshot asteroid captain had tried to optimize a copy and ended up killing his crew as a result.

    I sounds like "it" refers to "the pseudo-intelligence that piloted the shuttle/Geiger." Some hotshot asteroid captain tried to make a copy of the pseudo-intelligence and improve it, but he ended up killing his crew instead. But then it's really the copy that malfunctioned, not the original Geiger.
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    It does indeed - impossible to determine without the omitted sentence.

    The captain may have tried to optimize his copy of Geiger, rather than making an optimized copy of the code.
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think it's like this sentence:

    "Christopher Paolini's book To Sleep in a Sea of Stars has often been quoted accurately without a single accident. The only time it had malfunctioned was when some hotshot senior member had tried to optimize a copy by leaving words out and ended up losing track of the meaning as a result." :D

    However, there is another meaning of copy: "to hear or receive a radio message" which might possibly be relevant. Perhaps the hotshot asteroid captain had tried to optimize the reception and had introduced errors in the message... But the result is the same.
     
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