I remember the first time I saw the fast inverse square root. It took me some years before I was strong enough in C (and calc) to truly understand it, but it's a somewhat legendary piece of computer history and this fantastic video is probably the most effective explainer that I've seen of it.

youtu.be/p8u_k2LIZyo

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Obviously, this iteration is from Quake, but the implementation has been traced back quite a bit further.

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