Words interest me. They don’t exist in the real world. They’re the names, and descriptions we give to the items and events we notice in our environment. A classic on how well this works is Blindmen. It’s a short read, I’ll wait here. Bad Matters Worse The bigger and more complex object we try to […]
A puzzle is a problem that one cannot solve because of a self-imposed constraint. Creativity is shackled by self-imposed constraints. Therefore, the key to freeing it lies in developing an ability to identify such constraints and deliberately removing them. Russell Ackhoff So many books, so little time! When Steve recently recommended The Art of Problem […]
How do you know what you know? More importantly, how do you know what other people know?
Maps make it easier for us to work with the real world (whatever that may be). Some detailed information gets removed, but if the structure is similar to the territory, the map is useful. The problem is deciding when and how to change maps.
We take in information from our environment in discrete steps. We abstract from the continuous data streams (aka “The Real World”) in the following order:
Today I had the opportunity to remember that “context is everything”. Hurricane Frances continues her slow crawl up the eastern United States. It started raining here in North Carolina yesterday (Tuesday 2004.09.07). This morning my radio crackled with reports of accidents and emergencies. Fortunately, none were in our response area. Then the pager tones sounded. […]
The more he thought about it, the more he felt trapped. The more trapped he felt, the more he wanted out. The more he wanted out, the more he felt trapped. And around, and around his feelings traveled in a vicious circle of trapped and wanting out. But there wasn’t anyway out.
I’ll never forget that morning even though it happened a quarter of a century ago. I was a programmer helping start up a new factory, and things had been going OK. Not great, but OK. I decided that morning on the way to the factory I was going to stay calm and not let anyone “get to me”. Right.