Great Advice From Larry Wall

I just ran across this great bit of advice I got back in 1995 from Larry Wall, creator of Perl: Don’t get brainwashed by your education into thinking that all the answers have to come from teachers.

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If you’re not asking the right question, then there is no correct answer. Merlin Mann in Back To Work #41

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“I was young and crazy… I didn’t know what is possible and what’s not, so I did impossible things.” Mart Laar, Prime Minister of Estonia 1992-1994 and 1999-2002

Beware the Limits of Reductionism

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophies. – Shakespeare I said before that generalization, patterns, and abstraction are powerful ideas, but they have their limits. It is useful to reduce a thing to its core principles, but beware! Taking reductionism too far you can lose the… Continue reading Beware the Limits of Reductionism

Generalization, Patterns, and Abstraction

εν αρχη ην ο λογος – John 1:1 Our world behaves in consistent, predictable ways. If it were not so, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, philosophy, economics, engineering, medicine, and countless other disciplines would simply not work. Every discipline studies a range of specific phenomena and aims to distill the detailed observations into general principles or… Continue reading Generalization, Patterns, and Abstraction

Powerful Ideas

Ideas are the most basic of tools with which we understand and influence our world. And like tools, not all ideas are created equal—some ideas are more powerful than others. What makes an idea powerful? A powerful idea conforms to absolute truth—the way the world actually is, not necessarily the way we think it is… Continue reading Powerful Ideas

On Failing Successfully

Inspired by an episode of the “Ockham’s Razor” podcast: “I want to argue that failure doesn’t get the credit it deserves. If you want to understand success, you must appreciate the ubiquity of failure, and if you’re not regularly failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” -Mark Dodgson http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2008/2252771.htm “As our business grows, it becomes increasingly… Continue reading On Failing Successfully