Monday, August 8, 2011

The "Shadow of Doubt" is needed.... Humility...

"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him." -Leo Tolstoy

Recalls the Humble Programmer essay. Descartes, Socrates. Not enough humility. So much certainty about ones own position and opinion. So little respect for anyone with a different opinion or idea on complex issues. Waggle Dancing bees. Step two of problem solving and programming process. Develop a PLAN. Waggle dancing bees develop 3 or 4 or 5 "plans" and then debate for a week and choose the best plan. Problem solver develops several plans and then chooses the best one or takes the best ideas from plan A and from Plan B to create a 3rd algorithm that is better than either of the first two choices because it has the best of each of them and has eliminated the worst. When you are firmly persuaded, there is no reason to investigate or read or think further. There is no reason to listen to the opponent. Ironic how the "shadow of doubt" would shine so brightly and illuminate things these days.