Posts tagged ‘problem’


December 19th, 2008

Linus Torvalds, recently wrote about debugging hell in his private blog. What I read is a wonderful variation of Paul Watzlawick’s story of a man who is looking for his keys where the lantern shines instead of where he lost them:

Torvalds was desperately looking for the solution of a serious problem which seemed to occur only spontaneously and at a time where it could not be observed, analyzed or tracked. Later, a method was found which allowed to trigger the problem but it apparently had “nothing what-so-ever to do with the actual failure itself”. Eventually, colleagues found “the real clue” by looking at one incident where the problem did not occur.

The problem is not truth

February 2nd, 2006

There is a wonderful quote by Heinz von Foerster that I first learned about at a workshop in April 1991 in Vienna where he presented it in his opening talk:

The problem is not truth,
the problem is trust.

This is a very riddle. One can read it in many ways, and every time I look at it it’s likely to tell me another story. I am most thankful to Heinz von Foerster that he suggested 2 things for reading this riddle: Look up the words in an etymological dictionary, and … silence. He just looked into my eyes and smiled.

May I invite you to see for yourselves. Here is the quote with links to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

The problem is not truth,
the problem is trust.

In an opening address for a conference in 1990, see “ethics and second-order cybernetics“, Heinz von Foerster tells a story about the origin of the quote.