is more surface . . .
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.
every time i see the word “misled,” i read it to myself at first as miss-eld and wonder what that word means. and then i think, oh, that’s right. misled.
— Juliet Small Ernst, Touch Touch Publishing Blog, 2008-10-10
A few days ago, I was skimming through thousands of pictures looking for eyes, preferably eyes of a strong tree out of a dream come true, but that’s another story. In my breaks, I did some day-to-day work like hopping over, actually scurrying over, to Dave Pollard (who we had already referred to) reading his daily blog on why we have not yet saved the world. So much for the history. Recently, Dave was asking for advice in seven words or less. His list, whether I like it or not, made me add our blogs starting credo Stop making sense to the list of comments and further advice. But only when I checked back I found the one advice (to love, to remember, to be and trust)
Added by Siona van Dijk. Or in my mother’s words: Schnaufn nid vagessn (Austrian dialect for “Don’t forget to breathe”). Thus, in a daring attempt to get the feel of an eyes’ glimpse of the air she is breathing, I scurried over to Siona’s profile where she writes
I trust uncertainty, don’t care for irony, and believe that paradox is a profound measure of truth.
— Siona van Dijk
Paradoxes only! Can you see the tree? On the path from trust to truth and back, the very grounds for liars to let trees flourish (trees with leaves of words) what more could we ask for? — Coffee! Of course, yes, but that’s again another story (though the same as above). — Simplification? — This is going to be complicated.
However, in the list of Siona’s bookmarks I found a link leading us to a list of Ten Commandments for a Simpler Way of Life (maybe we should make a list of lists, Juliet, please) where one can find (further) advices such as
II. You shall laugh on a daily basis.
VII. You shall turn off your technology.
VIII. You shall be spontaneous.
X. You shall learn what is ‘enough’.
— Ririan, 2007-04-05
An interesting list of commandments as only no liars could ever compile. A liar, though, cannot resist to add: For to lead a simple life You shall simplify simplification!
Sure, we “believe that all this could very well be wrong” (Siona van Dijk).
Having found the eyes, I’ll now go and look for roots.
ratTus rattUs co-maintains contradicTshirts, a collection of (mostly) “T-Shirts for the conshirtiously contradicTshirty“. Some designs are inspired by postings at rattus rattus’ blog, thus there is also a series of rattus rattus’ shirts:
WRONG but wrong
If there was a commandment for “(really) good liars” it might be: You shall not use fallacious arguments. A “bad liar” — heck, who would not want to be bad from time to time — might just as well juggle with fallacies, and hope for the listeners logical illiteracy.
The Fallacy Files is one of Internet’s finest collection of examples of fallacious reasoning, see for instance “appeals to ignorance“. Moreover, Fallacy Files comes with a weblog, a comprehensive taxonomy of logical fallacies, and more.
Bad Science is the tempting apple that does not fall far from the tree of fallacious reasoning. “If you ever doubted the dangers of fallacious reasoning” says Gary N. Curtis, author of the Fallacy Files, you should read Losing the Lottery by Ben Goldacre, “guardian” of Bad Science.
If you’re unlucky enough, fallacious reasoning could put you behind bars for the rest of your life for “murders” you didn’t commit, and which in fact may not be murders at all.
— Gary N. Curtis, Fallacy Files
A nurse called Lucia de Berk has been in prison for 5 years in Holland, convicted of 7 counts of murder and 3 of attempted murder. An unusually large number of people died when she was on shift (…)
— Ben Goldacre, Bad Science
If I myself was only safe from fallacy.