Patterns

In approaching a problem to be solved, it is beneficial to think of patterns which are applicable. One needs to have some experience in solving problems.

After a number of years of figuring out solutions, one becomes better at recognizing patterns which apply for the problem under consideration. It appears that one of the main strengths of human consciousness is that we can recognize patterns quite well in nature and in daily life when solving problems.

Where ideas come from

Where do ideas come from? I still do not know. However, it appears that the human mind can come up with innovations and marvels when needed.

The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” appears to be mostly true. But often, there is no direct correlation between the problem being faced and the solution which was found.

The problem can be something ‘X’. The solution which comes to mind will actually be applicable to a different problem. As long as the solution is useful and helps people solve problems, it becomes a success.

Personality

When it comes to human nature, when looked at in detail, each individual appears unique and different from the other. Each individual has his own sets of likes, dislikes and traits. However, each of us appears to see a little bit of us in other people. This may be the motivation behind personality theory, which studies the variations of personality traits among individuals.

Though it is possible to group the traits seen among different individuals, it does not appear that an individual can only be of one personality type. The more likely scenario is that everyone is an amalgamation of different traits. Also, one needs to keep in mind the personalities of the people themselves coming up with lists of such traits. One needs to be aware of the theorists’s own biases and understand the limits of human knowledge and understanding. Nietzsche said:

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

 – Nietzsche

 

Representing data

When dealing with complex entities such as computer networks, one has to handle a lot of data: both configurational and operational. Hence the need to conceptualize the storage of data in a structured way. Data models have come about to address this problem.

When large sets of data gets stored in a structured and well-understood way, it becomes easy to access and manipulate such data. One can even conceive of algorithms and programs to deal with such data.

If the devices on the network are able to be provisioned and monitored using such structured and modeled data, one can conceive of having algorithms for managing the network.

Negativity

Oftentimes, the modern mind wants to shield itself from the bad things occurring in the world. Overprotection appears to have become more common. However, one needs to realize that evil exists in the world.

The Puranas explain the existence of evil using the idea that the world has entered an age of vice (Kali Yuga in sanskrit). Hence it is urged to keep this in mind and to follow the righteous path towards enlightenment.

Data structures

The structure of data is something which is crucial in today’s world of programming. Constructs such as lists, graphs and trees are most commonly used to store data. In coming up with a design for a software, one needs to be good at choosing the right structure to store the given data in.

To figure this out, one approach could be to think about how the data appears in the real world while also thinking of how the data is going to be used or changed to solve the given problem.

For example, to design a program for a dictionary, one can think of how a real world dictionary is written. All the words are sorted alphabetically. So, when looking up a word, one can flip to the page containing words near to the one we are looking for. In computer science, a trie is a tree which allows for a prefix based look up. This could be an option to choose when designing a dictionary.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice has been a common motif in every religious tradition. Ancient Vedic rituals involved sacrificing real animals thousands of years ago when they began. However, as time went on, the sacrifices changed to more symbolic representatives of animals.

As humans evolve, it appears that the idea of sacrifice is a continuing one. But as civilization has progressed, the human mind has come to realize that sacrifices can be made on a more abstract and conceptual level.

 

Bug hunting

When developing software, one of the crucial tasks is to find potential problems in advance and fix them. In doing so, a developer needs to find ways to conceptually break the system. This is a useful way to make sure one’s code is robust and can withstand issues in the real world. This is a way to hunt for bugs and avoid major issues in the future

Pity the fool

On occasions, one feels very sorry for oneself and begins the process of self-pity. It is situations like this when one needs to stop and take a step back. Each time, self-pity is revealed in hindsight to have been a foolish decision.

Having a victim mentality leads to one releasing control of what can be changed within oneself. Of course, one cannot change things externally. For example, if a person is hit by a car, he cannot change that fact. However, if he survives, he can control what he can, namely his mental state and physical health, and possibly recover and live a good life.

Getting lost in a sea of self-imposed victimhood is always a bad idea.

Learning to read

For human beings, the abilities to read and write are marvelous achievements. For the several hundred thousand years that humans were living as hunter gatherers, written records do not exist.

It was only in the last ten thousand years or so that humans began to form agricultural societies. Today, human society is primarily agricultural.

Written records exist only from around the last ten thousand years since the shift towards agriculture. On the other hand, humans have been speaking to each other for a much longer time. Hence, much of the ancient wisdom and records were carried in the form of oral recitations from times immemorial. The ancient Indian scriptures called the Vedas were carried on as an oral tradition for long before being written down.

Until a few hundred years ago, before the invention of the printing press, most people could not read texts. It appears that even those who could read usually had to read it aloud and humans learned to read in silence on a mass scale only recently.

Overall, it is remarkable that human beings have consciousness and developed the ability to read and write. At the same time, in the world of today, it has fooled many about the extent of human knowledge. One needs to keep in mind that the intellect is only one of the human appendages. It is not the be-all and end-all of everything.

Nietzsche described those who overestimated the value of this one particular quality in Thus Spake Zarathustra:

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could not trust mine eyes, but looked again and again, and said at last: “That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!” I looked still more attentively—and actually there did move under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk—the stalk, however, was a man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognise further a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated soullet dangled at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when they spake of great men—and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

– Nietzsche