Marco Dorantes' WebLog

"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes" -Edsger W. Dijkstra

The practical disproportion

The practical disproportion

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Some individual or a small group of them have an idea or a system of ideas that look promising out of which come outstanding outcomes. Later, those very same ideas are adopted into the mainstream but a much lesser level of greatness comes out.

I have observed this pattern over a number of dissimilar contexts, software development, business, religion, to name a few.

Why is that?

Is it a fixated perception that —as colored glasses— makes me watch something where there is no such a thing? Perhaps.

Which could be another explanation or reasonable system of interpretation for this pattern of behavior among humans?

A possibility is that an important part of the root cause for that situation is a disproportional focus on the practical side out of everything. Many, many people believing practical consequences are the sole criteria to judge knowledge, meaning and value.

I suspect the obsessive, disproportional and exclusive focus on the practical aspects of a subject matter carries most of the blame.

How many of us could actually explain the difference between theory and practice, theory and hypothesis, reliable knowledge and belief?

Those who are enamored of practice without theory are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory
-Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much that ain’t so
-Josh Billings (1818–1885)

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