Natural Philosophy Redux21 Jun 2016
There is a grand adventure to be embarked upon every time a student asks a question and the mentor says: “I don’t know, let’s find out.” The chance to learn occurs at the moment of uncertainty by forcing the knowledge seeker to step out of their comfort zone and expose ignorance. Own ignorance. Keep uncovering new uncertainties to investigate.
With regard to convention and standards, become proficient enough with your tools to recognize the value that is being added by following them. Promptly try to break the rules to see what happens. Find out why you are told to do things a certain way, then figure out how to do it better.
Respect elders and tradition while at the same time questioning authority, institutions, and customary manners of doing things. Wise elders when questioned thusly will recognize the positive value of reinforcing fundamentals and the chance however small of learning something completely new. The greatest scientific breakthroughs have been made from examining established beliefs and taking an alternate tack.
Break down the pillars of beliefs to atomic constituents. Build them back up by carefully considering each addition, being ruthless in the inquisition of your tenets. Hold no belief so fanatically that contravening evidence is ignored. Be fluid in ways.
Finally, recognize the struggles that others have around you. Help them. You will probably learn something in the process. Voraciously consume resources and be mindful to give credit. Strive to be a good citizen steward of code and contribute to open source software projects. Give and receive feedback as a gift. Be grateful to be able to see this episode of history from your particular unique vantage point.
Remember to be human, and to step out of your skin sometimes.