Thursday, June 17, 2010

He Was There From The Day We Moved In [1]

When I found the screenshot on another site, the first thing I did was go to the company's webpage myself to see if it was a fake. Turns out, it's real, and still there (at least at the time of this writing).

Hail to you, bearded IT consultant. Don't ever let the big haired, fake smile sporting man or woman bring you down.

Just in case you wonder: the staff profile of essentially every computer science, mathematics (or logic) department on earth tends to look like the exact inverse.

* * *

[1] It's probably just the fact that I grew up with tons of Diogenes books (the publisher, not the philosopher) around me and now feel compelled to connect everything back to them, but this picture (and the tentative story behind it, created in the back of my mind upon seeing it) makes me think of a children book by Levine/Gorey; in particular the cover evokes a strong feeling of resemblance [not so great reproduction here].

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In which the protagonist summarizes what he has has learned in the recent past (I)

The possibility that you might fail is not an excuse not to try.

Even assuming that you would fail essentially all the time [1], you are nonetheless obligated to try, do your best, and act as if the outcome is unknowable [2].

This is a direct consequence of the first principle [3], possibly in conjunction with a few natural minor assumptions, such as: if you don't even try, the outcome will usually be worse than the worst case outcome in case you would have tried.

* * *

[1] An assumption which, for different reasons though, might in fact not even be viable.

[2] Or, possibly, even assume that you will succeed. [related to the question whether an objective independent reality exists and, more importantly, matters; to be addressed later]

[3] Which states that your supreme goal is to be happy, or -- probably equivalently -- that there is no alternative to life.