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critical reasoning


    This subchapter looks at critical reasoning.

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critical reasoning

    This subchapter looks at critical reasoning.

    Important Note: While critical reasoning is a great tool for computers, it clashes with most social institutions, including business, law, and government. Business persons and government officials do not normally react well to critical reasoning and science. Do not confuse the two realms. Use critical reasoning and mathematcis in your work, but switch to social skills for all interactions with those in positions of power or authority.

tinkering and thought

    The vast majority of programmers, system administrators, data base administrators, and other tech personnel are tinkerers.

    Tinkerers have no real understanding of the objects they work on. Tinkerers use trial and error until things work better.

    The best tinkerers are successful because they have a good intuition about what guesses might work and over time they have collected a set of superstitutions that work most of the time for the most common problems.

    The very best programmers, system administrators, data base administrators, and other tech personnel use rational thought and critical reasoning to understand how a system works and fails and uses a combination of knowledge, skill, and imagination to craft appropriate solutions.

    This subchapter is about how to use critical reasoning. The vast majority of readers can safely skip over this material.

perception and proof

    Reality is perceived. Mathematics is proven.

    The existence of optical illusions illustrates the inherent lack of reliability of our perceptions of reality. Different testmony by witnesses to the same event highlight differences in perception by different observers. Some philosphers have questioned whether an objective reality even exists.

    Mathematics is pure in abstraction. Mathematics has clear definitions and axioms, from which theorems can be proven true or false.

    Philosophers have long examined this distinction.

    Imhotep, the chief architect of the first two true pyramids in ancient Egypt, inventor of the scientific method, inventor of medical triage, and inventor of trigonometry, claimed that mathematics were the fundamental divine laws of physical reality.

    Modern applied mathematics is based on the idea that mathematics models reality.

    Computers simulate pure mathematics. Unlike pure math, physical hardware is subject to momentary glitches, such as electrical spikes, cosmic rays, and distant earthquakes.

objectivity and subjectivity

    The goal in critical reasoning is objectivity.

    The goal in artwork is subjectivity.

    Both are valid goals. Kung Fu-Tze (Confucious), Aristotle, and Buddha all proposed some variation of the belief that humans need balance.

    A few hundred years ago, European artists attempted to match exactly what they saw, which was called realism. Impressionism moved to attempting to capture the essential impression of a scene. Surrealism bent and warped reality. Abstract expressionism attempted to capture the abstract essence. Numerous other art movements employed new and different ways to look at the world and express artistic creativity.

    Objectivity calls for a fair examination, an attempt to determine a greater truth.

    Objective journalism asks six questions; who, what, when, where, why, and how.

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free music player coding example

    Coding example: I am making heavily documented and explained open source code for a method to play music for free — almost any song, no subscription fees, no download costs, no advertisements, all completely legal. This is done by building a front-end to YouTube (which checks the copyright permissions for you).

    View music player in action:

    Create your own copy from the original source code/ (presented for learning programming).

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    Created: October 8, 2012

    Last Updated: August 5, 2014

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