Re: Pizza Example

From: Anthony W. Youngman <>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 23:31:50 +0100
Message-ID: <>

In message <vMRcc.51783$>, Eric Kaun <> writes
>> As regards practical ability, I would agree with you - I don't practice
>> my trombone enough :-) But as regards *UNDERSTANDING*, I would disagree.
>> Most people either have the intelligence to do so and quickly, or they
>> struggle and never get there.
>So let me get this straight: most people have either the intelligence to
>understand anything quickly, or don't have the intelligence to ever
>understand anything? I don't know who you've been hanging around with, but
>they sound interesting. Or boring. One or the other.

You misunderstand me. Practice will teach you how to DO things. But, IME, *understanding* is pretty much an "all or nothing" thing. Either you "get" it, or you don't. And what you "get" depends partly on age and partly on intelligence. If you don't "get" something, either you need to grow up more (for adults that isn't an option), or you will find it very difficult to ever get there. For example, I found relativity absolutely trivial (you just need to realise that common sense will mislead you), but actually *understanding* quantum mechanics just blew my mind. I'll probably never get it.
>> DO I trust the experts who designed this infernal machine? I have a
>> pretty decent grasp of the theory. So I don't need to. I can (should I
>> wish to) check it out for myself. And if something "feels wrong" I
>> nearly always do.
>That has nothing to do with trust - just troubleshooting. You're still using
>the thing because it works most of the time. But again, I got us off on a

And the intuition that something's wrong in the first place. Usually based on an understanding of theory, and a "feel" that in fact, it isn't working...

That's actually one of my strengths - the ability to sense that something "isn't right", and the logic to deduce where the glitch is.


Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
HEX wondered how much he should tell the Wizards. He felt it would not be a
good idea to burden them with too much input. Hex always thought of his reports
as Lies-to-People.
The Science of Discworld : (c) Terry Pratchett 1999
Received on Sat Apr 17 2004 - 00:31:50 CEST

Original text of this message