A collection of notes on Problem Solving
To paraphrase S Hossenfelder: Progress has been made by looking at questions that were well posed–at least in hindsight–where there was a *contradiction* The goal is to resolve the incompatibility
To paraphrase H Simon: Problem solving is discovering the process description for a desired state description. Given existing and desired states, find the process to reconcile differences
To paraphrase D Mindell… On *pointer matching* in the development of control systems: Because their job was to reduce the error between two quantities to zero, Sperry would call such [human] operators “manual servomechanisms”
From H Simon: “Problem solving proceeds by erecting goals, detecting differences between present situation and goal, finding in memory or by search tools or processes that are relevant to reducing differences of these kinds, and applying these tools or processes.”
On working with Steve Hawking by J Hartle— What do we keep and what do we give up?” Hawking has a remarkable ability to see through all this clutter, to cut to the heart of the matter, and to focus on the essentials. He also has the courage to discard the cherished old ideas that are an obstacle to progress.
C/O S Carroll w/ C Rovelli: Physics is driven by mysteries we dont yet understand. If we’re lucky it comes w/ experiments; we get data that doesnt fit our current conception so we try to improve our theories When 2 theories make sense but dont fit together, how to reconcile?