Content from 2018

When you can't solve a problem, consider injecting new information

Submitted by devin on Tue, 12/18/2018 - 16:10

I used to come across linear algebra problems in math class that seemed impossible to solve. Consider trying to find the value of x, y, and z given this set of two equations:

4x + 3y + z = 8
x + y = 2

If I plug this into Wolfram Alpha, all it can tell me is "y = 4 - x". That doesn't solve for x, y, and z like we want. The problem is intractable.

Dishonest Debater

Submitted by devin on Thu, 07/26/2018 - 00:41

I am a dishonest debater.

I remember being around 7 years old and arguing with my brother. Some adult had told us in the past not to run when crossing the road, and I agreed. My brother, a little older and a little more rebellious, still wanted to run across the road. One day, he did, and I confronted him.

"Don't run across the road" I (proudly) stated.

"Why not?" he (reasonably) asked.

How to have productive meetings, part 1

Submitted by devin on Wed, 01/17/2018 - 23:25

At some point in my life, I started going to meetings, and slowly started gathering good and bad experiences. Also, for some reason, during university I actually studied how to have productive meetings, and I’ve kept a few tidbits of wisdom from that course.

I hold this truth to be self evident: most meetings are a waste of time.

But there’s a corollary: it’s also hard to identify which of your meetings are a waste of time, and why. It’s hard to predict in advance whether a meeting will be productive.