Posts Tagged ‘deep-problems’

There is discovery in solving every problem

September 2, 2013

A great discovery solves a great problem,
but there is a grain of discovery in the solution
of every problem. Your problem may be modest,
but if it challenges your curiosity and brings into
play your inventive facilities, and if you solve it
by your own means, you may experience the
tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery.

George PĆ³lya, How To Solve It

Think better and deeper thoughts while walking

September 1, 2013

Today (Sunday morning) I went for a 90 minute walk through a nice nature trail with a friend.

During the walk we discussed varied topics, such as the three theories of aging and the moving blueberry harvest season.

It was a wonderful walk and a delicious discussion.

While walking it occurred to me that, “This is an ideal environment for discussing and exchanging ideas. Everyone is relaxed. The mild exercise makes my brain sharp.”

Contrast with sitting in a room, staring at each other across a table. That is a very uncomfortable environment. It puts pressure on everyone to try to be profound and sound intelligent.

I propose that all meetings be turned into walking meetings. The entire group should go outside and walk and talk. I suspect that meetings would be more productive that way.

I suggest that researchers could better explore deep problems if they spent more time discussing while walking.

I want to find someone interested in deep discussions on various topics in Computer Science, such as computability, complexity theory, parsing, XML. Actually, anything math- and science-related would be great. If you enjoy walking, deep thoughts, and live in the Boston to southern New Hampshire area please drop me a note.

From Mark Twain’s “A Tramp Abroad”:

“Now, the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. It is no matter whether one talks wisdom or nonsense, the case is the same, the bulk of the enjoyment lies in the wagging of the gladsome jaw and the flapping of the sympathetic ear.

And what motley variety of subjects a couple of people will casually rake over in the course of a day’s tramp! There being no constraint, a change of subject is always in order, and so a body is not likely to keep pegging at a single topic until it grows tiresome. We discussed everything we knew, during the first fifteen or twenty minutes, that morning, and then branched out into the glad, free, boundless realm of the things we were not certain about.”