Posts Tagged ‘illusion’

What an amazing illusion we humans have created

May 19, 2016

What an amazing illusion we humans have created. We’ve created the illusion that the computer is filled with text and text has lines. The illusion is so complete, so compelling, that we have an incredibly hard time thinking there could be anything other than text inside our computers. And we’ve build a whole tower of stuff on top of the illusion: text editors, text data formats, text programming languages, social media, and so forth.

But in fact, there is no text in the computer, just numbers. And there are no lines. The numbers inside the computer are interpreted by clever software to represent letters and those letters are displayed on a monitor. Certain numbers are interpreted to represent an end-of-line marker, the succeeding numbers (er, letters) are displayed on the next line of the monitor.

The power of abstraction – amazing!

What is fundamentally important is a sense of tolerance

July 6, 2014

I like to think that I’m always right and my way of doing things is the best and everyone should do it my way. Today I heard a talk which shattered my illusion:

We sometimes elevate our own notions, even our best notions, too highly. It seems to me that we can universalize our ideals too much. What fundamentally is important is a sense of tolerance. What’s of prime importance is not any particular [approach or way of doing things], but rather the tolerance that gives rise to an acceptance of others even if they [do things very differently]. [Philip Hamburger]