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Tue May 27, 2014, 03:57 PM

Lore Sjoberg on solving complex problems

For those who don't know who he is, he's a humorist and former columnist for Wired.

I stole this bit of advice from a column of his years ago and find it very appropriate:


"Write what you know," or "Your ideas on how to bring peace to the planet are stupid and wrong."

"So you were in the Gifted and Talented Education program. So was practically every other saliva-pot with a domain name and a text editor. For that matter, so was the guy next door who believes that Mars is made of styrofoam. The world is not waiting for your revealed truth. Crime, war, prejudice, and hate have not been hanging around all these millennia waiting for your mom to forget her pill so that you can eradicate them. Complex problems don't have simple solutions. Any five-paragraph essay that claims to be able to end any problem that's been around for more than a three years has no more worth than a program that fills the screen with the sentence "I TOOK MY PARENTS' PRAISE TOO SERIOUSLY."


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Reply Lore Sjoberg on solving complex problems (Original post)
FSogol May 2014 OP
hunter May 2014 #1

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Tue May 27, 2014, 04:31 PM

1. Fortunately me and my siblings were feral children...

... who liked to play with fire.

Parental praise had nothing to do with anything in our universe, the only demand was that we not burn the house down or damage one another too badly, which was a rule they extended to others outside the family once we were old enough to run around outside entirely unsupervised, usually at the age of two or three.

I used to get in trouble at school. If I didn't like the way things were going, maybe some teacher lecturing me in the hallway, then I'd run. The school would call my mom, and she'd say "Oh, he'll be home for dinner" and usually I was.

Or else I'd get in REAL trouble and be sitting in the principals office, maybe for catching something on fire or shooting pencils into the ceiling with a rubber band, and they'd be afraid to call my mom because she was worse trouble.

None of this has anything to do with anything else, but I think it's fun to mock authoritarians. You know how that kind of thing can spread, which is why authoritarian nations have lots of people in prison for bizarre reasons having nothing to do with public safety, human rights violations, or multi-billion dollar bank fraud.

Anything stupid and wrong in these paragraphs?

No, I didn't think so.

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