Skepticism and Discursive Machines
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Skepticism and Discursive Machines

Skepticism emerges as a reaction wherever a certain, commonly held notion of truth begins to unravel. Operating with this notion of truth, we can try to slip out of the grasp of skepticism, but inevitably we trace the same maddening circle right back into its clutches. Can we model this worldview as a machine? Factual Discourse Machines The Classical Factual Discourse Machine We take as our starting point the most naive view of factual discourse possible. All factual discourse involves acts of demonstration. I present…

Opinion Technical

Forensic Analysis of “No Silver Bullet”

(Image by Lee Ufan) I. Our task — Software engineering has a long and hallowed tradition of uncritically evaluating and citing evidence [1][2]. It is our keenest joy to snatch a quote or cite a statistic without any critical evaluation of the source. As far as one might like to dig into the past this is the way it has always been done, and maybe the way it always will be done. Perhaps in the early days the fight for…

Opinion Technical

Why Software Process Never Works

Nothing induces more ambivalent feelings in working software developers than the idea of process. On the one hand we crave the sanity, insight, and opportunity for self-improvement that processes promise. On the other, we actively fear trying to introduce them into our organizations. Stories of botched or half-assed attempts to apply some new-fangled methodology are as common as dirt. Often times the end result can be worse than if nothing had been done at all. One popular explanation for this…

Misc Opinion

Why You Shouldn’t Be A Dabbler

One of my favorite books of all time is “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield. I’ve read or listened to this book, cover to cover, more times than I care to recount. Yet every time I come back to it something gets freshly reinvigorated within me. You see, what’s incredible about this book is how, in one brilliant maneuver, Steven simplifies the creative persons struggle by naming their primary enemy. He calls it resistance. Resistance is the union of all…