Ideas and relationships: using limits to work towards infinity. Neil Keleher.

Zero parallax

Learning to reason from first principles so that we can deal with change while creating the change that we desire

Reasoning from first principles is about differentiating complex systems, breaking them down into component parts so that we can understand how they work.

  • Sometimes we know what the system does before we break it down. The breaking down then helps to understand how it does what it does.
  • Sometimes we don't know what the system does before we break it down. The breaking down can then be used to help us begin to understand what it does.

When trying to understand what a system does, there are two main steps.

The first is understanding the component parts of the system in relative isolation. This can be thought of as the component (or "architectural") view. A general term for the component parts in this view is [idea].

The second is understanding how these component parts connect to each other and affect each other when the system is actually working. This can be thought of as the signal view. A general term for any two connected parts in this view is the [relationship].

Where the component [idea] view helps us to see and understand the potential of the component parts, the signal [relationship] view is where we understand how the system works in a specific configuration.

Working from first principles is about how we think

When working from first principles, what matters is how we think. You could think of this as happening in "imaginary space". Because of this, both the ideas and the relationships that we come up with are "imaginary." They are imaginary representations. As a result, we can choose how we define them.

The things that we define ideas and relationships with are [limits].

Working from first principles is a trial and error process

Because ideas, relationships and limits are all imaginary constructs, working from first principles can be a trial and error process till we find the ideas and relationships that give us the best results based on what we are trying to do.

The power of first principles

The fact that working from first principles involves so much trial and error is actually also its strength. When we redefine ideas and relationships we create a change. This change is geared towards understanding what we are working with.

With practice working with change (by creating it ourselves) we can get better at dealing with change in general.

Published: 2019 04 24
Updated: 2021 01 19
Use limits to define ideas and relationships. Once these have been learned, you no longer need the limtis. You thus work towards being unlimited i.e. infinite. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

Zero Parallax

First principles

Basic principles

ideas as units of meaning: and as the potential for change