No More Jargon

The coalescence of thoughts with regards to technical subject matters in the areas of software design and computer languages.


    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Why is Acknowleding a New Paradigm Hard?

    When you don't grasp a paradigm (a word I hate because of how cheapened it's become, incidentally), it's hard to admit that it has benefits over the way you know or do things as it is.

    Learning a new paradigm is frustrating right up until you get the click moment. There are new techniques that you have to learn in order to understand. This takes time and accounts for at least some of the resistance encountered when learning a paradigm. But, this isn't where the real difficulty emerges. After all, if SICP is to be believed "The Trick is Learning the Trick" and the cost isn't really in adding to your knowledge, but something else that's very tricky to grasp.

    I think that the true cost is in tossing away old beliefs. There's an element of shame in this that adds insult to injury. Not only are you forced to get rid of something that you valued before, you have to admit to people that may have chided you that you were wrong. If I were Buddhist, I would now mention something about earthly pride and (intellectual) property preventing true enlightenment, but I'm not, so I've just mentioned what I would've.

    What prompted these thoughts is this: I haven't found a new paradigm that I've been able to grasp recently. This worries me. Does it mean that I am too concerned with my existing knowledge to gain more? I know of a few paradigms that I would like to learn, but I cannot seem to grok when I try.

    In closing, I leave you with a really great, really creepy quote that's both somewhat relevant and irrelevant:

    "Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see."


    Zelik The Red said...

    Hm. I don't think not taking to new ideas is the same as being stuck in your current beliefs. Not knowing what you know now and what you're trying to know, I can't really go further into it. Ah well.

    Dan Nugent said...

    I don't know how much different things are in the art world, but in computer science, maybe because it's got a very heavy math base, all the mental models of computing are essentially compatible. So, when I talk about learning a new paradigm, it's about realizing a new or different way of doing something that in my old mental models would not have been possible, or at the very least undesirable.

    Learning something shockingly new is the goal, basically.

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