GOTO 2016 • Psychology, Philosophy & Programming • Ted Neward


before We Get too far into this this iS me but this is probably This slide That People least care about, so we move on so You come to a technical conference and You see a track on Philosophy and the first Session in That track Is Psychology philosophy and programming so i think it’s Fairly safe to ask What Exactly are we trying to accomplish With Not Only this particular Talk But with this particular track And It Wants to i’m actually going to steal some material that i’ve used in some other sessions that i’ve done particularly Around software architecture and in particular i want you to look at This Couple of Pictures Right Now If We look at This picture it is Fairly safe to Assume that these Two Buildings were constructed differently Using different materials different Processes different Level Of Expertise etc As a Matter of Fact i would Be Willing to wager that if we were to bring Your boss the clueless manager or we were Willing to bring Your Users The Idiots That You Know give you constantly Wrong Requirements and if we were to put them in a Room and Say the difference between these two Buildings They would be Able to recognize It yes agree if you disagree you’re Working With either Really Coolest Users or a Really Hapless manager and i Just can’t Help You i’m sorry there’ll be a Support group after the conference But This Raises a Really interesting question Because Every single One of Us has Lived This nightmare Speaking of Psychology’s Gentleman By name of Carl Jung Has This theory that we all share What he called The collective unconscious it’s Kind of like The force AnyThing That One of us Feels we All Sort of collectively Understand it’s how we understood That Like you know Siberian tigers were Bad for our Health back in the very Early Days of the Caveman And Every single programmer Knows This Story Where your boss comes Into your cubicle one day and Says hey i need you to create a prototype For The Guys in Marketing Because They want to know if we can do a particular Project and you Say Okay Boss sure i’ll go create that prototype i’ll Just Slap some stuff together i’ll go down to the Lumberyard Figuratively Speaking grab Some scrap Wood slam some stuff Together over a weekend and Voila We Have a dog Out so i have a Prototype for The Guys in marketing to look at The Next Week your boss comes back and Says Hey How’s that prototype and you Say oh it’s ready, oh? Cool Let me get the Guys from marketing They Sit down in your cube You Show it to them right You’ve Got some mocked Up data You Threw some Jquery in there may be some bootstrap to make it look Good and The Guys in marketing are like That’s awesome and You Realize What’s coming Next But you’re like an action star in a movie you’re Too slow to Ship It and Now You are responsible for Project dog house and You Go to your boss a couple Months Later and Say Hey Boss i want to transfer to a different Department of The Boss Says no you can’t you’re the only one Who Understands project dog house and That’s a Mission Critical application and You Say fine i quit i’m gonna go work at the company across Town and That’s all Well and Good until a Couple Months Later you’re at a Christmas Party and Your Body Who’s like you know got other Friends from Other Companies Introduces You to somebody and somebody Says wait i knew that name didn’t you Work on project dog house I’ve Got some questions for you why on earth were you Thinking and you’re like aha so you leave the country Which is not hard at amsterdam You drive for like two miles in any Direction And You’re outside of the country but you leave the country you Go to seattle right Not That This Is a Personal Story or anything You go to seattle and This is all Well and Good for a Couple of Years Then All of a Sudden Somebody emails You and Says Wait you Work on project doghouse back in lindon It’s a prototype But You’ve felt This Story right even if you’ve never Lived This Story you Know somebody Who Knows Somebody Who Knows Somebody Who watched this Happen Right so When the Boss comes Up to you and Says hey i need you to put together a prototype for the guys in marketing you’re like Ah! No you’re not gonna get me i know how this Works i know What’s coming next? So when the Boss comes back a Week later and Says Hey How’s that prototype coming you say oh boss we are Making Serious progress We are almost Finished with iteration zero We are Just about ready to finish Which language and tools and web framework we’re going to use we Know that we’re gonna store it Up on Get everybody Has the appropriate access to the source project we’ve decided Which continuous Integration Tool we’re going to use We have a Meeting next Week to decide Which of the four Databases we might Work with and your Boss is like time out i Wanted a Prototype What in the hell are you doing and you’re like Whoa i mean software craftsmanship man i Know What’s gonna Happen Next and the Boss Says yeah What happens next is you’re fired and you each Of you Walk Away Thinking the Other Is an idiot And This Begs The question because if you were to ask your boss hey boss Can I put Together One of these The same Way i put together one of Those Your Boss Would Say Absolutely Not That’s ridiculous That’s stupid But When he asks you for a prototype and then Puts it into production Because It Looks Good How Exactly Does this Disconnect Happen This is i Mean Let’s Let’s Be really Clear Most Bosses are not Idiots This may Come as a surprise to many of you They’re not Idiots Most People Are Actually Fairly Rational Human Beings the problem lies in the fact That programming Is an Extremely Ephemeral Activity Look Want Somebody in this Room anybody in this room to point to the software Where is the software this Thing That we’ve Been talking about four to three Days Depending upon whether you’re in the Workshops That You’ve Been Working with for some or all of Your career Where is it Point to it oh well you’re pointing to this metallic Thing That you’re Holding in your hand That’s the software or That’s the hardware? This is the problem if we were to actually Crack That Thing open if we were to actually look inside Really Really Deeply With a microscope Right We Would see the threads We Would see the objects right there Really Tiny Because we Get a Lot of them perper Whatever in there right and and and we Would See The The sort of The garbage collector coming Around with a broom and a Dust bin to clean Up the objects Every so often Right We Would See the processes with Their Walls in Between One another Right We Would See all of these Things that We Talk about as if They were real What Would We Really See Electrical Pulses Doing This Really Really Fast That’s What we Do Guys We Just Basically make The Thing Go like This Really Really Really Really Fast Unless You use groovy and then It’S a Little Bit Slower Does It Make sense then That Nobody Else Understands What we do Because we Work in a World of make-Believe We pretend like it’s real we Put Lovely pictures Up on the stage and we point to them we create Pictures of What is supposed to be software we pretend like somehow this has some Reflection to reality We All of Us nod Sagely When somebody Shows us a uml diagram and Go oh i understand now Even When somebody Shows a Source Code is that the program no that is the Human Representation of The instructions to the machine to actually Run the program we can’t ever see the program when you try to debug a program What are you doing are you actually Looking at the program and Asking it how it feels It’s Kind of Like going to the doctor right You go to the doctor cuz you feel ill and the doctor Says How do you Feel and You Say Well i feel ill and The doctor Says well What happens When i do this Does it hurt more or less and You Say more or you see less you say not at all What do we Do When a program is ill we Ask another program We fire up the debugger and Say program Debugger can You Please tell me how program hello world is Feeling This is like going to the doctor with your spouse and The doctor Doesn’t talk to you the doctor Only talks to your spouse those of you who are married you know What i mean right Doctor Says How is he feeling Your Wife Says he’s Feeling Bad Doctor Says Well What hurts and She Says his arm Doctor Look I don’t Know Whatever she Said Man Seriously i don’t know? Does That Make Any sense Whatsoever It’s an Extremely Ephemeral Activity we don’t Deal with the real World Guys we deal with this Incredibly abstracted World When We Talk about programs When we Talk about Threads When we Talk about Objects and The Heap and so forth these are all Abstractions on top of abstractions on top of abstractions on top of abstractions there Is no other Industry in the World That is as Heavily abstracted as Ours is and Given That We Deal With These abstractions on a Daily Basis it Would Seem reasonable That It would be a in our best interests to examine these Mechanisms Both The idea of an abstraction What is it how Does It Work as Well as The Very Mechanism By Which the most important Thing that we use during programming that is to say The gray Matter Between your Ears It would Help to know how these Things Work Now this means that i draw from the liberal arts of Philosophy and Psychology Psychology is Kind of on the border Between liberal art and science People sometimes Go either Direction Depending upon Where you go inside psychology first Caveat i Am Neither a Professional Psychologist Nor am i a professional philosopher i am However a programmer Which Kind of Makes me both and Newsflash Kind of Makes you both as well So if you’re going to pretend to be one of these People It would probably, Help to know what these Subjects are about We Begin with Philosophy that is to say Dead greeks and Togas What Exactly Is Philosophy The Word Actually Means Love of Wisdom or love of Knowledge Depending on how you want to translate the ancient greek and in many Respects It Is the Fundamental Root of All Thinking Because It Seeks to answer many of the questions that we Can Ask Ourselves as a Matter of Fact anybody Who’s ever participated in One of Those Thoughtful Debates Over Dinner With Friends or Family for Example If You could Have Fame or fortune Which would you choose you’re engaging in philosophical debate you’re Thinking about Things you’re Thinking about and for Whatever reason You may Say Well you know at least with fame i Have influence and i could save the Whales or if i have? Fortune Then i could Actually Run for president and we Can See how well That’s Working Right This Is a Philosophical debate Interestingly Enough There is a There’s a Just a Deeply Philosophical Answer to what his philosophy is to say That is the central question That Philosophy Seeks to answer And At a Certain Point you start going oh come on that guy over here rolled His eyes Really That’s Philosophy? But yes that Is Because It is this act of staring into a Mirror in some abstract form and trying to answer questions That Science can’t As a Matter of Fact Philosophy is the fundamental root of science It is Kind of Where it Began I already Said all This there are depending upon who you Read there are several different Branches of Philosophy There’s a Gentleman By name of Roger Scruton scru Tion he’s a Very opinionated philosopher as Many Philosophers are and he Actually Breaks It Up into these five Branches Metaphysics Epistemology Logic Moral Philosophy and Ethics and political Philosophy and You can Break It Up into further categories you can Actually i Mean That’s One of the Great Debates of Philosophy is to try to break Up how philosophy applies and so on and so Forth and This is Really Just a Guidepost Realisticly Philosophy is about Talking About Things reasoning about Things Arguing about Things arguing about Things that in many Cases we Cannot Have Empirical evidence Around As a Matter of Fact The Word empirical evidence Comes from empiricism Which came from Philosophy Aristotle Was The World’s first Natural scientist he is what will gave root to a lot of What we Now consider the hard Sciences As a Matter of Fact there is a Argument That Says Basically That After We Reach a Certain Point Where we can agree on what some of the Natural laws are around a particular Subject That Subject Breaks Away from Philosophy and Becomes its own science Physics Chemistry Astrology or Sorry a Straw to me although Astrology as Well All of These Things Have Their Roots in Philosophy? Scruton Himself Says That Philosophical Thought Consists of Basically Two qualities abstraction and a Concern for The truth and I won’t even begin to Say The philosopher’s then Say Well What is truth But That Is one of The exercises that We engage in it’s characterized tyPically By first of all an Unwillingness to accept somebody Else’s Premises as done See in science we Pretty much you know as i believe it was iSaac newton Once Said we stand on the shoulders of Giants So as to be Able to see further Philosophy Says how do i know That’s a giant i Don’t want to stand on him i want to get underneath Him i want to figure out Why he’s standing Here? Students Routinely and in fact are encouraged to challenge Their teachers This has Been true all the Way back to the Dead greeks Socrates Is in many Cases Considered The World’s foremost philosopher and his student Was plato and Plato routinely Challenged and questioned Socrates plato in Turn Tutored Aristotle Who in Turn Challenged a Whole Bunch of plato’s Ideas and Then Aristotle Went on to mentor an emperor that is to say Alexander The Great That’s Actually Not a Bad pedigree if you can think about it We Routinely Challenge What others have said before us this is one of The things that Goes back Throughout all the History of Philosophy is this? Desire to argue to challenge to force you. To question to force you to think about What you’re doing As i said most science begins as Philosophy Because That’s how it Began Aristotle Said hey look if i take Paper and i apply fire it turns into something Else That’s interesting and Then Other People Said well Why Does that Happen Well if We Apply Energy As Part of This Chemical Reaction It Transforms The Matter and then Somebody Else Said well Why Does that Happen And We Start Looking For evidence And We Start Looking For rationale and Suddenly Chemistry Is Born and You Look into the Sky and you Say look there are all these little dots Running Around everywhere and Some of These dots are bigger Than others and Then There’s this Big dot That Seems to Kind of Go Around Us on a Regular Basis and It Seems Reasonable to begin with the idea that yeah we are the center of the universe and Then Somebody Says you know but if you look at all the dots and the way they move that Doesn’t Really look right we Really Predict The patterns and if This is in fact a Natural Phenomenon Then i should Be Able to predict the patterns maybe the Model is wrong i’m Challenging My teacher and So copernicus Said no we aren’t To the center of the universe the sun is the center of the universe and We Revolve Around It and Then he Was like Killed for It and Then Other People Said well no the sun Actually isn’t the center of the universe we are Actually Part of This Much larger universe and Now Astronomy continues to try to seek to answer those questions that Began With Philosophy One of The interesting philosophers That Predates Socrates Is Heraclitus he was an Ionian Philosopher Like i Said he predates Socrates By about a Hundred or so Years But he had this interesting Theory That Because he was trying to figure out as Many Philosophers Started What Is the world made of What Makes Up the World What is the substance of the World and he Believed in this Theory of What he called the union Unity of Opposites in other Words That The World it’s Actually Very Reminiscent of eastern Philosophy Yin and Yang there are these competing Forces That Are constantly Challenging With One another and That’s What creates the change in the World That’s What Basically leads to things being different and one of His interesting Examples Was The idea of a River This Is an interesting question a River Consists Obviously of Water But it’S not the same Water from one moment to the next because the water flows So if we were to sort of Freeze it in time and we were to give identities To each Of the various Water molecules That’s What Makes Up This River in this moment? But if you wait a day all of That Water has washed out to sea and new Water has come but yet it’s the same River He says This is basically Kind of The Unity of Opposites the all These Things are in flux He thought The World Was Basically made Up of fire in the classic Elemental Type Terms Because everything Is under change and The Really interesting Thing about His philosophy is When he says that Unchanging Reality Consists Not of objects but of processes Now Bear with me for a Second this is going to seem like a Stretch But how many of you have Been Classically trained as Object-Oriented Developers How many of You have Been struggling to understand Functional programming Which Is a Series of Transformations Aka processes we are debating in Many cases The Same Kinds of Things That Heraclitus was Wrestling With Does Our Reality Consists of objects or is it in fact a Series of processes This is Very Much It’s obviously not the same Because we’re arguing about two different Realities Here one is the reality in Which we live and the others Reality in Which our code lives? But One Says that these are Objects Maybe Mutable Maybe Not But the other Says these are all processes Things That are constantly producing Little Bits of data that we May or may not be interested in Another Philosopher Is an often ease Another Ionian Both of These Guys like i said predated Socrates and one of The Things that he questioned Was the idea of belief If i believe that i am in amsterdam i Have What he called not a fact but a true belief When we know something That Is in fact Just a belief How do i know That i am in amsterdam Well i mean i can look around i can see the signs there in dutch It happened to land at Amsterdam Airport i Haven’t gone to another Airport etc the case for me being in amsterdam is Pretty Good But How do we Know This Is where we start you know Later philosophers Would start to get into again the empiricist School Of Thought Which Said hey it’s it’s all basically about What we can See from the evidence Around us Versus the Rationalist Thought Who said well your senses can Be deceived have you ever had One of Those Dreams Where it all Seems so? Real and How many of You have seen the movie the matrix i Mean These are all basically Exercises in hey how do we Really Know that we’re all not Just Wired up to a giant computer That stimulating The Right Senses to make It look like i’m in amsterdam This is what descartes Was reasoning Against for Him it wasn’t a computer it Was a Demon That Was Successfully deceiving All of Your senses how do i know i Actually Exist and This Is where he came up with coach Edo ergo sum i think therefore I am Because i can Have this thought That proves that i exist at cetera etc But it’s engaged in this idea of How do we Know that What we know is true Now you Say well That’s all Very interesting and it’S particularly appropriate here in amsterdam Because you can Go Get Really Really Baked and Then Think about this stuff But Let me ask you a question When you’re Working with a bug how do you know it’s a bug How do you know that the data is Incorrect How do you know that the program that you wrote is responsible for this bug When You are debugging an application You are engaged in epistemological research You are trying to figure out How you know what you know and I have watched so many Developers Say Well i know the problem is in this particular method and struggle With it for Three Days Only to discover that no in fact the data is wrong Because It was stored to the database wrong Would Have Saved a Ton of time IF he’d Just Channeled His inner Zinna fannie’s and said i believe? Because That Changes The Whole tenor of The sentence Doesn’t it i don’t know i believe i have a true belief That Dot dot Dot I Believe That YouR code is wrong i believe that My code is wrong i believe that the database Administrator Screwed It Up When he created the schema this particular Way i believe Because That opens Up the possibility of Doubt and Now Requires proof and That Changes The Whole tenor of Your debugging Session particularly If You’re debugging with somebody Else Now That’s not to say That Philosophy isn’t Filled with all Kinds of Weirdness There are bunch Philosophers are well well-Known for coming up with paradoxes That on the surface of It seem logical but When you get to their conclusion you go wood So for Example the surah t’S paradox If i take a Grain of Sand Just One Grain of Sand and i put it on the floor in front of me do i Have a heap of Sand That’s Actually Where the Word the soraa t’s Paradoxes name sora t’S is greek for heap if i have One Grain of Sand do i have a Heap of Sand Most People Say no, ok so If i put two grains of Sand do i have a Heap Three grains four Grains five grains How Many grains Makes a Heap When Does This Number of Sand become a Heap There’s a more Modern Version of This That Says okay iF i pluck a Hair from a Man’s Head does that Make him bald and if i Pluck another Hair and Then Another Hair and Then Another Sorry By The Way When Does a Man become Bald How many Hairs What percentage of Hair covered see this is Why i grow It long so i can Just do this Really Good comb-Over? Right At What Point Does a man become Bald What’s That Twenty eight or you’re depressing me man Seriously thanks Xeno in particular Was a Philosopher Who was fond of Paradoxes so one of his famous Ones is that the god apollo and the turtle are getting ready to race and of Course Apollo is the God of Speed so you know that Apollo is gonna win this Race So to be Generous he decides to give the turtle a Head start It Sounds Kind of Like The Rabbit and the hare this may Have Actually Been Where aesop started with in Terms of his fable? but if Apollo Every Second Makes Up Half the distance Between Himself and the turtle He will never catch the turtle If you Apply Limits he does They didn’t Have Those back in the greek day i Mean Seriously on the surface of It This Seems Logical Find the error in Any of the logical conclusions Along The Way and then You arrive at a completely unsensible Result Right Well Okay Because he’s not running Half the distance of The turtle he’s running in a fixed Speed yeah we can Explain The paradox using Modern science But One of His other paradoxes was that if i take a bow and i shoot an arrow Through The air at Any Given moment in Time The arrow is not Moving if i could Stop time The arrow is Just right there right and So if i do this By Definition if i Just Break That up and. Look at the air it’s not moving at All and Again These paradoxes Make You Go would This is What Philosophers Really Do And it’s made worse Because during The time of the ancient Greeks There Was a Class of Individual men of Course That were responsible for Defending The Citizenry Against The rest of The Citizenry Remember Athens Was a Was a pure democracy If you were a Citizen You Voted on the issues of the day and the issues of the day could range from do we Go to war with sparta or Should Joe give me that Sheet that he owes me and you had to be Able to represent Yourself To the various People that Would Gather in the forum and several People were better at Arguing These Kinds of Logical Legal questions Than others and They were called the Sophists Which is where we Get the modern term Sophistry Because These Guys were basically Really Really Good at Arguing AnyThing If You wanted to argue that the sky Was in fact Purple not blue These Guys could come up with an argument to do so Which is where again We Get The term Sophistry Meaning Somebody Who Kind of Argues Just for the sake of arguing Whether or not It makes any Logical sense whatsoever i Have Frequently Been Accused of Such Just as Warning Socrates Was the first of The big three greek philosophers and again I’M Just gonna Doing a Very sort of light Introduction Here Socrates Was famous for Several Things One of Which Was his teaching method specifically What we Now call the socratic method It Began from His idea that i only Know that i know nothing Which as a starting Point Is a Really Really Good Place to start Right You See many many zen instructions and so forth That Say Look zen Mind empty Mind i don’t know anything therefore i am open to everything teach me i Am open to learning That To me is probably one of the most Fundamental Things that Socrates has done is he’s Given uS that Model to follow? But then What he would do is he would engage in debate and As a Matter of fact Socrates Never Wrote anything Down what we Know of socrates comes from his student plato Who wrote most of What Socrates Was talking about Which of course Begs the question then how do we Know that Was really Socrates as Opposed to plato’s Interpretation of Socrates but in fact if you look at some of Plato’s Later Writings He tends to argue with socrates if he really Just wanted to put his words into socrates mouth he would have done it with some of The earlier Stuff so we can assume that this is actually a Relatively Faithful representation of What socrates Would Say so socrates Would Would stand up in say oh okay well what is justice as a Matter of fact one of The One Of The writings that is Really interesting to read is crete. Oh and this is Written That Basically The day the week before socrates is about to be Executed for Subverting Athenian Youth Because he was telling them to basically question Authority he was the ancient Greek Hippy of His day and Crito Was One of his students Who basically Said hey socrates i’ve Bribed The guards we can Escape We can Save Your life you can purse you know you can continue to fight the good fight Socrates Says no Why would i want to do that and it’s this Very long treatise Around Questioning Why would i want What is my responsibility to the state to my followers to my teachings to myself Socrates Is the one Who said the unexamined life is not Worth Living He was very Big on the notion as a Matter of fact all Three of The Greeks were very Big on this notion of eudaimonia The Good life What Does It Mean to live a Good life and So he would engage in discussions with People many at the time Sort of Wrote Socrates off as Just One of The Sophists Because he would be Just sort of standing in the public areas and he would Just Pick Random You Know Today he would be a homeless guy that gets carted Away by the police Because he would Just stand there on the street corner and Say What is the good life What is value to you what does value represent What is good What Makes Your life Worth Living etc And You Know two Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand five Hundred Years Later He’s one of the Great? Philosophers Which they basically also Suggests Maybe You Should Pay a Little Bit more Attention to the homeless guy out on the street maybe he says I’m interesting Plato it is Not too much to say that plato is Probably Considered The Bedrock on Which most Western Thought rests There have Been several People who have said That? you Know all of Western Civilization is but a footnote on plato plato in particular Was interested in political Philosophy Plato is the one Who often talked about the philosopher King is the best form of Government As a Matter of Fact he distrusted Anybody Who Wanted to govern and the Only reason That the philosopher King Was Worthy of Governing is Because the philosopher King Didn’t Want To govern Because he understood all the Responsibilities That Would come with This Which puts again Modern Democracy in a Very Very interesting light Because all Those People want to rule and therefore by his definition are not Worth Ruling in some ways he was sort of the inventor of modern Philosophy he was so self-Conscious about What he was doing about how he was thinking about examining This process That he’s the one who started talking about What are some of The the impact how Exactly Should We Approach This particular Subject etc He was the first one that Started Really Thinking about What is philosophy well it’s the Answer of that particular question etc? Aristotle Was as i Said earlier One of The first scientists of History Became the tutor to Alexander and As i Said all Three of them were really focused on this notion of eudaimonia and They all came Up with different answers for What It meant to live the Good life Most of them were centered Around This notion of virtue This notion of Living a Good life meant Living a Virtuous life But They had a Very different sense of The term Than What we do When we think of virtue We tend to think of It in the Christian sense you Know Certainly in a sense a Certain Lack of sin If i can Bring in the the religious reference Socrates Said virtue means knowledge My Job the Good life means Knowing Things means engaging in reason means essentially Philosophia Plato’s Was Around The virtue of justice Verts Virtues Are States of The soul and the Just person is someone whose soul is ordered and Harmonious with all its parts functioning properly to the person’s Benefit Plato is not a big fan Khaos he’s not a big fan of Things that do not sort of move he’s Very reminiscent of Confucius Over in the eastern Part of The World Which Actually predates Him by several i think by Several Centuries The Unjust man’s soul without the virtues is Chaotic and at War with itself so that Even if he were Able to satisfy most of his desires His lack Of Inner Harmony and Unity Thwart Any Chance he has of Achieving eudaimonia How many of you have studied Mindfulness This is becoming a Very Popular Movement Meditation and so forth That Says you want to essentially become It you know at peace You want To become one with the world By Examining Your Feelings examining The Chaotic Things that go on Within you et cetera this almost Sounds like he’s arguing for Mindfulness As a practice Another question how many of You Just Out of Curiosity How many of You are Wondering What you’re doing in your Career How many of You Feel really Happy with where you are in your career how many of You wonder if It could Be Better you are Engaging in this Exact Same question What Does It Mean to live the Good life What Does It mean to live the Good Career How many of You in this room are managing others How many of You want to keep managing others This is the same Kind of question how do we Keep People Happy Working Here how do i avoid Losing my entire team This is Very Much That same Kind of question Right The stoics Which were a school of Philosophy That Later The Romans Deeply Embraced Marcus Aurelius Is one of the most famous stoics said look there are a Lot of Things That are outside of My Control and so basically Shit Happens Roll With It you can’t control Things you can’t you there are Just so many Things that Simply can’t Happen Enjoy The Things that you can Now you Might Get Fired Tomorrow Your Company might Go bankrupt Tomorrow Your company might Get Acquired and you end Up Working for a Company You’d Really Rather Not Work for okay look i can’t control everything That Goes on in my career so let me control the things that i can and Let me Just Let go of The rest Building on Aristotelian IDeals of Belonging and benefiting others Flourishing Thriving and exercising Excellence This professor Riff Conceptualized eudaimonia As a Six factor structure autonomy personal Growth self-acceptance purpose in life environmental Mastery positive Relations With others How many of you think that Sounds like What agile preaches Yeah Agile Ammonia you Heard It Here first Folks This in Many respects i believe personally It’s not the process it’s not the scrum That Makes Agile Successful It’s that you’re Actually coming into touch With The Things that Make life Good These six factors and if i give you these six factors Without using scrum Will my team Be Successful It’s Very Possibly Very probably true So does That Mean Waterfall is the bane of all Evil and Agile is What Will save us No it Just means That agile May Make It easier to get. To some of These Things? That’s Philosophy Now the other side of This that i want to get to is psychology The study of the brain Understanding That for Many of You english Is your Second language how many of you can Make sense of this sentence Most of you yeah and Just in case you Weren’t sure or how about this can You tell me what these two Words Say The Cat But Question the Middle Letter in each of Those Words Is the same i promise you it’s the same Because i cut and paste those two Very Very Carefully How are you Able to do this Well It Turns Out that the Brain operates by What we Call Activations it’s essentially a Giant Pattern recognition device and it’s happening all The Time you are constantly recognizing patterns You are constantly Seeing These patterns and Your Brain is taking Every possible Shortcut It can To identify Those patterns quickly Because the brain Is a Highly Energy Constrained device the Brain Operates on about 40 watts of Power your laptop Uses more Power Than Your Brain Does Now think about that for Just a Second youR laptop Actually Your four previous laptop and the previous one before That took more Power Than What Your brain Uses when you look at This picture what do you see Do You see a gray Triangle superimposed over a White triangle Superimposed Over three Black Circles That’s the Pattern recognition That Your Brain Leaps to Because We Have a Tendency to connect to those Things that is not Actually What’s there i again drew This Very Very Carefully to make sure that there isn’t a Photoshop triangle Sitting on top of That But Your Brain immediately Leaps to That Because Your Brain Is a Pattern recognition device Which means That Perception Is a Matter of Here not here Consider This how many of You have Seen This optical Illusion before of Course Everybody Has It’s like grade School 101 right Every time You want to fool Your friends and pretend like You’re Smart Hey Check This out those Two Horizontal Lines are Exactly The same length no they’re not yes They are seriously And then you get Out a Ruler and you measure them you’re like Dang They Really are Question Why does your Brain think that the one line on top is longer Than the one on the bottom Because we All of Us have Seen This pattern Before? You Go outside and you stand on the tram tracks and you Watch them go off into the distance and you See the tracks Appear to converge and so Your Brain Says, aha Parallel Lines Converging i know where i recognize this and don’t stare too long Because you will get hit by the tram but i recognize This and i know that the line looks Shorter in the distance even though it’S the same distance although i Get It i recognize This pattern You can stand at The base of a Skyscraper Look Up see Exactly the same Thing but when you present the Brain with a different picture Your Brain Goes Wood And Your Brain Says ok i have to i have to devote a couple more watts to process this there’s? No, pattern to recognize here so your brain Says Oh yeah those two Horizontal Lines They’re Exactly The same length because i don’t know What this is But i can perceive This picture and i am interpreting It and I’m interpreting it Exactly for What i see as opposed to the pattern that i think i see The Most Likely Way That You will perceive something Is In a Manner consistent With your past experience if You’ve Seen the same Thing over and Over again then When you see something that Looks Vaguely like it boom i Got This comes straight Out Of cache Memory i know What this is even if you’re wrong Which then Says Would you look at This what do you see you see my project Do you know What this is Guys This is the universal architecture Because Whether You were programming Today 10 Years ago or 50 Years Ago They all look like this box aero box aero Cylinder You want to be an architect practice This drawing You are Now an Architect and There are People in the audience going dude how does he know We have a Security Leak Call The Boss? Because That used to be Mainframe talking orab Sorry Terminal talking to mainframe talking to flat file and then It Was Gui program talking to server talking to database and then It Was browser Guys How many different Times are we gonna Reinvent this particular picture It’s the universal architecture So as soon as you stand up in the Middle of a Meeting and Say i know Exactly How we Should do This Project box There a box here a Cylinder Everyone Goes cool yes That’s Exactly What i was Thinking my god you’re Brilliant Seriously You can make a career consulting This Way I’m not nothing not that i do that of Course The Brain Does some Really Really Funny Things There’s Actually a Very popular Psychological Experiment Called The Candle experiment Which Says i give you a box of Nails a Candle and a book of Matches and Your Job is to attach the candle to the wall Now if you want to know how to do this i’ll tell you afterwards Because i want you to do i want you to dinner with it for a While But This Was Actually Used as Part of a Project as Part of an Experiment to talk about incentivization You Bring a Group of People see with Psychology Everybody assumes that We are all Kind of Psychologists and so when You want to actually test Psychology you Actually have to lie to people The Candle Experiment Was not Really an Experiment trying to figure out Whether or not you could solve this particular Out-Of-The-box Thinking It Was more Along Lines Of incentive and Motivation We took a Group of Volunteers And We Told Them i’d like You to try to solve this problem and then took a different Group of Volunteers and Said i will Pay You if you can solve this problem Which Groups Spent Longer trying to solve the problem The Group Not getting paid It Completely Baffled Psychologists As a Matter of Fact It Was discovered Several Times It Was first discovered With Monkeys Psychologists Put Some interesting you Know Just Latch and so Forth Into a cage with Monkeys and then They Rewarded some of the Monkeys with Bananas and The Monkeys Actually Played With the latches last When They were rewarded with bananas then When they Weren’t it completely Flies in the face of everything That We Thought we Knew about motivation and incentive ization and Actually This had to be discovered several Times before a Couple of Psychologists Actually started to pursue it What Does this Mean for us It means that if you manage People for Example offering To Give Them Money for Staying late Encourages them to leave Early This is not an Off Experiment This Experiment has Been Conducted repeatedly Under a Number of different Guises It is in fact Pretty Much Psychological Truth If you want to incentivize People don’t offer to pay them as a Matter of fact There’s Woman By the name of Susan Fowler Who’s written an entire book one of several different Authors has written a book around motivation and we Know i’ll talk about Intrinsic versus extrinsic Motivation Motivation From The outside versus Motivation from the inside Guess Which one is more effective Intrinsic Motivation So then We Start Asking How do i Get some of That Intrinsic motivation all of This all That I’m talking about here is The Study of The Brain The Study of Behavior And Again Psychology Breaks Out Into several different Sciences disciplines etc Again Depending on who you talk to But There’s Biological Psychology Right How Exactly Does the hardware and software Interact Up Here this we were you getting to more of The Study of Axons and dendrites and so, Forth and how precisely Information is carried Throughout The Brain How memories are stored etc Learning and to the Psychologist Learning is long lasting Change in behavior Right Not Just Learning 2+2 but How do i act you know When i see changes in somebody’s behavior How Exactly did That Happen is this in fact possible Whenever we Start talking about Criminals and punishment and so Forth This is where a lot of Behavioral or sorry Learning Psychologists Will come into Play Can Criminals Be Reformed can You Make a Huge mistake Right Now in the united States There’s This Huge Cry Over a Stanford Swimmer Who Engaged in a Pretty Heinous rape of a Young Woman and People Be there are literally People Calling for Him to be put to death i mean you know the internet is an ugly Place but His father Was Saying oh but its life Shouldn’t be Ruined Because of One Mistake okay Everybody Agrees Punishment Should Fit The crime but at What point do we Allow for People Who Genuinely change their Behavior to reenter society And can They change their behavior can a Zebra Change its stripes etc etc This is the area focus for Learning Psychologists cognitive Psychologists Memory Perception Thought Some of The stuff that i was showing earlier research in cognitive Psychology Socio cultural Psychology Psychodynamics Psychology But more Importantly The Thing That’s really important to here is that there is Also a Set of Myths about Psychology that i think are more important to call out how many of you Have Heard? That We Only Use about 10% of our brains on a Regular Basis Guys I’m here to tell you bullshit Right How many of You can Remember Precisely What you were doing on the day late princess Diana Died or the Challenger blew Up or some other Incredibly traumatic Turns Out You can’t There is a Lot of Things about Psychology that Seem to seem to be common sense The idea That Opposites Attract The idea that We Should Punish Our Children When they Misbehave otherwise They will grow Up to become Bad People Speaking of Prisoners and punishment and so forth That the Longer You Spend with somebody the more You will grow Contemptuous of Them these are all Adages That Turns out Psychology Says now Actually Not true Would You Rather be Mugged Where there’s Only One person observing or where there’s a Whole Crowd observing Turns Out Psychologically Speaking You prefer the one Because in a large Crowd Everybody assumes That Everybody Else Is going to Jump in to help and They don’t Safety and large Numbers Not Really These are Very popular myths of Psychology and These Psychological Facts All Of These Here are in fact? Verifiably false And Don’t Feel too Bad iF you’ve Believed One or more of these i have as well But When you actually Start Hunting Up the research When you Actually Start hunting Up the cycle all the Psychology Studies that Attempt To prove or disprove this stuff? They discover They’re not true There’s a Couple of Reasons for Why we have some of These Psycho Mythology and i do believe That They apply to us in this Industry for Example in some cases we are Misled By Supposed Experts 10-15 Years Ago If You had come to this Conference Which at The time Was Called Joe and you Had Sat in the Room and i was speaking i’d Have told You that Web Services were a Wonderful Thing Soap Was going to enable interoperability Across All These different Platforms I’m sorry I Didn’T Mean It i Wanted to be helpful i was trying to be helpful i thought that yeah Occasionally The Experts Get It Wrong Actually a Lot of Times the Experts Get It wrong all right We Get Misled By Experts People Will That We Trust to have done the research and Have figured This Stuff Out are? Lying to us not NeCessarily Consciously But truth and Not truth in some cases we Believe We are the Experts How many of You have ever Argued medicine with a doctor No doc you’re wrong That’s not What’s going on with me it’s my body i know no you don’t this is Called Hubris i Was in new Orleans back in 2010 Which if the date doesn’t tell you much do you Guys Remember The deepwater Horizon The Gulf oil spill right the oil platform Blew Up and oil Huge Amounts of oil Spilled into The into the the Gulf there the Gulf of mexico i and Several Other Speakers all Very Very Bright People are standing under a display Sponsored By British Petroleum Yeah the Irony in the new Orleans aquarium okay so Irony of Ironies and We five People are standing Here arguing about What Would be the right Way to clean Up the oil in the gulf because we Know and all of Those Experts Out there on the gulf Currently Trying To solve the problem They haven’t tried any of The things that we’ve come up with yet? Because we are software developers There’s a Hubris There’s a Hubris that Goes on and we Don’t Just see it in software we see it in lots of Other Careers That are Very Cerebral in nature we Get This sense that Because we Think all the time Because we’re Very good at a Subject That Makes Us Very Good at All Subjects and It Gets Really Really Fun When software Geeks start Arguing about Law or Start Arguing About What is or is not Legal or ethical or Whatnot Look You don’t know Unless You’ve Been trained as a Lawyer You Really don’t know the law you May Be Able to project Yourself as an Amateur Lawyer But Let’s be blunt push comes to shove You don’t want the amateur Lawyer arguing Your case in court you want the Professional in the same Way that we hold Contempt for People Who fire up a text editor and to Html Hello World I Am a Programmer you Know you’re not at best you’re a web designer Understand That We Have This hubristic tendency to believe that we are the Experts in Some cases it’s even worse the science is close enough the science Actually gets us to a point Where we believe that we have the answers Ulcers Ulcers are Caused By Stress Right false This Was Believed for Many Many Many Many Many Years Until a Pair of Australian Researchers Actually discovered That There is in fact bacterium That can Live Inside the stomach Lining at Which Point they got Totally Shouted Down by All the Other medical Experts Saying look The acid in the Human stomach IS so strong There’s no way That anything could Possibly live Inside there But There is It’s called he will call hilo back Terry I’m sorry Helicobacter Pylori This is Why i’m not a biologist It is an Actual bacterium that can live Inside the stomach and It can irritate the stomach Walls and create an ulcer and It can Be Killed With a Common Antibiotic But for how many Years doctors Basically Said nothing we Can do Change your diet try to live a stress-free life the end The Science Was close Turned Out It wasn’t close enough It Wasn’t Good enough and in some cases the Really Hard Part is where Psychology Seems To contradict our common sense Opposites Attract Oh of Course i knew this guy in this girl and they couldn’t Have Been more different and Their Happily Married and Then i see this other guy in this girl and They’re Just like each Other and they can’t stand each Other ergo Opposites Attract of Course voltaire has a quote at the beginning of This Section the problem with common sense is it’s not Very common Everybody Knows anytime Somebody Says Everybody Knows That’s When your bullshit radar Should Go off in flying Colors Because not Everybody Knows They Really don’t There’s a Talk-show host in the state’s dennis prager There are two Kinds of Studies in the World Those that confirm our common sense and those That are wrong This is a Guy who has millions of followers who believe Him because he sounds like an Expert interesting I don’t have this in the Slides but interesting another PsYchological Study how many of You would Voluntarily electrocute another Human Being Depends Which one oh That’s Dark That’s Dark Ow? Wow okay Therapists To aisle four Please Turns Out Most of You Would There was an Experiment Conducted in The 60s Where volunteers were brought in and sat in front of a Very complicated Computer console and told That They were participating in a Psychology Experiment and That There Was another volunteer on the other side of the console? Where they could not Be seen and that in fact anytime that This individual Got Part of the experiment wrong The volunteer You Was Supposed to administer a short Electric Shock and so essentially This guy and a lab coat and Glasses Holding a Clipboard Would instruct When and for how long and for how much You were supposed to deliver an Electrical Shock and So at first you know you basically Turn the Dial and You’d Hear on the other side oh? Wow But Then the Authority figure Would order You to deliver harder Shocks for Longer to the point where and this is obviously Part of The experiment on the other side somebody is literally screaming in pain Begging Crying Until After You’ve Maxing The Dial and Leaving It There for a Couple of Seconds You Hear nothing at All Vast Majority of Participants If This were a real Experiment Would Have delivered lethal Amounts of Electricity All because a Perceived Authority figure somebody in a lab Coat with Glasses and a Clipboard Told Them to Do you think you’re Better Than that you’re not science Is Uncommon sense science is about questioning These Things and Looking for these Things and common sense interestingly enough Changes Over time There Was a Time Many Many Years Ago Where It Was Believed that i could Understand Your personality By examining The bumps and the ridges on your head It Was Called Phrenology and When you talk about going to a psychologist and getting your Head examined That’s where that phrase comes From The idea that an Expert Would Feel The ridges on your head and Say oh yes you’re actually a Very controlling Asshole Aren’t you That’s phrenology and It Was common sense It Was common sense That X-RAys At a festival Couldn’T Possibly Hurt You it’s cool Science is not common sense Doesn’t Mean The common sense is wrong it Just means we have to treat everything With skepticism and What’s wrong With This well okay i’m gonna fast-Forward Through This Section By Just Saying One Word trump There’s Lots Of Damage That Psychological myths can Deal to us including the fact That we may find our Critical Thinking Impeded in other Areas Everybody Knows That hibernate is Great Everybody Knows You Should Always Use spraying Um Why Does Everybody Know that What What Makes that a Fundamental truth of the universe i Personally Have Been Ranting for the Better Part of a decade against best practices because there are no such Things So how do you Bust it well there’s Several Ten Actually Sources of error Which i’ll leave you to look at Later And Then The rest of These Slides Here are basically talking about some of the science of Psychology Which i do Strongly encourage you to get Into to take a look at for Example how we perceive things how do We See Depth Why do We Actually, Have That? Reaction of The parallel Lines coming Together With One another Perceptual Consistency Perceptual Said etc When i fast Forward to my last One Oops oh, no, too fast. Too fine screw it The end of The day Guys Psychology and Philosophy are Huge Subjects i can’t Possibly do them justice in 50 minutes Much less both in 50 minutes But if you Walk Out of Here today and Say wow and think to yourself Iii never thought about That and i think i Should start Thinking more about That about the nature of Models the nature of properties does an object in the World if its property is something is That Intrinsic to that object or is property Philosophical Thought or How do i interact with individuals how do i understand Motivation if This Drives You to pick up an Introduction to Psychology or an introduction to philosophy book Then Yeah This Was worth it Peace

13 thoughts on “GOTO 2016 • Psychology, Philosophy & Programming • Ted Neward

  1. I was really into this but there was another half hour of slides he just skipped over at the end. I want to know what they said 🙁

  2. 4 grains makes a heap obviously. 3 for the base one for the tip. There you have a heap… Sorites come at me brah

  3. As a developer I happily agree that we deal in a world that other people have no comprehension of. But I see a terrible parallel with this and other things. Replace the foolish manager with a fool who does not know any physics or math, and the problem with the theory that the Earth is flat. The same disconnects occur. Anyone who knows what they are talking about can see through the crap. The rest have no means to distinguish fact from fiction. And now transliterate to the political domain, where many of the politicians are clueless, and most of the voters are clueless, and the issues being discussed are typically beyond all of them, open-ended, unknown unknowns. So what's the answer? Well, I guess better education would help. At least people might then be sobered up by discovering the Dunning-Krueger effect.

  4. Very thought provoking presentation that has my mental juices flowing. And I wish that the conferences that I go to had awesome conference rooms like the one that Ted presented in!

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