"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
9 Tools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentStronger emotional connection through an inverted writing structureTools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentHow can we develop transformative tools for thought?2020-10-18JournalOne promising exploration in this direction is The Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics, a beautiful executable book building up classical mechanics. Many theorems of classical mechanics aren't just expressed in static form, on the page, but live, as code which can be modified by the user. Theorems become APIs, which can literally be applied to other objects, and chained together. It uses a much more powerful underlying model than Jupyter, developing a new symbolic language as part of the book. It has many flaws – among them, the book doesn't run live in the browser, making it difficult for users to experiment. And while the book is well written, the authors do not understand classical mechanics as deeply as the authors of some other books. But it's nonetheless an inspiring evocation of what is possible. And it hints at what is possible when authors use executable books for a serious purpose, and aspire toward canonical media. Continue reading…