"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
3 Tools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical content5 Tools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentTools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentHow can we develop transformative tools for thought?2020-10-18JournalAnd so what you have is a world-class research scientist who wanted to explore a set of questions. He used the Jupyter medium to do those explorations, and then to share that exploration with the world. And he shared it in a form where others could immediately build upon and extend his thinking. There's a lot of work on tools for thought that takes the form of toys, or “educational” environments. Tools for writing that aren't used by actual writers. Tools for mathematics that aren't used by actual mathematicians. And so on. Even though the creators of such tools have good intentions, it's difficult not to be suspicious of this pattern. It's very easy to slip into a cargo cult mode, doing work that seems (say) mathematical, but which actually avoids engagement with the heart of the subject. Often the creators of these toys have not ever done serious original work in the subjects for which they are supposedly building tools. How can they know what needs to be included? Continue reading…