Thinking about Thinking, Big Picture Questions, Solving Problems, Problem Solving, July 24, 2018

* I need to spend more time thinking about thinking
* Treat every problem I encounter, even in life as general, as an engineering problem.

Big Questions that I ask myself when I have a problem
* How can I know this?
* How do I know?
* What is the right thing to do?
* What experiment can I do? (Feynman)
* This must not register at an emotional level - Sherlock Holmes
* The teachable moment - Jim Cleland
* Find and fix the things you know about and then evaluate what is left.
* Get rid of the problems you know about and see what is left.
* What problems in life or engineering do I keep running into?
* What can I automate so I don't have to spend time on repetitive tasks?
* Elon Musk - First Principles Analysis
* Complicated problems, solve one piece, then solve the next, then solve the next, take it one piece at a time
* Break tasks down into doable pieces.
* If you let problems fester, they will keep haunting you. Look at the EU problems. You need to solve the ones you know about and then move on.
* Can I solve this problem by throwing something away - Joel Spolsky, aka Joel on Software
* Correlation is not Causation - Statistics fool me all the time, I make a change see my desired result and think I’ve solved somethings.
* How can I know what I don’t know? Often I don’t realize my assumptions.
* Why am I doing, what I am doing?
* Why did it happen?
* Why didn’t we think of it earlier?

Big Picture Questions
• How can I find more time to do things in life?
• How do I know X? Where X is some supposed fact.
• What experiment can I do?
• How do I know … ?
• Need to think about my personal weaknesses or lack of knowledge and how to compensate for them.

* I need to think about how I can replicate my post-it note type notes on a computer. Maybe using different desktop backgrounds. Maybe rotating backgrounds.
* “How do physicists think? Mostly we just look out the window with lots of equations floating around in our head, then we get a piece of paper and scribble them down." - Michio Kaku. I think this has a lot of parallels to how I think about programming or other problems.
* It seems like I do my best abstract thinking when I am on a walk, or in the shower, or pacing. Why does this work? Is it because my blood is flowing? Sometimes, when I am getting to the end of the day and sitting in a chair, it does seem like I can think about anything productive.
* What experiments can I do? -- Richard Feynman
* You can't know something unless you can measure it.
* Get rid of the problems you know about and see what is left.
* Always have a backup plan
* Attention to detail

• Creativity is the residue of wasted time. -- Albert Einstein

• Walking in the forest helps my brain switch off and start dreaming -- Blind guy on Apple WWDC 2012 Keynote

• There are two ways to learn complicated tasks, repeative involvement or rote memorization.

The 6 Leadership Principles at Tesla and SpaceX

* Move Fast
* Do the Impossible
* Constantly Innovate
* Reason from “First Principles”
* Think Like Owners
* We are all in