If we count all the things which we can do them “by now”, it seemed to take forever.For example, in my desktop browser, I can open the search and post to the people all over the world. Then, I can throw away all the things I am surrounded, and I can talk to the person next to, and ask if we go to the date…
Only a human could cope with this infinite possibilities. If the Machines ordered to decide and do things, they are said to just calculate the whole possibilities until their batteries are out. (It is called “Frame Problem”)
Even so-called “AI” integrated system are never able to decide things on their own without any instruction of the “rules of the games”.
It is difficult also for the humans to decide to do things choosing from the infinite possibilities.So what kind of thought could be applied to cope with that circumstances?
“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.”
Descartes said on his “Discourse on the Method “
But, have a guess, could the all things be separable?Maybe not.
For example in a famous story of “Judgement of King Solomon” in Hebrew bible, it is obvious.
There were two mothers appeared with a baby and both saying a baby is hers. Solomon who was asked to solve the problem, said “Cut the baby in two parts”. A mother said “I don’t want the baby back, so please help the baby”. Solomon “assigned” her as a mother.
In a era without DNA testing, it was not feasible to identify the biological mother.
But it was a feasible to assign a person as the mother who would put the child’s life first.
So Solomon divide the problem by ordering to divide the baby (inherently dividable) .
“Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian in 20th century are known to make a phrase of “serenity pray.”Before thinking about changing things, we have to think about 2 things.One is “Is it a problem that can be separated into the parts?”,Another is “Is it a problem that can be treated as problem?”
What we can change is “Separable” & “Treatable”.For example, human mind is not separable and treatable.You can’t separate anger/joy/sad/fun completely, also not able to change that as if pushing a button.
You can’t change that kind of human mind but you can design systems which changes human’s behavior.
What is the essential bits that change things?
Mind that we have infinite things that we can do.So we should find the essential things to do. But, how can we define the essential things?
To tackle with that issue, remember the “Reverci” (sometimes also called Othello.)
When you play the Reversi, you try to find the point you change things the most. Essential bits are similar in manner, it changes the most things effectively, by doing small things.
It is sometimes be expressed “Leverages” in financial terms which means the effectiveness to earn return on investment.
First principle is you only can tackle with things treatable & separable.
Second principle is to define how much resources you can pour.
Third principle is you should choose the most effective one at a time.
See the Reverci-like figure below.
If you should choose a hand from “black” side, which grid is the most effective to put?
This question could be applied to a real life issues.