Most types of logic problems i.e. algebra, sudoku require you to reason out what follows next from incomplete information.
Yet when I try to discuss social or philosophical issues with people who are far more talented than I am in logic disciplines I’m frequently given excuses:
-The “studies”, “research”, “experts” haven’t proven it yet. Therefore we can’t have a productive discussion about it. (If it’s already proven, why discuss it?!!)
-You’re just speculating. You have no proof.
-There’s not enough information.
I’ve tried hard to demonstrate to these brilliant people that they’re making excuses, but I’ve rarely managed to get past this stonewalling behavior.
It is very frustrating. It feels as though I’m dealing with a dog in the manger… or the dragon Smaug, just sitting idly on a hoard of treasure, never using it.
I feel that with their talents they could accomplish much more than I can.
Is their development somehow lopsided or do they simply lack the ability to think in a certain way? Shouldn’t it be obvious that problems outside of one’s immediate discipline are also logic puzzles? Shouldn’t it come naturally to play with different hypotheses until something makes sense?
The best I can figure:
-The raw ability to manipulate logic tokens.
-The ability to correlate logic tokens with meanings.
Are two different things.
Obviously one first requires some ability to work with logic. Yet one can satisfy the precondition and not have a glimmering of the ability that follows from it?
Yet it seems it’s quite possible to be a mathematical prodigy and still buy into simplistic demagoguery and political jargon. Or perhaps more common to have no real beliefs or opinions at all about matters outside a certain field.
I’ve fantasized about applying incredible logic-based skills to applications that might be considered outside “the field.”
-A schematic for a machine, electrical circuit, or logic circuit that represents the workings of a human society. (I’ve envisioned ‘orthodoxy’ as a module that can be switched around or replaced but necessary for a society to function)
-Computer programs that can help train the mind in new ways, break mental habits.
-Designing social models using calculus to figure out where the point of diminishing returns lies in the application of any given policy.
–Use of the scientific method to invent new ways of training the human mind.