thursday, 6 december 2012

posted at 22:42

First of a series of ramblings about a few things that have been on my mind lately. Applies only to me, not judging anyone else.

There seems to be an increasing tendency in the world, particularly in the scientific and engineering communities in which I move, to hold up logic over anything else. I think that's wrong.

I call myself an "intuitive" programmer. I'm not a deep analytical thinker. I'm bad at math, and I have a terrible memory. Most of my programming and sysadmin work is a kind of gut-feeling, follow-my-nose approach. I can often see a problem coming, or correctly diagnose the cause of a fault, without being able tell you why, at least initially. I'm happy with this - I'm good at what I do, even if my methods are a little unorthodox at times. It is something that my peers have difficulty with at times. I can't always provide data to support something. Fortunately it usually doesn't take long working with people for them to trust me enough to give me the chance.

The world as a whole seems to have things wrong. We hold logic, reason and intellect above emotion and intuition. People are admonished for bringing emotion into an argument, when it is this emotion that allows us to consider how our actions affect other people and come at problems from a different angle. Emotion is important.

It used to get me down that I couldn't keep up with the thinkers, those theorists that could see everything in terms of numbers and processes and systems. As I've gained experienced, I've come to understand that so much of what makes me good at what I do (programmer, sysadmin, husband, father) is that I'm able to use both my mind and my heart to approach a problem. I'm not saying I'm good at either, but I think I've found a reasonable balance that can produce useful results.

Incidentally, that's part of why believing in God and following Christ can work for me. So many people get stuck on how many aspects of God they can't reason around or make sense of. I can construct a logical argument for many facets of God that I understand, but I'm also happy to say that there are some things about God I don't understand in my head even though I know them to be true in my heart. That's not to say I don't want to understand them, but I'm fine with it if I never do.