Rich Hickey on logic

Posted on Nov 15, 2017

In the final slide of his talk in Clojure/Conj 2017, Rich Hickey mentioned this quote:

The true function of logic … as applied to matters of experience … is analytic rather than constructive; taken a priori, it shows the possibility of hitherto unsuspected alternatives more often than the impossibility of alternatives which seemed prima facie possible. Thus, while it liberates imagination as to what the world may be, it refuses to legislate as to what the world is. - Bertrand Russell

When presented with a problem, it is sensible to come up with a logical solution, in which the logic was reverse-engineered from our past experience, or proven by someone else.

It is easy, on the other hand, to dismiss non-sensible options.

Yet, occasionally, the reason for them being non-sensible is because we have not realized their different mechanics, which only become obvious in retrospect.

How many times have we asked ourselves this question: “Why didn’t I think about that before?”