2009.10.21 13:00 - Theme session: Practice as debugging, part two

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    Wol Euler recovered this session from the autologging database. Fefonz was the GoC. This session follows on from the previous Friday's Debugging theme session.


    Pema Pera: Does anyone has any comment on our previous session?

    Pema Pera: or anything you'd like to continue from/with?

    Wol Euler: hello arch

    Bolonath Crystal: hi arch

    Wol Euler: phone, just a mo sorry

    Fefonz Quan: Hi arch

    Pema Pera: one thing that came up last week was the question whether it was a good thing to "analyze" our lives

    Archmage Atlantis: WE are a divided creatue

    Archmage Atlantis: Analyze and feel

    Pema Pera: and we talked about the difference between trying to find intellectual explanations, which are often not very helpful, and the kind of "debugging" that Wol and I had in mind: observing carefully to see what goes wrong where, more a kind of practical mindfulness

    Pema Pera: does anyone like to comment on that difference?

    Archmage Atlantis: You created this place Pema.......I have been here at times others said it was a cult

    Wol Euler: sorry, work, i have to take this call

    Pema Pera: np, Wol, sorry to interrupt your work!

    Fefonz Quan: I found out that many times the better way to go is acceptence - then understanding

    Fefonz Quan: and intelectually we tend to analyse before accepting

    Fefonz Quan: and this is helping just a little


    SophiaSharon Larnia: hi everyone :)

    Bolonath Crystal: namaste sophia

    Pema Pera: Hi Sophia!

    Fefonz Quan: Hey SophiaSharon

    Qt Core: in some way acceptance before understanding is present in debugging too, you have to accept the idea that (your) code is doing something wrong, not the data, not the user

    Pema Pera: Yes, Fefonz, and then the question is to see clearly, in order to know what the accept; debugging is an exercise in seeing clearly, you could say

    Pema Pera: !! <- Qt

    Qt Core: accept what the program is, what it is really doing

    Fefonz Quan: yes, though the code metaphor is a little tricky, since in the relevant realm we are talking about, the code is you.

    Qt Core: (hi sophia)

    Fefonz Quan: and concluding that you are wrong is the wrong way to go

    Pema Pera: hi Sophia!

    Wol Euler: back. sorry about that

    Bolonath Crystal: wb wol

    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Sophia

    sophia Placebo: greetings

    Qt Core: you have to admit "wrongness", not starting being sure about being wrong ;-)

    Bolonath Crystal: namaste sophia placebo

    Pema Pera: well, when I look at my own behavior, I see plenty of things that can be improved, on the level of mindfulness, every minute really -- and I'm always glad to see that,even though it is not always so easy to face

    Wol Euler: hello sophia

    Fefonz Quan: Hi Sophia

    Fefonz Quan: surely we all have lots to improve, no doubt about that...

    Wol Euler: [13:19] Fefonz Quan: and concluding that you are arong is the arong way to go <<--- does this go back to the distinction between being and having?

    Fefonz Quan: in a way it is Wol

    Wol Euler: I made a mistake, but my being is not "failure" for that.

    Wol Euler: not unless I choose to put that label on myself.

    Fefonz Quan: yes Wol. maybe i was bothered from the oposite aspect - when debugging a code, there is a chance (axiom?) that it can be debugged to perfectness

    Wol Euler: mmhmm

    Fefonz Quan: and me not so sure about us...

    Wol Euler: there is another axiom which says that a routine that contains a bug will always be buggy, even after you fix the one that you find.

    Pema Pera: I've never seen a large code that was anywhere close to perfect . . . .

    Wol Euler: exactly :)

    Pema Pera: hehehe, thinking in sync :)

    Pema Pera: Wol, some day we should do some serious pair programming!

    Qt Core: me neither

    Wol Euler laughs

    arabella Ella: Hiya

    Wol Euler: hello ara

    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Arabella

    Qt Core: perfection above 20 lines is impossible ;-)

    Bolonath Crystal: namaste ara

    Pema Pera: Hi Ara!

    sophia Placebo: hi ara !

    Fefonz Quan: Hi Ara

    Wol Euler: the basic problem with really large codebases is inheritance, by the time you are halfway through you've forgotten how it started

    Qt Core: hi ara

    Wol Euler: forgotten your state of mind, and what you thought was going to happen

    Wol Euler: which is pretty much what happens in the course of a life too

    Qt Core: and usuallyforgot to document too

    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)

    Wol Euler: that too :)

    Bolonath Crystal: maybe a system without failures wouldn't be perfect at all

    Fefonz Quan: yes, all that oo stuff just draged us all down, that what i say

    Fefonz Quan: Hey Mick!

    Wol Euler: we start out with assumptions and ideas of what we could or should do, and we build structures of habit and convention on them

    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Mickorod

    Wol Euler: hello mick

    arabella Ella: Hiya Mick

    Qt Core: hi mik

    Pema Pera: yet, a good code writer will write code that is modular, flexible, and hence much easier to debug

    sophia Placebo: hi mick

    Wol Euler: and often we forget what actually underlies the things we find ourselves doing.

    Mickorod Renard: hiya everyone

    Pema Pera: similarly we have a choice of setting up our life to make it more likely that we remain mindful

    Bolonath Crystal: hi mick

    Pema Pera: avoiding some unnecesary distractions, creating times for contemplation or whatever it is that opens us up more to our own creativity

    Wol Euler: so mindfulness is a way of living in code modules :)

    Fefonz Quan: do we talk about purifying? i begin to feel this a a very karma-oriented conversation


    Wol Euler: there is that aspect, yes.

    Wol Euler: another truism is that well-written code looks pretty.

    Wol Euler: if you print it out and look at it on the page, and it's ugly, then it won't work properly.

    Wol Euler: I can't explain why this is true, but it IS true :)

    Qt Core: just rewrote a routine 3 times today as it was hurting my eyes

    Pema Pera: yes, you develop a sense for what is "natural" -- a kind of wu-wei

    Wol Euler nods

    Pema Pera: hehehe, Qt, yes, I know the feeling!

    Fefonz Quan: i guess syntax burries some hidden simplification in it

    Wol Euler: often an over-simplification, a place where the coder has averted her eyes for a moment

    Wol Euler: thinking "I know how this will work" rather thtan examining closely what really happens

    Mickorod Renard: does a good written code stand out,,or a bad one stands out?

    Fefonz Quan: i think one of the interesting points of the analogy, is that frequently we are blind to our own bugs, (not the code side o),

    Qt Core: both, sadly bad code is much more than good one everywere, i feel like good code being clear images between the static of bad code

    arabella Ella: and the implications for our RL sound intruiging

    Wol Euler: bad code is easier to spot (going by prettiness) than good code, Mick.

    Mickorod Renard: ty

    Wol Euler: the parallel to RL is quite exciting (to a programmer :)

    Pema Pera: like bad wine, Wol :)

    Mickorod Renard: do u think this correlates with character in people?

    Qt Core: (laghing thinking to the term visual programming ;-) )O

    Wol Euler: yes, pema :)

    Fefonz Quan: and also, it is easy to run test cases over and over on a code, but in RL we bounce into different situations allt he time

    Qt Core: laughing

    Pema Pera: character and training both, Mick

    arabella Ella: or we often bounce back again and again into the same situation Fef ... unfortunately ... as we fail to check out the bugs

    Wol Euler: right, fef, htat is a big difference. Except for this: that we carry ourselves with us. My reaction to what went wrong yesterday will repeat next time that happens, unless I examine and change my behaviour.

    Fefonz Quan: like in char* character?

    Bolonath Crystal: thinking about the genetic code and what nature made of it, i must say that bugs can make a system pretty creative. without bugs it would be very difficult to adopt to new situations

    Pema Pera: are you pointing to my character, Fef ?

    Pema Pera: intreresting point Bolo!

    Pema Pera: (and sorry for the injoke, Fef :-)

    Wol Euler nods

    Fefonz Quan: no Pema, why should i? i was pointing to the different meanings of the word, in code and in persons :)

    arabella Ella: but ... memes could be bugs too which we could recognise and reflect on

    Pema Pera: (you wrote a "pointer to a character" in C . . . :-)

    arabella Ella: not just genes

    Fefonz Quan: (yes, that was my point pema. )

    Bolonath Crystal: sure, genes and mems are only the carriers

    Pema Pera: :)

    Fefonz Quan: (btw, did you notice that 'mems' is a mem by itself?)

    Bolonath Crystal: no. i was quite sure it was a type mismatch *g*

    Wol Euler laughs

    Fefonz Quan: ah, ok, i am slow today... sorry)

    Pema Pera: we have so many programmers here today ! :)

    Qt Core: why ?

    Fefonz Quan is a programmer like he is a travels agent. he does it when necessary, yet...

    Wol Euler: :)

    arabella Ella: are there really many programmers here tonight?

    Pema Pera: at least half of us, it seems from the reactions :)

    Fefonz Quan: including the ones thta wrote the code for our avatars ara ? :)

    Wol Euler: the in-jokes are a pretty good indicator

    Fefonz Quan: yes, geek-hooks :)

    arabella Ella: :)

    Wol Euler: at least there are people who are familiar and comfortable enough to joke about it.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)


    arabella Ella: am in admiration of any one who is a programmer :)

    Qt Core: telling computer what to do isn't so hard, do that with people is the great art

    Wol Euler: :)

    Pema Pera: % man self no manual entry for self

    arabella Ella: very true Qt ... about ppl ...about computers i have no clue

    Bolonath Crystal: hm, for me it is easier with people

    Fefonz Quan: yes, but in a way, 'good' people will do what you meant, even if the instruction weren't quite clear, while the computer will never smooth corners

    Qt Core: computers are predictable and unemotional, no hidden variable

    Wol Euler: yes to both :)

    Wol Euler: computers are utterly unforgiving, they will baulk at slightly faulty instructions that even a child would be able to carry out properly.

    Mickorod Renard: yes

    Bolonath Crystal: well, people are predictable emotional

    Qt Core: they do what they believe you told dthem, sometimes even worse than doing exactly what you told

    Fefonz Quan: exactly.

    Fefonz Quan: it is so weird we personalize 'computers'. we never say 'this hammer is very predictable and unemotional

    Bolonath Crystal: *g*

    SophiaSharon Larnia: lol good point

    Wol Euler: true

    Pema Pera: :)

    arabella Ella: do we also personalise our phones?

    Qt Core: well... sometimes i do that i have an hammer that love ... my fingers

    Fefonz Quan: even when it hits our fingers :)

    Wol Euler: but do you not have a favourite pencil, one that works better than the others?

    arabella Ella: since phones are taking on tasks of computers too

    Pema Pera: hehehe, Qt

    Mickorod Renard: I tend to personalise everything,,including hammers

    Fefonz Quan: pencil...mmhmmm, (trying to rmember what that is ;-)

    Mickorod Renard: but thats perhaps my diferent trade

    Yakuzza Lethecus sneaks away, bye

    Wol Euler: bye yaku, take care

    Mickorod Renard: bye yaku

    Pema Pera: by Yaku!

    Qt Core: bye Yak

    Bolonath Crystal: what would happen if we stop to personalize everything (including persons?)

    Bolonath Crystal: bye yuk

    Bolonath Crystal: yak

    Bolonath Crystal: sorry

    Mickorod Renard: I never throw a spanner away,,they have so much history with me

    Pema Pera: it would depend on a lot on how we would do that, Bolo . . .

    Fefonz Quan: bye Yakui never through a Boomerang away...

    Qt Core: but personalization in IT goes even further personalizing programs and subrutines too

    sophia Placebo: i have un organised thought , can i broadcast it ?

    Wol Euler: please do

    sophia Placebo: so ..... im having three dancing words in my mind now : programmimg deprogramming reprogramming personality consiosly ....... best way to go ? sorry

    sophia Placebo: sorry for spelling *

    Fefonz Quan: i would say all of the above Sophia

    SophiaSharon Larnia: looking at the thoughts, where they come from, part of deprogramming

    Bolonath Crystal: sounds like buddhist mind training ;)

    Qt Core: well, i don't see having a real meaning reprogramming and deprogramming

    Wol Euler: depends on the context. I've only heard "deprogramming" used metaphorically, for the process of getting people out of cults

    Qt Core: (in computer programming area, that is)

    Wol Euler: un-brainwashing them

    Mickorod Renard: and this can be extended to un,,conditioning?

    Fefonz Quan: well, reprogramming sounds like a reasonable word

    Wol Euler: I would say so, yes, Mick.

    Fefonz Quan: deprograming sound like cleaning karma

    arabella Ella: nothing is impossible Mick as long as the motivation is there to do so

    Mickorod Renard: re programming without bugs

    Qt Core: rebugging

    Mickorod Renard: a reboot and new harddrive for me please

    Wol Euler: I think there is a significant difference between deprogramming somebody to get them out of a cult, and debugging your own life.

    Wol Euler: debugging starts from the idea that what you think and do might be wrong.

    Wol Euler: deprogramming starts with the idea that what the other person thinks IS wrong, and what you think IS right.

    Wol Euler: big and -- now that I examine it -- worrying difference

    Fefonz Quan nods, very good point indeed

    SophiaSharon Larnia: interesting

    sophia Placebo: thats how the words were used , i dont see diffrence without the historical account of the usage of those words

    Bolonath Crystal: there is also a difference if you simply remove a programm or replace it with another one

    arabella Ella: isnt it done in bytes?


    arabella Ella: discrete bits?

    Pema Pera: thanks, Wol and everybody -- this was another fun conversation!

    Fefonz Quan: i do feel that in a way 'deprogramming' (towards yourself) can be the way to go. stopping the programmed conditioning and then make a free choice - isn't that what freedom is all about?

    Mickorod Renard: bye Pema

    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye Pema

    Pema Pera: bye for now!

    Fefonz Quan: bye Pema

    Bolonath Crystal: i thought about mind programs, not computer

    Bolonath Crystal: bye pema

    sophia Placebo: i just thought about programming 

    arabella Ella: bye Pema

    sophia Placebo: bye pema

    Bolonath Crystal: thats how i understand it, too, sophia

    Mickorod Renard: do we have a de bugging package for us to use?

    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye all, take care :)

    sophia Placebo: bye sophia

    Qt Core: bye sophia

    Fefonz Quan: I will have to go to sleep, it is late and there is another programming day tomorrow

    arabella Ella: bye Sophia S

    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)

    Bolonath Crystal: bye sophia

    Fefonz Quan: bye Sophia

    sophia Placebo: bye fef

    arabella Ella: nite Fef

    Mickorod Renard: bye sophia

    Qt Core: bye fefonz

    Bolonath Crystal: nite fef

    Wol Euler: bye, sorry phone again

    Fefonz Quan: night all, namaste

    Mickorod Renard: nite fef

    Archmage Atlantis: DreamsKtiks a po[o

    Mickorod Renard: just tryin to work that out Arch

    Mickorod Renard: ok folks,,i have to head on home

    Archmage Atlantis: Sorry, meds knock me out at times

    sophia Placebo: bye mick

    Mickorod Renard: thanks for the evening

    Bolonath Crystal: bye mick

    Qt Core: bye mick

    Mickorod Renard: bye everyone

    sophia Placebo: i have to go too , bye!

    Bolonath Crystal: nite sophia

    Wol Euler: bye!

    arabella Ella: bye Mick bye Sophia

    arabella Ella: nite

    arabella Ella: i gotta go too

    Qt Core: bye ara, sophia

    arabella Ella: nite all

    Archmage Atlantis: bye all

    Bolonath Crystal: nite all, om shanti :)

    Archmage Atlantis: Fu buu RL a;aomr

    Qt Core: ?

    Archmage Atlantis: This body will not allow me to be aware

    Archmage Atlantis: Too much..

    Wol Euler: back, sorry.

    Archmage Atlantis: jabe tp gp

    Wol Euler: the last evening before holiday is taken up with panic calls from the office

    Qt Core: are you going to celebrate programming christmas on 25 Oct ?

    Wol Euler: heheheheh

    Wol Euler: phone again :/


    Wol Euler: back, that was my mother :)

    Wol Euler: wishing me bon voyage

    Qt Core: and giving the usual advices ? ;-)

    Wol Euler: heheheheh

    Wol Euler: that at least she has given up

    Qt Core: i'm still thinking about this morning routine and it being ugly

    Wol Euler: heheheheh

    Wol Euler: there's a lesson there.

    Qt Core: it happened to me several times

    Qt Core: but today was quite strong

    Qt Core: and then i discovered (still have a couple check to do) there is a whole section that is useles, can't write it nicely if it just has to NOT being written

    Wol Euler: it's amazing how that works, that one can see where problems probably are by the "shape" of the code


    Wol Euler: hello mary

    Qt Core: hi Mary

    Mary Korpov: hi

    Wol Euler: I must go, my bus to the airport leaves in 6 hrs and 10 minutes.

    Wol Euler: take care, be happy, see you in a week

    Qt Core: have fun and/or rest as you need

    Qt Core: sorry about leaving you here alone but rl is calling i have to go

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