24 January 2008

Sharing Rules of Thumb

One of the key properties of open endeavours is winnowing down and sharing of essential information so that others can build on it. Here's a site that seems to be a distant cousin:

A hundred years ago, people used rules of thumb to make up for a lack of facts. Modern­ day rule of thumbing is rooted in an overabun­dance of facts. The average person, confronted with the Internet’s oceans of data and multiple overlapping Ph.D. dissertations, often is as perplexed as a pioneer chemist trying to whip up a little gun­powder without a formula. A pilot in a tight spot doesn't ask questions about aeronautical en­gineering; a pilot in a tight spot asks "now what?" There are times when you don't need to know the best way to do something. These are times for ballpark figures, for knowing what you probably can get away with.

Surprisingly addictive. (Via Joho the Blog.)

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