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Re: Necessity is the mother of invention

by kvale (Monsignor)
on Mar 09, 2005 at 20:43 UTC ( #438047=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Necessity is the mother of invention

People have been using constraints to spur creativity for a long time. A lot of beautiful poetry has been wrriten under the constraints of rhyme and meter. Perl poetry, too, has its own constraints.

Another type of necessity that spawns invention for me is solving other peoples' problems. The constraint is that their problem and possibly their approach as well should be respected; work within those boundaries to create an elegant solution. If no elegant solution presents itself under these constraints, well, that is a learning experience, too.

And so I have learned a lot about perl and algorithms from solving problems posed by SoPW.


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Re^2: Necessity is the mother of invention
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Mar 09, 2005 at 22:43 UTC


    I find it almost impossible to motivate myself to solving problems for which there is no real need. That's why I find SoPW's motivating. Someone out there has a real problem they are trying to solve.

    The competition aspect of Golf and similar challenges sometimes grabs me, but give me a real problem any day.

    Motivation was never a problem in the workplace, but as a hobbiest, finding the motivation to, for example, write a module for the sake of having a CPAN presence just doesn't get my creative juices flowing beyond the initial proof of concept.

    I always had a similar problem with pure math. I (once upon a time) could handle most of abstract math (to the fairly low level I studied it) as well or better than my peers, but the idea of futzing around with stuff that barely one percent of the population could ever understand, never mind appreciate left me cold.

    If it doesn't have an application that I perceive as having real world uses, I find very little motivation for pursuing it.

    I have great admiration and awe for guys like Andrew Wiles, but quite how he managed to find the motivation to pursue his proof, especially in the knowledge that there are probably only 30 or 40 people in the entire world that will ever truely understand it, is quite beyond me.

    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    Silence betokens consent.
    Love the truth but pardon error.

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