What is the difference between analogy and first-principles? - Deepstash
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What is the difference between analogy and first-principles?

The difference between reasoning by first principles and reasoning by analogy is like the difference between being a chef and being a cook. If the cook lost the recipe, he’d be screwed. The chef, on the other hand, understands the flavor profiles and combinations at such a fundamental level that he doesn’t even use a recipe. He has real knowledge as opposed to know-how.

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What is first-principles thinking?

First-principles thinking is one of the best ways to reverse-engineer complicated problems and unleash creative possibilities. Sometimes called “reasoning from first principles”.

The idea is to break down complicated problems into basic elements an...

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An analogy with trees

It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e., the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.

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How are we used to learning?

So much of what we believe is based on some authority figure telling us that something is true.

This way of learning applies to schools, where most teachers try to transfer knowledge to us through a mechanical process that doesn't involve reasoning which le...

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We tend to reason by analogy

How many times did we hear the phrase "We’ll do that because it’s always been done that way"? Personally, I would say many times.

When we reason by analogy we build our "reasoning" on top of impure assumptions and conventions. We tend to do this si...

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I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding; they learn by some other way—by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!

RICHARD FEYNMAN

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CURATED FROM

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iambriccardo

Software engineer by 🌞 and sleepyhead by 🌑. Software architecture. Distributed systems. Personal productivity. Cats.

I have always been against reasoning by analogy and this article explains very clearly why that way of reasoning is fundamentally broken.

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