Summary

This is a collection of rough essays, commingled with personal reflections (more latter than former) by Eric Nelson — an engineer, business owner, and father living in Minneapolis, MN, USA, Earth.

Designer’s Intention for all writings (with the usual exceptions):

  1. Accomplish something.  Follow the insight and cut everything else .
  2. Logical reasoning from axioms (vs emotive or overly presumptive premises).
  3. Illustrate abstract concepts with analogies, concept images, and stories.
  4. Refer to seminal prior art when available (vs copycats and me-toos).
  5. Concision where possible; precision where necessary.
  6. Contrarian views — i.e. If everyone else is pointing one way, let’s look at others.
  7. Positive bent.  Let’s aim for a good future for ourselves, our children, their children…

If curious, the above video is a 20min segment of me with my long-time engineering mentor Gary Jedynak, as he introduces Engineering Thinking by looking at ordinary objects. One of the first steps in training all Augment™ software development trainees and apprentices.

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Designing a child’s aptitude through environment

In 2 wks, Freyda and Arthur will begin their first formal wrestling practice (for Pre-K thru Grade 1). After very limited wrestling-specific training under my instruction on our basement wrestling mat (i.e. 4 or 5 practice sessions over the last 2 months), Freyda has...

Modern education as evidence of reckless governance

You know, I don’t think responsible adults concerned about future generations would have allowed the education system to have evolved as it has. The modern human life is remarkably difficult to start. There are literally endless detailed design factors for...

Tech Trends into the 2020s (#TT2020s)

Tech Trends into the 2020s (#TT2020s)

In 2009, US smartphone penetration was 17%. By 2016, it was 80%. Entirely new economies spawned in the wake of that hypergrowth. 2009: 41k apps on the App Store. Uber founded as UberCab. 2016: Nearly 3Million App Store apps. Uber does 2 Billion rides/yr. The economies...

A small epiphany about General AI

Context: The long-standing concern is in the creation of “runaway” exponential growth of machine intelligence into what is being called “superintelligence” — which ultimately brushes humanity aside in the pursuit of its own objectives,...

Enchantment as solace for the human mind

I was thinking there may be only 2 realms of solace for the human mind: Enchantment or Entertainment. But I think there’s a third: Work at which you are expert, or in which you can feel yourself actively improving toward expertise. Basically, there are states of...

Ideas by Groups vs Individuals

There’s a class of ideas that I would describe as “systemically coherent”. I.e. Fully baked. These ideas reside within ecosystems of other ideas, composing a plausible comprehensive vision of a future state.Not easy to do this — you have to...

Modeling the precursors to accomplishment

Accomplishment seems to be a natural result of internalization and coordination (sometimes conscious but mostly unconscious) of Effortful control + Creative release. Effortful control is the holistic capacity to operate the human machine — all systems: physical,...

How to build expertise

TL;DR — Expertise is relatively straight forward to develop (more detail below on the necessary conditions). The bigger question is who should develop what expertise, so as to ensure its longevity. — More Detail on the above — Application of...

11 ways to get on in life

1. Make things (technician, tradesman, laborer, artist) 2. Make better things (designer, engineer, inventor) 3. Make better things easier/faster/cheaper (manager, trainer, toolmaker, logistics) 4. Make things better for people (service, social benefit work) 5. Make...

Building a habit of persistence

Perhaps persistence may be “gotten” by making a habit of continuously re-rendering the sights and sounds and feelings of accomplishment — with sufficient variation that it can be “like new” each day. Thus, we “pull” ourselves...