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[edit] DebCamp Tutorial - skills exchange: Reverse Engineering and other topics

whilst at debcamp, i intend to do informal tutorials which will cover the following topics, as-and-when people need or ask for advice and help:

  • Reverse-engineering, and its application to debugging, problem-solving, problem analysis in fact pretty much everything that involves working out the discrepancies between what you believe should be the case and what is actually the case. Dempster Shafer's Theorem, which is a generalisation of Bayes Theorem, will therefore be explained - including its limitations (as best I can!) when faced with quantum effects (!) Also, the link to the Ayurvedic study of Knowledge (Advaita Vedanta and Shiksha)- a really useful area where a lot about reverse-engineering can be learned from - will also be covered.
  • Goal-orientated problem solving (a bit more than just 'project planning' in other words). In particular, the immense power of thinking in terms of the two predicates "contributes to" and "aggravates" - especially the more positive "contributes to", will be explained.
  • Complexity simplification. In essence, this is advice on when to spot when you need to abandon what you've been doing and start thinking more! If things get "too complex", it means that your model of the issue is over-simplistic.
  • Creative problem-solving. Includes the importance of asking for help!
  • The importance of enjoying what you do! This is perhaps the most fundamentally important of all these little topics. It is only now beginning to be fully understood by scientists and biologists that which should be blindingly obvious to anyone who has ever lived over the millenia: namely that if you enjoy life, you are more healthy! So why punish yourself with stress, followed by caffeine, late nights and poor-quality food, to help create more stress, so that you get more adrenaline, so that you can push yourself more through the tiredness that you're punishing yourself with, so that you can do... what? Who labelled that as fun?? you, or your peers?

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