Heuristics ....

Heuristics are ‘rules of thumb’ or ‘simplifications’ that allow us to bypass all the complexity of a situation, grasp the gist of it, and act more expediently.

For example - imagine we are learning to drive a car - when we look out the window and see another vehicle, which is actually a collection of different elements put together in a variety of ways, and each element can be broken down into atoms, then sub-atomic particles, each with various kinds of wave functionality, etc - and this magnificent construction is being propelled along the road through use of a combustion engine, on a precise vector and a varying velocity, etc … it is a heuristic just to realise simply that ‘another car is approaching’ … and that simplification of what is actually happening, is much more useful to us, if we want to avoid an accident. To do life, in the actual world, we need to employ and endless series of heuristics if we want to function effectively. Heuristics = useful simplifications.

The deployment of heuristics is natural tool that humans use to make life ‘do-able’. In fact, perhaps we build or acquire our collection of heuristic responses to do ‘fundamental living’ … then we dig down (or even further simplify) depending on our level of interest or desire to develop higher resolution heuristics. 

In a way, your personal set of heuristics is your lens upon the world - your ‘headset’, if you like, that renders the virtual world you ‘see’. This lens … is ‘shape-able’.


Popular Posts