5/15/2005

5-15-05 - 1

5-15-05

I have three bicycle repair books - Richard's Bicycle Repair Manual (minimal text, great pictures), Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair (long on title), and Zinn & the art of Road Bike Maintenance (pun-tastic). Any one of them on their own is a worthless confusing piece of crap. To actually do a repair, I read the section on the given repair in all three books. Each one provides a partial view to the truth of how the problem. I imagine I'm looking through a window. On the other side is the truth I'm trying to discover, but most books are a poor window that give only a partial view, maybe it's distorted by dirty glass; but I need not look through just one window - by combining the view through many windows, I can piece together what's on the other side. This is a great technique for research that I use all the time, and far too few people use it. At work, many people would read one academic research paper and go "I don't get it". Ok, read another paper on the same subject, and another, and another. When I was learning Quantum Field Theory, I read four or more text books that all cover nearly the same topic - Kaku's, Weinberg's, Peskin & Shroder's, Dirac's, Feynman's, Coleman's, Baez's, Nash's, etc. All provide different ways of looking at the same truth, different techniques, and by combining them you can get to a far deeper understanding of the truth behind the window.

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