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Problem Solving

Edited: September 17, 2020 (v0.0.3)

On the topic of problem solving, I try to mix three key ingredients: philosophy, science, and engineering. These three things correspond to an ability to reason about the problem I’m trying to solve, formulate a hypothesis and test it, and then apply my solution to the real world.

In practice, these are characteristics of principled problem solving, for each of the respective areas.


  • Define what is (and is not) in scope.
  • Determine the bounds of the domain.
  • Articulate the problem, goals.
  • Understanding constraints.


  • Establish measurements, metrics.
  • Understand correlation, causation.
  • Refute the null hypothesis.
  • Establish hypothesis.


  • Apply your solutions to the real world.
  • Understand architecture, people.
  • Optimize and scale.

Practicing philosophy, science, and engineering in your daily life makes you a principled problem solver!