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## 2008/04/09

### Minsky!

To build a theory, one needs to know a lot about the basic phenomena of the subject matter. We simply do not know enough about these, in the theory of computation, to teach the subject very abstractly. Instead, we ought to teach more about the particular examples we now understand thoroughly, and hope that from this we will be able to guess and prove more general principles.

It is instructive to consider the analogy with physics, in which one can organize much of the basic knowledge as a collection of rather compact conservation laws. This, of course, is just one kind of description; [...] there are many ways to formulate things and it is risky to become too attached to one particular form or law and come to believe that it is the real basic principle.

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