Is it hard to use logic?

This is just one of those random thoughts I had.  As a programmer, everything I do involves taking complex problems and breaking them down into small pieces of logic.  I look for the simplest and most effective answer to a problem.  Pretty cut and dry, right?  But after being a programmer for almost 10 years now, I’ve realized that I apply this mindset to just about everything I do.

I can’t say this is necessarily a good thing because most people do not agree with many of my opinions and observations.  I often get remarks that I am being “too harsh” or “not giving them a chance” or “being judgmental” or “I don’t know all the facts”.  More often than not, I tend to be right. But why don’t other people see what I see?  I’m not overly smart.  I think I am just wired to think differently, and the reason is because I became a programmer.  Call it the programmers curse.

Here, I’ll show you…

Have to go food shopping?  Go at night, less people means less time to waste.  Shop for clothes?  Wait for a 30-40% off sale, then just get everything at once online with free shipping.  Need a new television?  Well, I’m certainly not just going to get the cheapest one out there.  Time to look at reviews and add a deal alert from Slickdeals and patiently wait.  Time to buy a new console?  Well, which one is easier to mod because I surely don’t see myself spending $60 per game.

Is it hard to be logical? Absolutely.  It’s extremely hard.  In fact, I would argue that its much easier to be illogical than to be logical.  To come to an illogical conclusion requires almost no thought and relies mostly on impulse and emotion.  An illogical person is not looking for the simplest and most effective answer to a problem.  They don’t care if they are right or wrong.  I think more people are illogical rather than logical.  But I don’t blame them; it’s hard.

Think about some of the toughest problems or topics that people seem to fight over.

Politics?  That reeks of illogical people who really don’t care what the truth is.  We have a debt problem.  What’s the most logical decision to fix that? Cut spending and raise taxes?  For who?  The rich? Some argue that the money companies save from tax breaks eventually trickle down to us poor folk. They create jobs. Is their logic flawed?  Are they aware of the wealth breakdown in the United States?  Is it time for a change?  The real facts are out there waiting for you to soak them in.

Religion? Again, this is another area where it seems largely devoid of logic.  Think of the simplest and most effective answer.  Take a step back and learn about human history and the laws of the universe.  Most people won’t end up at the conclusion I come to.

What about technology?  This is a very tough area and there are a lot of illogical loyal users out there.   I’m sorry folks, but I just can’t bring myself to buy a $600 iPad when an iPhone or Android is essentially the same thing.   I am not loyal to a company.  I use a Macbook for work and a PC at home.  They both work well for me.  My web browser? I used to love Firefox, but they fell behind in innovation and features to a 2 year old browser.  Do I stay loyal to Firefox? Hell no, logic dictates I use the fastest and feature rich browser out there.

Relationships are by far the hardest to use logic with.  I don’t even to go into that one do I? 🙂  Oh hell, why not?  What I do drives my wife crazy because I can’t just blurt things out or make seemingly simple decisions and move on.  If she does something overtly illogical, I want to try to figure out why she did it.  She will look at me and say: “WOULD YOU STOP THAT? ARE YOU JUDGING ME!”.  I’m not judging. I am analyzing.  I just want to know WHY.  See what I mean?  I can’t help myself.

What about in the business world?  I see people over and over making the wrong decisions. (Surprise surprise right?)  I assume there is logic behind these decisions, but perhaps they are too lazy to REALLY delve into it to fully understand the problem?   Perhaps they are just looking in the wrong place for advice?  The stats are there, so why don’t they listen to them?  I wish I knew.

Again, don’t take this article the wrong way.  I am not saying I am the smartest or the most logical person in the world.  I am not saying everything I wrote in this article is the truth.  There are times when my logic is wrong.  All I am saying is that I try to be as logical as I can be.  But is that the best way to go about things?  You know, when I think about it…sometimes being illogical seems like the logical thing to do.

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