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Monday, December 5, 2022

Cargo Culting, Appliances, and Homebrewing

Hack-A-Day had an interesting short piece on cargo culting and computer coding:


Obviously there is a lot here that it applicable to ham radio.  Feynman admonished us to try to deeply understand what we are doing.   Do we risk cargo culting when we make use of gear that we really don't know anything about?  Or when we use a chip that we don't really understand?  (I'm looking at you, Si5351.)

I guess we can't really understand some of this stuff as deeply as Feynman would like -- can anyone describe the signal flow in a CPU chip?  I don't think so.  And Feynman would be the first to admit that no one really understands quantum mechanics. Still, as the author notes, we should be cognizant of the gaps in our understanding.  For there dragons lie.  Or opportunities to learn. The comments on the Hack-A-Day post are mostly pretty good. 

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