4 thoughts on “Easy to misunderstand and misuse

  1. It’s only too easy for mathematicians who are not used to applying math in \em{real-life situations}, to misunderstand and misuse mathematics in all sorts or real life ways.

    Mathematicians and leaders alike need to come to a common ground.

  2. John – based on the title, I thought maybe the topic was going to be complex APIs / libraries.

    I spend lots of time cleaning up messes that are caused by clients mis-using libraries with terrible APIs. More than one way to do something, incomplete documentation, undocumented (or unexpected, even if documented) side effects, no bounds checking of input parameters…. I could go on and on!

  3. Dan: That’s why it’s a good idea to write tests for third party code. Even if you trust that the code is correct, you shouldn’t trust that your understanding of the code is correct!

  4. I find that misusing a thing, in general, is significantly easier than misunderstanding it. Indeed, most people who fail miserably at misunderstanding can easily misuse if they choose to do so, while the contrary does not hold.

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