|Any attempt to solve a problem begins with
one-pointed focus on solving the problem. This sounds so
simple. In fact it is very hard.
For small problems the focus may not have to be very great. For great problems it may be total. You may have to give up your life. Years may pass by. A great problem, like a beautiful woman, does not surrender herself easily.
The design and building of Qi was a great problem, involving the synthesis of many strands of thought previously isolated - logic programming, sequent calculus, type theory, language oriented programming .... .
During this time, in the building of Qi, years passed without any outward result. No papers were published. My department was very unhappy and finally decided to increase my teaching load and so I discarded the department. Later as my work neared completion, I became very ill. But during this time, Qi was finished and Lambda Associates was born as I used the internal arts to keep this body alive and restored it to youth and strength. This is a training in being one-pointed.
Most of the truly beautiful creations of the human race are the creations of one-pointedness. Whether it is dance, music, martial arts, mathematics or computer science, anything of real note requires this mind. When we are not one-pointed, when our minds wander, the results are always unsatisfactory. For this reason, languages which result from the design of a committee are rarely beautiful. They reflect the passions and the egos of the personalities who make it up. They are usually a political compromise and politics is the death of beauty.
The first aphorism, that solving a problem requires one-pointedness sounds very simple. It is in fact one of the hardest to accomplish because it requires control of the mind and its desires. The greater the problem, the greater the mastery. Even the fear of not solving the problem must be set aside. There has to be total immersion.