Inventing on principle

Bret Victor's "Inventing on Principle" talk is a brilliant 50 minutes in two distinct parts. In short, go watch it.

The first part opens with a principle of Mr. Victor's:

"Creators need an immediate connection to what they're creating."

He then goes on to demonstrate the disconnect between when a programmer writes some code and compiles it. The connection isn't immediate, and then ideas are lost. So he built some tools that allow you to write code "without a blindfold on," and makes sure that there's "nothing to simulate in your head." He builds circuits, games, and algorithms with real-time feedback that gave me the biggest nerdgasm in the world.

The second bit is less technical and more of a "how to live your life." He has a philosophy that is hardly specific to tech: have a vision of a world that has a concrete, objective criterion and dedicate yourself to this vision.

"These words that I'm using -- injustice, responsibility, moral wrong -- these aren't the words we normally hear in a technical field. ... As a technologist, you can recognize a wrong in the world. You can have a vision for what a better world could be and you can dedicate yourself to fighting for a principle. ... You can fight by inventing."

If you've 50 minutes, I'd recommend watching this talk.