Habitology

© Vitali Kaufman

In Russian

2010 – the first publications (in Russian yet)

Definition

Short

  • The science of safety (of gradualness) of changes.

Expanded

Habitology can be defined as a science,

  • Studying the habitual order of things
  • Estimating the value of damage from actions that change the habitual order
  • Inventing methods of protection against undesirable changes, especially those of a compulsory nature
  • In case of urgent necessity, suggesting of substantiated versions of the updated order of thing intended to become habit
    • that should act without special instructions, by default

In other words, this is a science about counteraction to absurd changes (imposed without strong need) and, specially, about counteraction to the malicious changes.

Thus, habitology can be considered a natural generalization of ecology (from living nature to the whole way of life).

The purpose of habitology is to promote maximum caution when making changes.

Caution when making changes to the program, especially to the working program – an essential aspect of the qualification of the programmer. It is crucial to see such caution become natural not only for programmers.

On the other hand, when changes are justified and necessary (usual cases for programmers and managers), habitology is called upon to contribute to. To contribute to make changes as carefully and responsibly as possible, minimally complicating life in an updated order without special instructions (in other words, by default).

In other words, habitology is a science of the “correct”, “natural” rules of the “habitual” behavior of the system.

I can quite claim the authorship of the idea of ​​this science, although Dijkstra can be considered, at least, her inspirer (see Dijkstra’s Criterion in “PL“).

Basic goals

  • Minimize damage from changes
  • Prevent changes that do not bring tangible benefits
  • Prevent changes that destroy the habits of the individual (socium) without a significant benefit, that accepted by the individual (society)

    • A typical example is changing the interface from Windows 7 to Windows 8
    • The client did not realize and did not accept – did not get accustomed – restored the old one in Windows 10

      • however, the damage caused to customers yet is not paid for in such cases!
  • Counteract changes with a narrow planning horizon
  • Prevent habitological accidents
    • Committed already – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria …
    • Maturing – even in countries such as Finland: the emergence of thefts, the emergence of violence in public places …

Base

Tools

  • Expertise
  • Investigation of alternative solutions minimizing habitological damage
    • Example of a roundabout

Application examples

  • Modern China in comparison with Russia
    • As a result of the habitological success by Deng Xiaoping (although the habitology was not yet there)

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