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Hi Roger
I think the ability to reason declaratively results from seeing / representing a specific problem area at multiple levels of generality both as a whole picture and with surrounding context.

An XML document can often be used to adequately represent the structure of the data associated with a specific problem. This should contribute in seeing both the "big picture", the context and the relationships between different parts at different levels.

As for people being of the "declarative type" or "procedural type", and relating this to intelligence, I think declarativeness is not related so much to "intelligence" as to proper practice and education. Were we born on an isolated island, we could still struggle to learn to count to 100.


On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 7:04 AM Roger L Costello <costello@mitre.org> wrote:

Hi Folks,

I’ve noticed that some people seem to have a natural ability to organize tangled sets of concepts into nice, clear tables. These people think declaratively. Other people, when faced with the same tangled set of concepts, seem to immediately gravitate to procedural explanations, which are often quite lengthy. I must confess, I fall into the latter category. I do think, however, that my many years of immersion in the XML technologies has helped me to think more declaratively. Nonetheless, I still have a long way to go to become a “declarative master”. Last year I was helping to write a paper and my colleague would routinely create these nice simple tables. I was so impressed. The tables made things so clear and removed the need for much explanation. It was apparent to me that my colleague has a keen intellect.

I wonder if research has been done on the relationship between declarative thinking and intelligence? Have you found that, by working with the XML technologies, it has sharpened your declarative skills?



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