Sunday, November 29, 2009

What governs your life?

Over the past few weeks I have been reading Jeremy Bentham to provide some bedtime reading. He explains that utilitarianism (making rational decisions that maximize your own long term pleasure) is the best system for making choices. He often criticizes asceticism (abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures) so I guess that he must have had significant exposure to a group of people that were highly ascetic.

In the past few weeks I have also heard about Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist and neurologist that survived a German concentration camp. He would have been exposed to these utilitarian theories before entering the concentration camps. When in the camp, he quickly realized that pursuing a life to maximize personal pleasure was meaningless in a concentration camp. When a life is characterized by suffering, what meaning can there be in attempting to maximize pleasure or minimize pain? Here are some quotes from his book called "Man's Search for Meaning"
  • We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
  • Nietzsche's words, 'He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.'
Frankl was trying to make sense out of his existence in a concentration camp. Pursuing personal pleasure did not make sense for him, but giving of himself to care for others did make sense - and that he could still have control over, even while suffering.

I also think about Immanuel Kant trying to make sense out of ethics. He tried to develop a totally rational system for an absolutely universal ethical framework - one that eliminates all subjectivity. As much as Kant's system seems so different from Bentham's, it is also similar in that it is looking for a universal principal from which all ethical behavior can be decided.

All three of these writers are trying to find the root cause of morals, ethics, what is the best thing to do, and why to do it.

They are all looking for governing principals for their lives. It is funny that even a utilitarian who makes decisions based on the principal of maximizing pleasure is actually "submitting" themselves to the governing principals of utilitarianism. They are not just doing whatever whim floats across their mind at any moment. A true blue utilitarian will make decisions based on maximizing their long term best interest (refered to as enlightened self interest). They are submitting themselves to a governing principal.

It is interesting that we all have this desire to be part of something that make more sense then jumping around from this to that. We long for governing principals.

Why?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jeremy Bentham: What is your ethics good for?

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1922) wrote on ethics. He proposed the utilitarian framework for developing ethics. In his Introduction to the Principals of Morals and Legislation, he begins by developing a justification for a utilitarian framework. Basically, the justification goes like this: It only makes sense to build ethics based on what will benefit mankind.

He then goes on to assert that utilitarianism is the best ethical framework because it is useful. He goes on to challenge the validity of other ethical principals by asking "what is it that the other principals can be good for?".

What other principals was he challenging? Well, some of the ethical ideas up to that time are:

Virtues ethics promoted by Aristotle and Plato propose you are supposed to nurture the virtues or moral character. Aristotle argues that you should be virtuous because when you really think about it, it is better in the long run. If you are not pursuing virtue, then you are allowing vice to control you, and vices (lying, cheating, drunkenness) will end up destroying you. Interestingly enough, the defense that Aristotle had for virtue ethics is that it is "useful" in the long run.

Divine Command ethics promote obeying the laws that God has given us. The immediately apparent reason to obey these laws is that they are supposed to improve your standing with God (evangelicals would say that it is not obeying the laws that improve your standing with God, but rather it is believing in Jesus, but it is all part of obeying the what God has commanded). However, there is a more subtle underlying reason for obeying these laws. If God created the universe, then He should know best what kind of behaviors result in the most long term benefit for us human (ie: what is the most useful).

It is interesting to think more about Jeremy Bentham challenge to Virtue and Divine Command ethics. His challenge is that they are not useful - or that usefulness is not their primary principal. I have countered that argument by showing that Virtue and Divine Command ethics are useful.

However, something subtle is happening here. I am playing by Jeremy Bentham game. That game is that we will evaluate anything based on its usefulness. Sure I can show that Virtues or Divine Command is useful, but is that the point?

I think that 2000 years ago, when Divine Command ethics were in full force people did not pursue it because of its "usefulness". There was also something about a mystery and fear of God. I also think that with Virtues ethics, they were not pursued because of their usefulness, but there was a value in society of being virtuous.

That fact that Jeremy Bentham can make use feel so convinced about the superiority of Utilitarianism over other ethical frameworks is an indication of how we value "usefulness" above everything else. I am sure as you are reading this you are asking: What is the point? Either it is useful or it is not. But that is exactly the point! Where has gone things like appreciating beauty for the sake of beauty, or appreciating spirituality just for the sake of a connection with the divine, or giving of yourself to someone else just for the sake letting go of your self and helping someone else out. All of these get lost when we strictly look at things based on the usefulness to ourselves.

I am glad that Jeremy Bentham wrote the challenge that he did because it is a wake-up call to myself. Am I going to make decisions based solely on the usefulness to myself, or am I going to dig deeper?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Solidworks resources

Lennys SolidWorks

XML Extractor


Sub PullFromInternet()

'The web address at which xml is stored
URL = "http://jjh.virtual.vps-host.net:8080/restdemo/services/customers/0"

Dim HttpReq As Object

'Declare the request for information over the internet
Set HttpReq = New WinHttpRequest

'Specify the type of HTTP request
HttpReq.Open "GET", URL, False
'or use GET instead of POST

'Specify the type of content that can be recieved
HttpReq.SetRequestHeader "Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"

'Send the actual request
HttpReq.Send
'HttpReq.send postmydata
'Note - if using GET set postmydata to ""

Dim response As String
Dim tag As String
Dim data As String
tag = "address"
response = HttpReq.ResponseText

MsgBox (extractor(tag, response))

End Sub

Function extractor(tag As String, response As String) As String
Dim tagLength As Integer

Dim mypos As Integer
Dim myposEnd As Integer
mypos = InStr(1, response, "<" & tag)
myposEnd = InStr(1, response, "<" &"/" & tag)
tagLength = Len(tag) + 2
Dim address As String
extractor = Mid(response, mypos + tagLength, (myposEnd - mypos - tagLength))

End Function

Just in case you thought that seeing is believing

Parsing XML in Visual Basic

Once I recieve the XML from a REST web servce, I need to be able to extract the useful information about of the XML document. Some useful links along that line are:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Calling a REST Service from VB

I did not have much luck calling the Yahoo REST service, so I created my own web service using the MyEclipse tutorial and tested it out. The VB code to call the REST service is as follows:


Sub Macro1()

url = "http://jjh.virtual.vps-host.net:8080/restdemo/services/customers/0"

Dim HttpReq As Object
Set HttpReq = New WinHttpRequest

HttpReq.Open "GET", url, False
'or use GET instead of POST

HttpReq.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"

HttpReq.send
'HttpReq.send postmydata
'Note - if using GET set postmydata to ""

MsgBox (HttpReq.responseText)

End Sub

Now the next challange is to get the Microsoft XML parser working.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to Post and Get from HTTP using VB6

Thanks to some help from Doc's Coding, I was able to get Microsoft Excel 2000 to do a GET request.

I had to add a reference by going to Tools|Reference, then select Microsoft winhttp service version 5.1

Then I added the following code:


Sub Macro1()
'
' Macro1 Macro
' Macro recorded 22/10/2009 by John Hufnagel
'
url = "http://www.google.ca/"
postmydata = "variable=data&variable2=data2"
Dim HttpReq As Object

Set HttpReq = New WinHttpRequest

HttpReq.Open "POST", url, False
'or use GET instead of POST

HttpReq.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"

HttpReq.send postmydata
'Note - if using GET set postmydata to ""

MsgBox (HttpReq.responseText)

End Sub

Now that I have the basic GET working, the next challange is to make a Yahoo! Web Service REST Call

Friday, October 16, 2009

Are Upper and Lower control limits the same as tolerances

I was teaching about Statistical Process Control (SPC) and control charts today and a student asked an interesting question: Are the upper and lower control limit the same as the design tolerances on a manufactured part?

The answer is that they are not the same: the upper and lower control limit are based on the statistical information obtained from observing the process, while the design tolerances are what the designer wants to achieve.

This leads to the next question: what is the relationship between tolerances and upper and lower control limits? This hits on the core philosophy behind SPC. Traditionally people like to inspect quality into a part. To do this, every piece must be inspected and the rejects discarded - there is no thought put into the process that created these rejects. It can be a lot of cost and time to inspecting every part. In some ways it is easy to image every manufactured part being inspected, but what about services? Quality is also important in service. How can each service be inspected before it is delivered? Lets say the service is a bank teller. It is completely unfeasible for a third person to inspect every thing the teller is doing before the service is actually rendered to the customer.

This is where SPC comes in. SPC is not about inspecting every single part to see whether or not they are in tolerance, rather SPC is about monitoring the process and improving the process so that the process will automatically provide the desired quality. In other words, with SPC the process can be improved so that the upper and lower control limits fall within the desired tolerance.

This is a radically different way to look at manufacturing and servicing processes. With the old way of inspecting every part, people continually work in fear about ever making a mistake. The fear of an error is the predominate thought on their mind.

With an SPC controlled system, the focus is on trying to understand the process, where there is potential errors or defect (deviations from the desired outcome), and improving the process so the desired outcome can be achieved more predicatably.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Alter Ego


I was watching the football game yesterday between Calgary and Montreal. The announcer kept talking about John Hufnagel, the coach of the Calgary Stampeders. It is nice hear my name on TV even if the Stampeders lost.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Drop Down Menus

Drop down menus on web pages add an elegant style to the presentation, but they can be very quirky. Commonly, the menus are build with lists and using CSS that control the visiblity of list items based styles estalished for the the hover property in CSS.

Another method that I have seem demonstrated quite eligently at The Ojibway Club is to use a combination of tables and divs. That site was developed by The Big Brain.. The source code for that page shows a very clean layout of the menus. This was created with Joomla in conjunction with a third party joomla menu system.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Epicurus On Death

Epicurus states: “Become accustomed to the belief that death is nothing to us. For all good and evil consists in sensation, but death is deprivation of sensation. And therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man who has truly comprehended there is nothing terrible in not living.”

What is very interesting about this text is Epicurus’s point blank statement that there is nothing after death. So now that we have that settled, lets move on and set about the task of making the best out the time we spend living.

We have started a new sermon series at our church today called “Live like you are dying”. I think the main point of it is to try to get us to make the most of our life, do the things that you know are important but have not been getting around to. So this sermon series has the exact opposite motivation of what Epicurus is trying to accomplish.

I find the contrast of these two points of view very fascinating. Epicurus come at it from the point of view “well there is nothing after death, so lets stop obsessing about it and get on with the task of enjoying life”. While “Live like you are dying” has the total opposite view: The tragedy of death could happen any time to you, so you need to make things right before that happens.

What happens after death is one of those weird things. You cannot prove or disprove any theory about because we cannot go there and come back, since by definition, a person is dead when they are gone. If they go and come back, were they really dead? It creates a brutal impasse for any further discussion about the meaning and purpose in life. You have to work backwards from what death means and life after death before you can make sense out of our lives.

No wonder Epicurus immediately addresses the issue of death before he dives into his dissertation on ethics and the meaning of life. In my opinion, I feel that he deals with it a bit too quickly. By the time he was writing this in 300 BC, the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) was already being translated. He would also be aware of many other religions at that time which held a concepts of an afterlife. Alexander the Great (356-323) had just conquered the majority of the known world so he would be bringing back to Athens knowledge about the various religions from Indians, Babylonians, Hebrews, and Egyptians.

Epicurus has made a very bold move to start off his arguments with the assumption that there is nothing after death. If a person just follows his line of thinking (without questioning the first assumption of nothing after death), then the other things following that make perfect sense. However, if his first assumption does not make any sense, or if he is making that assumption to quickly without addressing all the other people around him in his known world that think there is something after death, then the rest of the arguments that follow are not even worth considering.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Branding... Where do you start?

I just finished a 1 hour marketing meeting with an organization that I volunteer with.

They are trying to create an new website and the look they create for their website really should be consistent with the rest of the documents and letter head. So that brought us to the question of the logo.

It turns out that they all think their logo is outdated. So we started talking about what the organization represents. What do other people think of when they think of the organization. We managed to boil it down to about 3 or 4 concepts.

Then we started playing with images that represent those concepts. Within another half an hour, we had a rough draft of a logo portraying the ideals valued by the organization.

That logo summarized the brand we are trying to establish and it is a grass-roots expression of them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contract Law & Pet Rapture Insurance

There is this new insurance called pet rapture insurance
for people that believe in the rapture, but are concerned about their beloved pets they will leave behind when they are raptured.

So a believer pays a fee that is supposed to provide them with peace of mind that the pet will be cared for in their absence. I am not sure how much peace of much such a contract can provide. A contract is not of much value if it is not enforceable. Since the two parties entering into the contract are the beliver and Eternal Earthbound pets, when the rapture occurs, the believers will not be a position to enforce the contract since they will not be around to file a law suit.

It is a very funny legal situation. Eternal Earthbound is only required to perform their end of the contract if there is a rapture. However, in the event that there is a rapture, the believer is not in a position to enforce the contract. It seems like a pretty lucrative contract for Eternal Earthbound, except for that the people running Ethernal Earthbound are likely unbelievers, and they have to face the eternal consequences of that unbelief.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Disk Stress Analysis for Centrifugal Fans

I have been developing some formulas for calculating the stress in disks due to centrifugal force. These are useful to have when designing an industrial fan to ensure that the hub stresses and strains are acceptable. If the hub stresses are too high, the hub may crack at the keyway. If the hub radial strain is too high, the hub may come loose from the shaft as the strain exceeds the interference fit.

I combined formulas used for stress & strain due to centrifugal loading with the formulas for the pressure from an interference fit along with the formulas for radial strain due to pressure. The resulting formulas showed very good correlation with FEA results conducted in SolidWorks/CosmosWorks. The full paper describing the formulas along with an Excel spreadsheet containing the formulas, and Solidworks models can be purchased for providing training in developing analyticial and FEA methods for stress analysis of fans. Further details about fan engineering can be found at the Mechanical Design section of my FanEng.ca website.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finding Drivers for Dell

I would like to thank AP Dubey tech corner for pointing me to the missing drivers for my Dell Vostro 1500. The CD that came with laptop, and the website for the laptop, had all the drivers except the wireless drivers, which I found at http://ftp.us.dell.com/network/Dell_multi-device_A17_R174291.exe.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What is Loving?

Parents have a certain view of what is the best thing to do for their children’s well being. As the children grow up, the parents try to direct the children and help them make good decisions. When does the parent begin to let the child mess up. When is it more loving to allow a child to make mistakes and face the full consequences of those mistakes rather than trying to direct the child to make good decisions. What is the loving thing to do?

When we are managers and we are trying to direct the staff of our department, what is the best way to act towards the staff. Sure we do not use the phrase “what is the most loving thing to do”, but we are still trying to figure out the “best” way to act. Do I allow my staff the latitude to mess up, and face the full consequences of it, which may include them getting fired? Or do I correct their mistakes and keep on correcting their mistakes, sort of like the image of coming along behind them sweeping up after their mess. What is the best thing to do?

When we are teachers and we watch students that seem to be trying to surf the bell curve, students that are not really putting in the effort – just hoping they can scam their way through. What do we do? Do we fail them just to teach them a lesson? Do we pass them so we do not have to make a big stink about the issues – let someone else worry about the problem. Do we try to meet with the student personally and try get them interested in putting the effort into passing? What is the best for the long-term future of that student and the reputation of the school?

What is the right thing to do has so much to do with the perspective from which it is viewed. Looking back at the parent/child issues: the parent is concerned about the child messing up and the consequences of that mess up. The parent may be thinking about a baby that may be born to a 14 year old child that makes a bad decision, or a 17 year old child getting killed in a car accident because they were street racing or driving drunk. So from the parent’s perspective, they see that it is urgent to be directing the decisions of their children because so much can go wrong.

However, that same situation from a child’s perspective is a child yearning for independence and trying to prove that they have the ability to “make it” in the world. They see the constant corrections and restrictions from their parents as suffocating them. What is the loving thing to do?

Perspective: when you see it from the different perspectives, the best thing to do looks quite different. I have often heard it said from evangelical Christians that the most loving thing to do is to care for the soul of a person and ensure that soul is going to heaven. However, I have also heard from other people’s perspective that the most loving thing to do is to accept people, embrace people for who they are and not and not try to “ram religion down their throats”. Which perspective do you look from? Do you care about the eternal destiny of a person or encourage their freedom of though and individuality?

It seems odd that most of us go through life thinking that what we are doing is the best thing. Most of us do not purposely set out to harm people or take advantage of people. Rather, we like to think that we are helping the world. It just seems so weird that we can set out and do what we think is the best thing to do, while other people will look at what we are doing and think it is disastrous. What is the most loving thing to do?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Are leaders above ethics?

Business people often think that they are above ethics. They often pride themselves in how they can deceive a customer. Politicians also often see rules as meant to be bent rather than lived. What these people are doing is relying on the other people to be ethical, and taking advantage of a general ethical understanding in society, and thinking they can get ahead by bucking the system.

If everyone started bucking the system, then the system would collapse, society would crumble. You would not be able to trust a word anyone said. The moment you turned your back, you would be stabbed. The moment the police were not looking, you would be robbed in broad daylight.

Why do certain people think that they are better then others, that they do not need to adhere to rules like the masses? They think they are part of a superior class. Machiavelli sees that he can turn on and off truthfulness as he chooses to accomplish his own ends. These “superior” people see that ethics are for the simple people. Simple people need rules to live by, they need to be told what to do, herded like sheep. But the leaders, they are not bound by the same code. They make the rules, they do not have to live by them.

But if the leaders continue to not live by ethics, how can the ‘simple’ people be expected to continue to uphold the ethical code? And if the ‘simple’ people do not hold the ethical code, then chaos breaks out. The whole world begins to look like Beirut or Rwanda.

In Canada, we have just come to assume that our leaders will be un-ethical. We do not see a political leader as a person that could improve the country. Rather, they are the one with the most tenacity to fight the political games, cut down enough of their opponents and climb to the top.

It is interesting that people see Barak Obama in a different light. People see him as genuine and consistent with the concept of an ethical leader.

Maybe the reason society needs to be cleaned up by substantial events such as the enlightenment and waves revivals is because the leadership in society is continually trying to shirk their ethical responsibility and thus slowly bringing down the ethical climate of society. Only by having these occasional cleanings can society get a renewed ethical perspective and continue to function rather then descend into anarchy.

What would ethical leadership look like?

I am seriously trying to understand this as I am currently teaching a course on ethics. One of the roles of a professor is being an ethical role model. It is not a question of how I can scam the system. Rather it is a question of doing what I believe needs to be done to care for my students and ensure they get the best possible learning experience I can deliver. It is actually a refreshing way to look at the world. There is cleanness to it. I can get excited about it. It is a consistent framework that makes sense. Sure, it is not easy, but in the end I feel like I have done something.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Would you pay $599 for this vacuum cleaner

The Dyson ball is a monument to what can be accomplished by marketing. While a person could easily go to Walmart and purchase a vacume cleaner for $50, people are marching out and spending $599 and telling their friends that they have to have one also.

How can Dyson charge such a premium for their product while also taking over the market share? They have figured out how to appeal to something which other home appliance manufactured have ignored. I will call it the techie factor. All the other home appliances we buy like fridges, stoves, freezers, or washing machines are in nice white packages, completely hiding their functionality.

Dyson products broadcasts their functionality. Buying a Dyson is a lot more then buying an home appliance, it is buying a statement of technological progress and innovation. Think of the conversation starters when your friends are over at your house and you can pull out your Dyson and show how it works.

The marketing of the Dyson with is transparent cyclone and all the visible moving parts appeals to a generation that has a new attraction with technology. They do not want things in nice packages where all the working components are hidden from view. They want to feel like they understand what is going on inside the machine. These are the same type of people the buy computer mice made with transparent plastic so all the electronics are visible. They are also the same type of people that bought the original hummers which declared functionality (low center of gravity, wide wheel base, high ground clearance) above pleasant looks.

Dyson has done an excellent job at identify this "techie" market and selling a premium product which is taking over market share.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lawnmower that Cannot Die

My dad loves to tinker with mechanical things and has a car that is 22 years old and he keeps it going. I joke about it that he keeps the car on life support much past the car's natural age. He should just perform euthanasia on the car and allow it to gracefully die.

Well, I guess I am the same way with my lawn mower. I have a 22" Lawnboy that I got used for $25 dollar, 14 years ago. So I figure that the lawn mower is actually 30 years old. Every spring when I start it up for the first time, I wonder if will actually come to life. And sure enough, it sputters and coughs and comes to life. Over the years, the steel deck on the mower has been slowly rusting apart. I have re-welded on supports around the back wheels and last summer I bolted extra supports along both sides of the deck from the back wheels to the front wheels. (the deck was rusting so much that when I would push down on the handle to lift the front wheels, I would hear the blade hit the underside of the deck.

When I started my mower this spring, it took a significantly longer time to come to life, and I found that I needed to keep shaking it to keep it going. I suspect that sediment had built up in the carburator and that by shaking it, it loosened up the sediment and eventually enabled it to pass through the engine. Even through I finally got it to life, it is getting louder every hear. So much so that I am actually considering getting a quieter lawn mower.

Then I found out that my friend down the street had given up using her LawnBoy. She said that it would die on her in the middle of cutting the lawn. She was planning on getting another lawn mower so she was quite happy to give the LawnBoy to me (since she was also convinced that it did not work). I took it home, squirted some Rapid Fire into the carburetor, filled up the tank with gas and gave it a few yanks. Just like that, it started. But then after 2 minutes, it died. So I tried my shaking trick. I got it started again then I kept shaking it for a couple of minutes. Sure enough, it ran smooth after a couple of minutes of agitation. So after about 15 minutes of playing with it, it works as good as new. I felt guilty about taking a perfectly good lawnmower from her, so I gave it back to her.

I guess in my own way, I like to keep machines living much past their natural lives.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Teaching C programming

This week I gave my C programming class an assignment in which I was able to observe their comprehension of programming in C.

The assignment was as follows: Write a program that inputs two floating-point values from the keyboard and then displays their product.

I directed them to a sample piece of code as follows:

#include
int main(void)
{
float y;
int x;
puts("Enter a float, then an int");
scanf( "%f %d", &y, &x);
printf( "\nYou entered %f and %d ", y, x);
return 0;
}

I had the students think through each line of the above code so that they understood how this is taking in 2 numbers and printing them back out.

Then I had them consider the following:

Arguments in printf () can be any valid C expression. For example, to print the sum of x and y, you could write:

total = x + y;
printf("%d", total);

You also could write

printf("%d", x + y);


With the above information, they should be able to figure out how to complete the assignment. It was interesting watching them piece together these bits of information from different locations to come up with a complete solution. The students also felt the satisfaction of figuring out the solution on their own, since I gave them hints in the right direction, but they still had to make the connections on their own.

Kant and a priori knowledge

Kant liked to talk a lot about a priori knowledge: The knowledge that you can gain without experimentation, for example "All bachelors are unmarried". He goes on in his "Critique of Pure Reason" to elaborate on all this knowledge that we can gain without experiments. Well, if you look at the above example, the knowledge that all bachelors are unmarried is just a clarification of language. By looking at the definitions of these terms: bachelor and unmarried, there a pre-defined relationship between these concepts in the English language. So then, a priori knowledge is just a fancy way for clarifying the relationships that already exists between words and concepts in a language. I really think that a priori knowledge can only exist in the context of language because a priori knowledge is really only the clever manipulation of words.

The development of a priori knowledge is also called deductive reasoning - figuring things out from pre-existing premises. Philosophers love to figure things out deductively rather than lift a finger and do an actual experiment. They do not want to "dirty" their thinking with experimentally obtained facts.

Well, my question is "what are they thinking about if they are not using experimentally obtained information". Since most of their deductive thinking is just clever manipulations of definitions of words, how can they do their deductive thinking without having first learned a language. And learning a language is done experientially. So they have to experience before they can deductively think.

I think that pure philosophy has this illusion that they can think their way to figuring out life rather than actually engaging in life and experiencing it. Because of this, they do not have a framework for combining critical deductive thinking with experientially gained information. Thus philosophers do not know how to incorporate spiritual knowledge gained through experience into their deductive reasoning processes.

Of course, the current trend in philosophy (post modernism) is to throw out the deductive reasoning and rely totally on personal experience as the only way to gain knowledge.

I think both reasoning and experience need to be valued. People need to be able to communicate their experiences in reasonable ways, and they need to temper their reasoning with experiential reality.