Allen Newell led a very productive and satisfying life as a computer scientist.
Here are some of the heurtistics I think he used:
- Do what you love, love what you do. His incredible
energy and enthusiasm sprung from this.
- Help others to find a similar state, no matter how different
their choices might be. Since he was happy and secure in the rightness
of what he was doing, Allen was open-minded about what other people did,
and often could help them make good choices.
- Don't worry about how intrinsically smart you are or anyone
else is. I never saw him feel threatened by another person's brilliance
or offended by their lack of it. He only judged performance.
- Be intellectually tough -- uniformly on everyone. Allen
was intellectually the toughest critic I ever had. At first, I didn't think
this fit with his supportive attitude. But then I realized that it wasn't
personal; he applied tough standards to himself and everyone else.
- Be careful about what you commit to do, and then really do it.
He agreed to do only some of the things I asked him, but he would always
help with something he believed was important. When he did, there was no
doubt about his level of effort.