Jun

25

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman, Caltech 1974 Commencement Address.

Feynman gave several examples in his speech to the graduating students on the proper use of the scientific method. His speech still rings true today. Reading his discussion of "Mr. Young's" rat experiments in the 30s reminded me of JL's "mice".

People often rely on intuition and experience to reach (jump to) quick conclusions — and many times things work out OK. There is a risk as Feynman points out, however, of being snared by "cargo cult science" if you do not examine the assumptions, hypotheses attached to your or other's observations and data (even previously published and accepted data). Feynman's mental discipline is admirable.


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