new photo blog

i started this blog in 2006, and it's shifted along with my interests through the years. it's been witness to a lot of learning for me...

still, i feel that i need a home for my photography -- so from now on, i'll be posting my pictures on the journal on my reworked website. if you like my photos, you might decide to follow me there!

my first post is here -- check it out!

as for this blog, i'm not sure what will happen. i don't think i'm willing to let it go, and certainly i'll keep it as an archive, but i need some time to figure it out.

for those of you that pop in from time to time, thanks for the visits and encouragement.

Monday, December 06, 2010

the level of humility in scientific discourse

i finished listening to sam harris' the moral landscape audiobook last week. this bit really stuck in my memory and i'm glad butterlies and wheels is quoting it... so i'm adding it here for future reference:

“while it is a standard rhetorical move in such debates to accuse scientists of being ‘arrogant,’ the level of humility in scientific discourse is, in fact, one of its most striking characteristics. in my experience, arrogance is about as common at a scientific conference as nudity. at any scientific meeting you will find presenter after presenter couching his or her remarks with caveats and apologies. when asked to comment on something that lies to either side of the very knife edge of their special expertise, even nobel laureates will say things like, “well, this isn’t really my area, but i would suspect that x is…” or “i’m sure there are several people in this room who know more about this than i do, but as far as i know, x is…” the totality of scientific knowledge nowdoubles every few years. given how much there is to know, all scientists live with the constant awareness that whenever they open their mouths in the presence of other scientists, they are guaranteed to be speaking to someone who knows more about a specific topic than they do.” [p 124]

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