Monday, April 17, 2017

Mistaken Identities


I'm away this week so here's some fun/interesting stuff to check out:

  • I'm reading "The Invention of Nature" by Andrea Wulf about Alexander von Humboldt, right now he's up to some shenanigans in the Amazon. He and his companion, Bonpland went to "discover" the link between the Orinoco and the Amazon River, only to find that it was already well-known to the people in the region. (Sort of reminds of the the "discovery" of Victoria Falls** or Columbus "discovering" the Americas...

  • I recently got creamed at chess and then I heard the word zugswang in a different context, which brought both satisfaction and fresh humiliation.

  • Finally, here is yet another plum quote*** for you about confirmation bias, this time from Karl Popper (not of penguins fame).
“The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them.”

* The recent incident at Middlebury and its terrible repurcussions.

** In the stamp image above it sort of looks like Livingstone is getting airlifted out of Victoria Falls by some heartier explorers, but the travel hammock was a actually a common form of transport in the colonial era.

*** Cherry-picked, of course. Am I guilty of confirmation bias in my sampling of quotes about confirmation bias?

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