Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up | Magazine

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up | Magazine: "But Dunbar, who had spent all those years watching Stanford scientists struggle and fail, realized that the romantic narrative of the brilliant and perceptive newcomer left something out. After all, most scientific change isn’t abrupt and dramatic; revolutions are rare. Instead, the epiphanies of modern science tend to be subtle and obscure and often come from researchers safely ensconced on the inside. “These aren’t Einstein figures, working from the outside,” Dunbar says. “These are the guys with big NIH grants.” How do they overcome failure-blindness?"

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ...'
Isaac Asimov
This is far more generally useful to everyone then just scientists.

I think we need more stories about Semmelweiss and Pasteur and Tesla and how they actually looked at what was really happening and did the work to figure out why.

Actually, I think this explains more about politics then is comfortable. No wonder we can't kill any gov't bureaucracy. It also is why companies will death march on a project that is in a death spiral.

This is something to be cognizant about and careful of in our own lives.