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October 17, 2016

Richard Feynman: No Preconceived Notions [CBD]

I think nature's imagination is so much greater than man's, she is never going to let us relax

Commenter Jay Guevara sent me this video (below the fold) of Nobel Prize Winner Richard Feynman talking about...everything. But one of the recurrent themes, for me at least, is that preconceived notions are antithetical to the rational examination of a question or problem. You might not see that in his ramblings, but regardless, it is a pleasure listening to him expound on how things work and see how his mind functions.

Why am I thinking about this now? Because in 2012, my emotional disbelief (preconceived notion) in the polls allowed me to fool myself that Romney was going to win. Are the polls today being conducted and "corrected" differently than in 2012? Sure...that is a distinct possibility. And I can create many scenarios that point to a Trump victory or, much more importantly, a Clinton defeat.

For instance, Trump supporters are obviously much more energetic, and he creates energy wherever he goes. Clinton is a boring, shrill, distinctly irritating machine politician. But those are emotional descriptions that may or may not translate to actions at the voting booth.

I wonder what Feynman would say?


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posted by Open Blogger at 07:00 PM

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