The mad scientist

“They say, the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” The Hives – “Try It Again”

No. That’s the definition of Popperian falsifiability.

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The never-ending quest

At first, I imagined I would find answers in literature. That music would help me transcend to a state of heightened comprehension. Later I resorted to science. Surely the scientific method would grant me some answers. All I could find were more questions. All questions multiplied, amplified, unanswerable with any definitiveness.

I keep pushing the rock so that it will roll down again to its starting point. If only the rock would crush my existence into the ground!

I want to be one with the ground. No more electric and chemical activity in my brain. Just dust. From dust to dust. Simple – like nothing really is.

“Trying to be ‘scientific’ about your relationship with your partner is as stupid as following your intuitions about causality.”

Bad Science, Ben Goldacre, p. 255.

Or is it?

Yeah, OK, it probably is. But sometimes I just can’t help being stupid.

Science: not exactly explaining the unknown

“Mind you, even if it turns out that the inhibition of prefrontal metabolism during REM sleep explains the disinhibition of dream content, it still doesn’t tell us anything about why some people’s brains would want to spend some REM time in a Busby Berkeley musical. The specific content of dreams remains a mystery. Moreover, if true, this speculation would constitute one of the classic features of science – in explaining something, you’ve merely redefined the unknown. If the answer to the question “Why is dream content so disinhibited?” turns out to be “Because prefrontal cortical regions are atypically inactive during REM sleep,” the new question obviously becomes “Then why are prefrontal cortical regions atypically inactive?””

Excerpt from “Why Are Dreams Dreamlike”, one of Sapolsky’s engaging and stimulating essays that make up Monkeyluv. The bolds are mine, though.

What’s for dinner skepticism

A journalist once told me: “don’t believe everything scientists tell you”.
Later I met a scientist who said: “you know, you can’t really trust most things journalists say”.

Not to worry, dear gentleman. I take everything any human being says with a grain of salt. Luckily, I have low blood pressure.

In defence of promiscuity

There’s no bigger exercise of objectivity as the one seen in the Sciences like there’s no bigger exercise of subjectivity as the one seen in the Arts. I believe it’s their accidental children who might bring us closer to knowing the truth about human nature.