Tech and Business Pearls

Scientists

It’s tragic that scientists exist.

People often think that science is about chemicals in test tubes and electricity flowing through big coils and massive explosions. This is not science. Science is grounded solely in the Scientific Method.

At the root of it, the Scientific Method argues for carefully methodical observation, model creation, testing, and re-testing. Each component is very important. Everybody observes things every day. A key step to doing real science is to create a model or hypothesis. The model doesn’t just explain the observations you noticed, but it also makes predictions about other observations that we could make in the future. This makes our understanding of the world more complete, or at the very least our ability to predict events in the world. The next key step in the Scientific Method is testing. This differentiates science from, say, Literature and other Soft subjects. Writers often do not test their theories and exponentiations. They assert it and believe it, without looking for further evidence to disprove it. Finally, re-testing is what has made science truly useful, truly transformative. Openly publishing the models and test results, and asking others to independently retest and verify results. Science asks others to constantly question the models, all models. Constantly and with wanton disdain toward any orthodoxy.

That is why I think it’s tragic that scientists exist. We shouldn’t have to categorize people who test and verify into an entirely different population, occupation. Everybody should be testing to see if what they assert is actually true. Everybody should constantly question themselves and the world around them. Instead, since people do not, society needs to go through great lengths to train, test, and certify that someone follows these patterns of thought. The process takes years, costs money, and excludes potential scientists who don’t want to go through the approval process. It’s inefficient, but partly necessary since people don’t regularly approach questions scientifically.

No, science is no special magical talent. It simply requires that you question the next thing you say. Generalize it, test it, question it, and continue to question it. That is science.

over 12 years ago on September 28 at 12:15 am by Joseph Perla in school, technology


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Hi, my business card says Joseph Perla. Former VP of Technology, founding team, Turntable.fm. My first college startup was in the education space. My second was Labmeeting, a cross between Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook for scientists. I dropped out of Princeton (twice).

I love to advise and help startups. My code on Github powers many websites and iPhone apps. I give talks about startup tech around the US and also internationally at conferences in Florence. incubators in Paris, and startups in Budapest.

Twitter: @jperla

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