Friday, August 20, 2004

What is your Law? (click)

John Brockman asked his Edge members to "Send me two laws based on your empirical work and observations you would not mind having tagged with your name." Below is a list of my favourites thus far. Please go to the website for greater context and content. Which ones do you like? (and bravo if you understand what some of these mean upon first reading)

A scientist who can speak without jargon is either an idiot or a genius. -Alun Anderson

Scientists don't always know best about matters of science-but they're more likely to be right than the critics who make that argument.- John Rennie

The defining characteristic of science—the one that gives sciences its extraordinary explanatory power—is the objective use of evidence to distinguish between alternative guesses. - Paul Ewald

The body precedes the mind. - Antonio Damasio

Culture is everything we don't have to do – Brian Eno

Science is the conversation about how the world is. Culture is the conversation about how else the world could be, and how else we could experience it. - Brian Eno

Any sufficiently advanced system of magic would be indistinguishable from a technology. - Eric S. Raymond

The road to hell has often been paved with good intentions. Therefore, evil is best recognized not by its motives but by its methods. - Eric S. Raymond

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. - Mike Godwin

Non-existence "theorems", which state something cannot happen, are untrustworthy; they are only statements about what we have seen or thought of so far. - Lisa Randall

The representation becomes the reality. - W. Daniel Hillis

Human kinds exist only in human minds. - David Berreby

The Law of Indispensable Ignorance… says that complete information is neither realistic nor generally desirable. What is desirable are partially (not totally) ignorant people. - Gerd Gigerenzer

As cosmological theories advance, they will draw more concepts from biology. - Martin Rees

In a dangerous world there will always be more people around whose prayers for their own safety have been answered than those whose prayers have not. - Nicholas Humphrey

Any unbounded bitstream tends to irrelevance. - Mark Hurst

Physical technology evolves toward limits set by physical law. - K. Eric Drexler

Visual Perception is Essentially an Ambiguity Solving Process. – Al Seckel

There are three sides to every story. – Delta Willis

If fully conscious, don´t trust your brain. - Eduard Punset

No matter how good or bad things are at any given point in time (in science as in life), remember that "this too shall pass." - Leo Chalupa

Numbers are everything. - Gino Segre

Art tells the jokes that science insists on explaining. - Henry Warwick

Every technology has an instrumental side, what the technology does for us and a subjective side, what the technology does to us, to our ways of seeing the world, including to our ways of thinking about ourselves. - Sherry Turkle

Transcending our own sensory limitations with technological tools of observation, a relentless theme of the history of science, enhances the experience of awe itself because it expands the variety of attributes of the universe that we can know about. Therein lies one of the most underrated values of science. - Ivan Amato

Think logically, but orthogonally.
It's okay to think about nonsense, as long as you don't believe in it.
Often, the biggest impediment to scientific progress is not what we don't know, but what we know. - Robert Sapolsky

For every intelligent agent, there is a Turing-machine that provides an exhaustive description of its mind. - Dylan Evans

A good analogy is like a diagonal frog. - Kai Krause

I love the last one!


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