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Tidbits - March 19, 2015 - Lessons from Syriza and Podemos; 2016 elections; Prison Reform, Israel; Culture; and more...

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The Case for Blunders

Freeman Dyson The New Yorker
The essential point of Livio’s book is to show the passionate pursuit of wrong theories as a part of the normal development of science. Science is not concerned only with things that we understand. The most exciting and creative parts of science are concerned with things that we are still struggling to understand. Wrong theories are not an impediment to the progress of science. They are a central part of the struggle.

E. O. Wilson vs. Math

Jeremy Fox Dynamic Ecology
I certainly agree that theoreticians often find it hard to find empiricists who will make use of their equations. But whose fault is that? Seems to me that the fault often lies with empiricists who stick with their intuitions come hell or high water, and who actively resist the discipline that mathematics imposes on their groundless daydreaming. Intuition is great–as long as it’s only a starting point, and as long as you’re prepared to give it up when it’s proven wrong,
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