Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The easiest person to fool is yourself

Key moderating principles I try to keep in mind as I struggle to understand complex molecular materials

-correlation does not imply causality

-extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

-Kauzmann's maxim: people will tend to believe what they want to believe rather than believing what the evidence before them suggests they should believe

-use the method of multiple alternative hypothesis

-be mindful of the dangers of curve fitting

-in systems with many degrees of freedom it is very hard to find control variables, because most variables are not independent of one another

-Feynman's warning: the easiest person to fool is yourself

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