Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Scientists See The World.

My family, including much of my extended family, enjoys going to national parks such as Yellowstone. However, I sometimes get the feeling that they wish I would spend a little less time explaining the science behind what we are seeing because frankly... I think it ruins it for some of them.

The comic, from Abstruse Goose, below helps me better understand why.

(However, I am also reposting Feynman's video on the same subject above in my defense as he shares the same sentiment about the issue I do.)



  1. I can understand not wanting to be mindful of what it is under the ground you're standing on while at Yellowstone. I do think though that the beauty and awe go much deeper with true understanding of nature. I think you should keep it up, but maybe focus on the beauty and awe part.

  2. I feel your pain Joseph. I face this dilemma all the time though in the context of computers, systems, and more specifically airplanes. People want simple explanations and sometimes I simply can't boil it down to simple's just not.

    I like Feynman's take on it. As an engineer I've become very aware of appreciating wonderful engineering when I see it.

    For me there's actually a bigger problem. One of the engineer's best tools is to be highly critical of solutions, systems, etc. This does NOT translate well when asked what I think about things. I usually come across like an antagonistic jerk. Then again, I could just be an antagonistic jerk. I'm open to that possibility.


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