virus: Experiements

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 12:17:48 -0400 (EDT)

>That depends on the question. If the question is "Are the blue rocks all
>salty?", then by sucking them you're testing a hypothesis. That's a
>scientific experiment. If, however, the question is "What do all these
>things taste like, anyway?", it's simply sampling, not testing any
>particular hypothesis.

I think a "sampling" experiment is simply one where the reliability
of the insturments and parsing system is so implict that you aren't
conscious of it. For instance, in talking to my advisor I often say
"I was able to make X from Y".

>From HIS persceptive, X ---> Y. Often he is not aware of the
conditions or the techniques used to confirm the result. If
everything is consistent, he accepts this abbreviated version
of reality.

If things become inconsistent, he starts "interrogating the
assumptions". How do I know? Did I consider this? You
would be surprised how difficult it if for the subbordinate
system (me, in this case) to demonstrate that the inconsistency
is in the material and not in my process/analysis.

The point is if you sucked on blue rocks and they always tasted
salty then when you sucked on a strawberry flavored rock you
would be shocked and probably spit it out.

Have you ever spinkled salt on something thinking that it was sugar?

I agree with you that science operates both top-down and bottom-up.
But all the observations are experiments.


Reed Konsler