Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘practiced scientists

Cool down on Convictions: “Fact is a bitch”

Note: Re-edit “Fact is a bitch,  (Written in November 24, 2007 and posted in 2008)

The most common starter in any conversation is: “The Fact is…”

Our politicians, journalists, and commentators use “Fact is…” to mean truth, evidence, axioms, observation, conjecture, deduction, opinion, belief, interpolation, or personal experience in arguments…

Even practiced scientists have sometimes hard time differentiating what is fact and what is Not a fact most of the time.

For example, scientists in human sciences have reached a consensus that if the analysis of data is significant at a level of 5% that is, the chances that less than five observations out of a sample of 100 observed might not exhibit the general behavior statistically, and hopefully based on a judicious experimental design, then the behavioral scientist might be inclined to state that the effect in a relationship is a fact.

(The dangerous events is what happens on both extreme tails on this “Normal Curve“))

If a scientist decided to repeat the same experiment and set the level at 1% because the phenomenon is most important from his point of view, and the effect turned out not to be significant, then would the relationship stops to become a fact?

Even in “hard sciences“, dealing with materials and natural phenomena, which do not vary that much as humans vary in their characteristics, the laws are applicable within certain ranges and conditions. (If you apply any equation with considering the magnitude of the problem, you run in deep problems for the users)

Can we consequently deduce that fact is relative?

May we go one step further and claim that the only fact is that everything is relative?

Or this is called truth?

What is then the difference between fact and truth?  Maybe it is the relative degree of uncertainty in the proclamation?

When people say: “It is a fact”, do they mean anything such as a “pass partout” concept? If what they observe with their senses is considered fact, then a colorblind person or with other defects has the right to disagree with what “normal” people senses?

Again, the concept of normality is a matter of consensus, or is it not?

If for example the sample of individuals contains 10% color blind in an experiment related to discriminating among colors, then a mindless level of 5% is certainly not appropriate if the scientist failed to control that “fact” or factor.

Let us move from scientific lucubrations to questions weighting on the mind of middle-aged individuals.

For example, we can say it is a fact that “everyday is made to be lived before we leave this world“, but the truth is we can’t help but think one second ahead of time, and about tomorrow, and thus relinquishing the power of the moment.

Another example, we may say it is a fact “not to take ourselves too seriously: nobody is going to survive”, but the truth is we believe that we are actually surviving all calamities and pandemics.

Worse, we believe that our immediate offspring is going to acquire all the best qualities that we believe we have: Are we ignorant that nature has a way of tending toward average in its progress and development?

If I state that, logically, there is no meaning for life: we are going to die, the human specie is going to vanish and Earth is a goner as well, sooner or later. Is that logic a fact because billion of species have vanished and billions of planets and stars have disintegrated? With what facts can you counter such a logical statement?

If I say: “Give me a delicious stupid reason to hang on to in order to forget this harsh reality, since we enjoy thinking ahead of time and planning for our survival” then can you be kind enough to offer me an antidote for excessive logical or deductive tendencies?

Does anyone have a character, firm and insensitive enough, to ally completely with logic and rationality?

Maybe nothing is real for modern man as deep feeling is, and the hope that a boring paradise is waiting at the end of the rainbow with unlimited pleasures, probably cloning what we have been experiencing on Earth, these pleasures that we have forgone because of aging and diminishing power?

If I say: ” The fact is I started enjoying the stories of novels, and do not care that much about the endings; I do not rush to know how the story ends: if I got a happy ending then I feel depressed and if it is a sad ending then I say “this is not news to me”. Would that sentence expresses logic, a state of mind that varies from day-to-day, or it could be accepted as a fact for the moment in the individual psychic?

Maybe the common denominator among modern men is relishing rediscovering the wheel, and then feeling happily surprised that an ancient philosopher has stolen his copyrights.

Content is necessary, but it is the variations on the main content and how it is communicated that set individuals apart.

I am shocked at editors who believe it is their right to transform the style of an author to suit an abstract targeted public.

Go Graphics, do your communicating!




June 2023

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