Thursday, March 24, 2016

Camels: Who knew they could teach you so much?

I saw this TED talk on Camels, and in honor of my Mother-in-Law (who has quite the camel collection!), figured I should watch it. In short, it's fantastic. Here, take a few minutes to watch it and then read my comments below:

Well done, right?

First off, talk about excellent storytelling. Injecting pre-recorded audio clips into what feels like a casual talk is really powerful. The voice of the scientist is literally heard, even though the talk is being given by a historian.

And the overall thesis: that new information should result in a new world view is something we simply don't embrace often enough. I'm all for having bedrock principles and such, but when you learn something, it can and should change you. This is a core scientific idea that's often hard to appreciate. Yes, we know X is true. And we have to operate as though X is true. But, we also have to accept that more data may show that in fact, X isn't true. Frustrating, but the alternative has you twisted in knots and at odds with the truth.

Deep stuff, and all from a camel! Oh TED, you simple never disappoint.

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