Sunday, November 12, 2006

Those Experts Again

The mathematician George Gamow, who wrote books on mathematics for the general public, told a joke on his own people, the Hungarians. This was just after the decades in which little Hungary had been capturing a wildly disproportionate share of Nobel Prizes in the hard sciences, and were widely suspected of being just plain smarter than everyone else.
Two Hungarian explorers, suspecting they were lost, took out their maps and pored over them a long time. "According to my calculations," said one, pointing to the horizon "we're on top of that mountain over there."

His point being that experts might come very close to the right answer, but miss something obvious that an Assistant Village Idiot might notice. Which is why we have this blog.

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