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Friday, February 02, 2007

effective controlled study

From This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin I find this quote worthy:
... an ongoing problem that plagues all of empirical science: the tension between rigorous experimental control and real-world situations. The trade-off is that in achieving one, there is often a compromise of the other. The scientific method requires that we control all possible variables in order to be able to draw firm conclusions about the phenomenon under study. Yet such control often creates stimuli or conditions that would never be encountered in the real world, situations that are so far removed from the real world as to not even be valid. The British philosophy Alan Watts, author of The Wisdom of Insecurity put it this way: If you want to study a river, you don't take a bucketful of water and stare at it on the shore. A river is not its water, and by taking the water out of the river you lose the essential quality of river, which is its motion, its activity, its flow.
good food for thought!

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