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#2616"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"
#2617No user-servicable parts inside. Refer to qualified service personnel.
#2618At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly
contradictory attitudes -- an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre
or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep
nonsense. Of course, scientists make mistakes in trying to understand the
world, but there is a built-in error-correcting mechanism: The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking together keeps the
field on track.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
#2619One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled
long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no
longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured
us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that
we've been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the
new bamboozles rise.)
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
#2620Regarding astral projection, Woody Allen once wrote, "This is not a bad way
to travel, although there is usually a half-hour wait for luggage."
#2621The inability to benefit from feedback appears to be the primary cause of
pseudoscience. Pseudoscientists retain their beliefs and ignore or distort
contradictory evidence rather than modify or reject a flawed theory. Because
of their strong biases, they seem to lack the self-correcting mechanisms
scientists must employ in their work.
-- Thomas L. Creed, "The Skeptical Inquirer," Summer 1987
#2622Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and
bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we
don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly
serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up
for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," Parade, February 1, 1987
#2623Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.
#2624Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.
Don't have aesthetic convulsions when using them, either.
#2625As the system comes up, the component builders will from time to time appear,
bearing hot new versions of their pieces -- faster, smaller, more complete,
or putatively less buggy. The replacement of a working component by a new
version requires the same systematic testing procedure that adding a new
component does, although it should require less time, for more complete and
efficient test cases will usually be available.
- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
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