Irony Lurks Under Every Bush

Going through an old folder I found this interesting talk by Jonathan Drori on perniciousness of established belief:

Depending on whether you score on matching answers or theoretical correctness, I scored between two and four out of four.

  • I came up with two answers to the bulb question, neither of which match his approach, but both of which produce a lit bulb.

  • I cast the planetary orbits as more pronounced ellipses, but not because I thought the path caused the seasons.

Which was the interesting part for me: while Drori didn’t explicitly state these things, I had to check my answers against reputable sources to overcome the implication that (i) there was one way to light the bulb, and (ii) the orbits are not ellipses.

For those who think in a different way from me, I was influenced by:

  • He glossed his answer to the bulb as, “Here’s how you do the battery and the bulb,” not “Here’s one way to do the battery and the bulb.” Which suggests a single answer.

  • He said people who think the orbital path causes the seasons drew ellipses. Which suggests believing orbital paths are elliptical is a product of a mistaken belief.

A twelve-minute talk on several subjects is obviously never going to be a complete picture of any one of them.

However, it does amuse me that a talk on leaving options open contains two limiting phrases (with potentially more I didn’t notice). Which raises the question: how much unconscious limitation is in lectures that are not focused on overcoming flawed perceptions?


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