Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tacit assumptions

How much of the strife that arises in our daily lives is attributable to the assumption that we understand what we are experiencing? How much can a person recognize their own assumptions? How much do we assume?
Probably just about everything.

This isn't necessarily an insurmountable flaw, given the remarkable success of humanity, but at the same time I doubt anybody is unwilling to abandon whatever flaws they can. Recognizing assumptions is very difficult because they are by nature not questioned. Take for example the thought experiment that led Einstein to his celebrated theories; it isn't extremely technical, but rather something that had just never been considered. Mr. X explains better than I ever could, so, from episode 8 of Cosmos (feat. a song familiar to this blog already, coincidentally) (also on Netflix on demand):

The next part is equally engaging and descriptive, visualizing the surprising effects of traveling at C, the speed of light.

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