Wednesday, August 10, 2011

inventing hypotheses

Humans are amazingly good at rationalizing things. If you ever wanted striking proof of this, and to be convinced of the importance of falsifiability and testability of theories, browse through correlated.org and count how many correlations between really random human traits immediately make you think "well of course that's true, because...[insert convoluted story here]." Like, of course extroverted people are disproportionately fond of corn off the cob (as opposed to on the cob), because they tend to be more externally focused and less contemplative, so why eat a form of something that'll distract you from the dinner conversation?

Who wants to write me a widget that'll take a correlation from correlated.org and black out the numbers, until you click 'reveal'? That way you could guess which way direction the correlation goes before 'testing' your theory of the human brain by revealing the truth. They should turn it into a game...

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