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Cowboy Science

I've been thinking about this for a while. I fancy myself a scientist, which means I use the Scientific Method to figure things out. So I make a hypothesis, and try like crazy to falsify it, and at the end maybe there's some interesting not-yet-falsified ideas.

I train myself in all sorts of science, I keep real genuine article scientists as friends and compatriots. But y'know, I probably wouldn't be called a Scientist by the vast majority of people in this day and age.

So I started thinking. What is someone who does science who doesn't have impressive scientific credentials? And I came to - a Cowboy Scientist.

Cowboy Science is trying to figure out how things for practical reasons or for curiosity, not for academic or institutional prestige.

A rancher who tries to figure out what the best mix of water and grazing and movement for his cattle by takes notes, making a guess at what'll work, and testing that guess - he's doing science. But no one would call him a Scientist with a capital S.


On Linus Rylander

There's really no such thing as a sure thing, but oh dear God how we wish there was.

Everybody's looking for it. We want guarantees. "If I do this, it's sure to work."

I remember Jordan Belfort doing something on stage where he asked the audience to raise their hands if they would work their asses off for three years if they knew with 100% certainty that they would end up super rich.

Everybody raises their hand. Of course. Duh. You can take a little sweat, a little sacrifice, when you know for sure that you're going to be successful.

Then he asks, what if there was only a 50% chance that it would work?

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