Why? Why? Why? Just because. OK?

Busy reading an interesting book at the moment: The invisible gorilla and other ways our intuition deceives us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.

About how we tend to not see strange phenomenon when we are focusing our attention on something else. But if you don’t believe me, go check out http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com. Look under videos and demos. Interesting stuff.

People tend to overestimate their own skills. People also tend to think they know more than they actually know. And that’s probably why a 5-year-old’s “Why?” questions become so irritating. Because most of us are actually only able to answer one “Why?”.

“Why does the wind blow?”
“Because warm air goes up and then cold air (wind) rush in to fill the gap.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know, go ask your father…”

Or, in my young days, the first answer to the “Why?” would already have discouraged any further questions: “Sommer.” [Because.]

This would have been merely an interesting fact that I’ve read in a book, except that I can clearly see the result of my own illusion of knowledge in the comments to the research proposal I have received back. One “Why?” answered will not do the trick. And unfortunately I will go nowhere with a “Sommer“. Even if it is in the right font and size and under the right heading…

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