Sunday, June 05, 2011

Negativity Would Do You Good

I think science would progress by leaps the day scientists learn to celebrate finding negative results. We live in the age where results showing absence of something are quickly hidden under the carpet (unless that's what they were expecting). This means some of us have been already biased in finding what we want to find, and not what exists.

Add to that the woe of multitudes of statistical tests, each behaving slightly waywardly than the other, and each giving a slightly different significance value than the other. You don't understand the justification of using one test over the other, and many times people test their data until they come across a test that gives them a positive result! This is ridiculous and unethical (reminds you of Coase's saying when he said, "If you torture the data long enough, it will confess!"). So statistics instead of being a steadfast ally, becomes a befuddling fog making it totally impossible to penetrate the shroud of make-belief to reach the truth.

Keeping away from unnecessary shackles of expectation about the outcome of the experiments and work gives one immense freedom. Do it to experience it. To cut a long story short, I believe in the importance of negative you?


Anonymous said...

I do :)


A said...