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Turning into a scientist


"The mistake, then, is to believe that the educational credentials that you get today give you any special authority on truth. What you have gained is far more important: an understanding of what real truth-seeking looks like. It is the effort not of a single person but of a group of people - the bigger the better - pursuing ideas with curiosity, inquisitiveness, openness, and discipline. As scientists, in other words."
- Atul Gawande

I have noticed three kinds of people. 

The first kind is the religious followers. They need not necessarily be followers of a traditional religion, but these are people that blindly follow those they believe in. They might believe in their CEO, in their colleagues and bosses, in the media, or in their teachers and parents. They think what they have learnt and what they know is the truth. There is no room for skepticism. These generally tend to make good executors. At the same time, they aren't very tolerant of those that don't believe in the same things that they believe in. So, they are always trying to get the others to believe in what they believe, as there is only one truth for them. 

The second kind, which is the majority, is the ones that don't care. These are people that are only interested in what's in it for them. These are rational, pragmatic, logical people. If they see that doing something will take them to a better place than they are at the moment, they do it. And they do only that. They don't do things unless they are benefiting from it in some way. They are seeking the shortest route to success. They believe in one thing today and another thing tomorrow if that serves their purpose better. There is only one truth for them, but that one truth can vary from one point in time to another. 

The third kind, is the ones that display a healthy skepticism, suspended judgement, and disciplined imagination, not only about other people's ideas, but of their own. These are the scientists. Scientists need not be majors in Science. They just need to have the three qualities above. They are the ones that don't learn 'truths', but learn how to seek truth. They value what others say and believe, but don't take it at face value. They hypothesise and they experiment. They are excited both when a hypothesis is validated and when it is invalidated. They don't assume that they know the truth, nor do they expect to learn the truth from others. They seek out the truth.

We need to turn into scientists. This is the only way to converge in our thinking. Because, one way or another, we will discover the truth for ourselves in the end. 

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