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I'm currently reading Frans de Waal's "Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are?", and in that, I came across this quote by Werner Heisenberg, "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."

While he talks about this in the context of Quantum Mechanics, it is equally applicable to how we view and perceive people and situations. 

When we observe and form an understanding of how someone is or how a situation is, it is not the absolute truth of what is that we understand, instead it is merely what is exposed based on our method of questioning. 

Frans de Waal cites several examples in the book on how we ought to design species-specific tests to really conclude anything about the intelligence of several animal species. For testing the intelligence of an elephant based on a test designed to test human intelligence is not a true indicator of elephant intelligence.

Similarly, we ought to ask the questions that helps us understand the true nature of who and what we interact with, if that is our objective.


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