modesty/arrogance

Patricia Schwarz patricia at theory.caltech.edu
Sat Jan 3 19:40:42 EST 1998


Sarah Boomer wrote:
>  I said that to a close female scientist
> friend the other day and she put it very well - Sarah:  don't say you
> are arrogant and buy into that because if you do - it does change you
> and you take their knife and stick it into yourself... say that they are
> mistaken and tell them you are confident.
> 

That's a good way to handle it.

But also, I think humans have to apply a certain amount of arrogance
just to do science. I mean, Nature gives us this fantastic world
with life and everything, and who are we to DEMAND AN EXPLANATION?

Science is not a modest activity. IT's not just accepting Nature.
Science means demanding an explanation from Nature.

You can't do research without a certain amount of prideful human
arrogance.

That's how I feel. How could I do research if I didn't believe that I
somehow deserve an explanation from Nature? 

Little human temporary me, a squidge of protein that can move somethat
and feed itself and then die and decompose,  demanding an explanation
from Nature????

Yet we do it. We ought to celebrate that little arrogant voice within
ourselves that urges us on in this task.

:-)

-patricia




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