Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Science Poll

By a show of hands, would you rather:

- Keep working on a problem even if you might never find the answer, because you like the pleasure of figuring things out yourself.

- Be given the answer to your problem that has eluded you for awhile, even if it means you'll have to admit defeat and work on something else.

Discuss


6 comments:

Corey said...

If I really can't get something, I like to be handed the answer so I can go "Oh, I should've seen that" and then get working on something else.

Anonymous Coward said...

When you work on something long enough it becomes impossible to quit, you always feel like you're almost there. One more experiment, and you'll know what's going on. At some point I've crossed from wanting to figuring things out to just wanting to know the answer...

If we developed an AI smarter than us at figuring out the science, would there be any intellectual pleasure in doing science? Is an answer just handed out to you interesting?

Does everyone have a reward pathway to reinforce finding solutions to complex problems? Is that reward pathway stronger in scientists than the general population? Why else would we choose such a masochistic profession if it wasn't, at least subconsciously, for the buzz you get when things work...

rob said...

Really depends on the situation I guess. How long exactly? Am I making some progress or am I at a standstill with regards to answering the question? If I'm frustrated enough I would like the answer, however the more difficult it is to get the answer the more satisfying it is when you get it on your own.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Eldon Tyrell: Because by the second day of incubation, any cells that have undergone reversion mutation give rise to revertant colonies like rats leaving a sinking ship; then the ship sinks."

If the ship makes it to harbour, those who stayed will chide those who left as cowards and quitters.

If the ship sinks, those who left will lament those who stayed as blind and stubborn.

J.Garlough said...

Yeah, sudoku can be tough some times. Stick with it.

Anonymous Coward said...

Actually: I have this "diabolical" sudoku I'm stuck in. As far as I can tell I've already found every deterministic number. There are a few positions with 1:2 odds. Is that the thing with diabolical sudokus: some numbers cannot be determined with certainty ab-initio?