Disagreements in Science: It all Starts to Make Sense to Me

During the earlier stage of research, I always worry.

What if people disagree? Say that although my method works, how would a good scientist defend his method among audience of different background?

I remember talking to a fellow scientist regarding the earlier state of genetic algorithm development. He outlined that the mathematicians could not accept GA without mathematical proofs. Why? Because when you solve GA problems, you need to have multiple runs and unique random starting points. Post optimization, you observe whether your solutions have converged, then analyze the statistical data to be sure that the final solutions are consistent. GA is capable to solve maximization or minimization problem using a stochastic method, where until today, the work on GA’s mathematical proof are still progressing.

Well, if you look at Wolfram’s work (that include the book ‘A New Kind of Science’ and Wolfram Alpha), he tries to convince scientists to accept that the future is not math. He asserts that computation is the buzz. Simply said, if you can compute, you can predict and reason out. I observe that, Wolfram wants to study correlation and unique relationships using any possible tools that work without worrying too much on the mathematical proof, using Wolfram Alpha.

This. This kind of disagreement between science communities really makes sense to me, therefore I’m peacefully do my research without worries of critics and disagreement of others.

Edison VS Tesla

Edison vs Tesla,

If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.

If I haven’t succeeded in my mid 20s, could I be successful in the rest of my life?

This is one of the interesting question posted on Quora. A very self-explanatory question, that you can easily relate to yourself in the age of quick-internet success stories. I picked the best answer for this one, to reflect, ponder and act upon it, given by Ian Peters-Campbell who is an engineer at Loopt and Carnegie Mellon student.

I remember that feeling 🙂

It takes a special kind of arrogance that comes with being in your 20s to think that it’s too late. The fun part of life is really just beginning at 25. If there’s something you’re interested in doing you have all the time in the world to get good at it and succeed. At 25 you could decide to go be a great guitar player, or an engineer, or a UFC fighter or a race car driver or a politician (please don’t become a politician) and you have plenty of time to become great and have a career.

All it takes is deciding what you want to do and then having the discipline to go and do it. Follow that thread for long enough and success (or happiness, or both) will come.


sidenote: Bonus in this post! Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule below!

Benjamin Franklin's Schedule