Daily Archives: May 2, 2017

Bits and Pieces – 20170502, Tuesday

Commentary: I’ve been struggling for a while with the problem of how to organize information. To capture one idea, that of “memes“, I include this short post: The ‘Taxation Is Theft’ Meme Has Officially Gone Mainstream.

The scientific method is simple: a) form a hypothesis; b) survey the literature on the topic, and; c) construct experiments to prove or disprove the hypothesis. At the masters level of graduate work, the object is to complete step “b” – master a subject or topic. At the doctoral level, the object is to complete step “c” after “a” and “b”. This is a very focused and narrow task.
Several times I have believed something to be true, formulated it as a hypothesis and begun to research the topic only to find that the hypothesis is false. But having hypotheses is valuable because they focus inquiry, reading and effort. As we read, we either find supporting evidence to strengthen and deepen our hypotheses or we find dissenting evidence that leads us to the conclusion our hypotheses are wrong.

I would extend the idea of a hypothesis into a larger concept I will call a theme. A theme  is more of a topic of interest than a fixed and limited proposition. As long as it remains open or active, there is a constant evaluation of information relevant to the theme with an assessment of how it affects the current body of knowledge comprising the theme. There is an immense amount of information available to us with a few keystrokes. It becomes important to have themes or other structures to act as filters in two ways.

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