Friday, March 30, 2012

Stuff I need to work on...

Touché, XKCD, touché.

Well, I had about a billion thoughts on what to write my next post on.  Some include:

- "Oh snarks, I may have jumped the gun a bit on Trayvon Martin" (It is awful, but it might have been more complicated than my knee-jerk reaction.)

- "Hooray!  James Cameron went to the bottom the ocean and was the first to see the Mariana Trench since the Trieste in 1960. Let's explore the oceans!  I LOVE the oceans!"

- "Charles Darwin was a Christian.  And a great scientist.  And an all-round awesome guy.  And had a sense of humor.  And I love his reason for 'why it's called a Venus flytrap' in Insectivorous Plants."

- "I love Roger Green's blog because of all the weird facts I learn there, either directly or indirectly.  Including 'What the heck is that weird cartoon character?' and 'Dude, Rossini did The Barber of Seville?  I love Rossini's La Cenerentola!'"  (For those who are not opera fans, the Rossini thing is about as weird as "Dude, I love Lucas's THX 1138 - what's 'Star Wars'?")

But, instead, I'm going to do it on the XKCD comic above.

For those who don't know, XKCD is the funniest comic in history.  It's by a recovering physicist who once worked (briefly) for NASA.

What I love about the comic above is... well, that's my problem.

I'm pretty often White Hat (the character in the first panel.  I'm also often Black Hat, another familiar character to XKCD fans.)  This is no exception.

There's this tendency for scientists - myself included - to "explain" rather than "show."

Explain is pretty cool.  Some people will sit still for it.  But for many things - from personal problems to global problems like environmental problems - explain is the worst way to do it.  Showing is much better.

So, kudos, XKCD.  Like so often, you totally hit the nail on the head.

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