What’s held to be good, to be best [concentration is held to be good] What’s held to be bad [distraction is held to be bad], but isn’t that as much as to say, activity is good but resting is bad? [it might, which wouldn’t be correct.]


Experimenter of life. “Many experiments turn out badly, in the sense that they offer no instruction, come to no definite conclusion; and this is even more often the case with the so-called ‘experimenter of life’.” Was the “experiment of your life” run properly and, as it were, scientifically? [I.e., was it a well conducted experiment? Was it conducted by a trained scientist?]

[Reply a: I never said I conducted an “experiment of my life”, with my life. Reply b: I never admitted the notion that “all lives are such an experiment”. Reply c: Can’t say whether yes or no but suspect no. Reply d: I can say definitely no.. Reply e: I can say certainly that “the experiment of my life” did not result in a definite conclusion about life, or about my life, that I now know about.]


A bad scientist, a poor experiment….  I will admit I was a bad scientist. I will admit that the experiment was poor. I will certainly entertain the idea that what I call an experiment a proper scientist would not think of as such….

It was an experiment in which some mistake had been made; an experiment in which some important data point had been lost; in which the spreadsheet had been improperly filled in; and yet so much had gone into it by that point, in the way of money and other resources, that some good story needed to be made about the flawed data that had been so fastidiously gathered. “Flawed meaningless data, reconstructed into a pleasingly plausible story, is the result of the ‘experiment of my life,” I conclude. (Or, to express it more positively: it was a good negative example — an important reconfirmation of known principles as to how properly to conduct experiments, which were unfortunately not followed in this case, leading to a complete loss of all data.) There had also never been a clear methodology –or rather, there had been one that I never became conscious of.

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