SNS: The Right Idea

2013-09-26

Volume 16, Issue 33
Week of September 23, 2013
In This Issue
Feature: The Right Idea

  • Learning to See
  • Learning to Think
  • The Right Idea

Quotes of the Week
Upgrades

  • Microsoft’s Restructuring
  • China: Following Dumping with Retaliation
  • Two IPOs: Twitter vs. Alibaba
  • The End of Online Comments?

Takeout Window

  • The New Surface and Surface Pro 2 Pads

In Case You Missed It…
Members Making News

This week’s issue is the direct result of my recent speech to the incoming class of Thunderbird School of Global Management, virtually all of whom then signed up as SNS members. We welcome them to our community and look forward to their great works as they go out into the world.

Almost every student today is taught that the basis of discovery, the primary tool for conducting science itself, is what’s often called the “Scientific Method.”Merriam-Webster.com describes it this way: “[P]rinciples and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses” and, from Dictionary.com: “[A] method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested. (Origin: 1850-55)” But it’s even simpler than that. Take an idea – called a “hypothesis” – and test it by experiment; evaluate the results, modify your original idea accordingly, and repeat. There is only one problem with this 150-year-old program: it doesn’t tell us how to get the right idea in the first place. And for those who think this is not a big issue, let me suggest that it is the most important part of science.

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