This-essay is a7601121.htm which is available at the web-site www.essayz.com. See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %INSIGHT WITHOUT DATA 760112 The poet often has an insight---without data to prove that the insight is true. The poet appeals to the experience of the reader. The good poet says for the reader---what the reader has experienced, but has been unable to verbalize. Few people would attempt to prove a poem true through statistical analysis of data gathered through a controlled experimental situation. Thus do humanists accept insight without data to support the insight. If the poet's insights are offered within the context of the scientific community, it is likely that they will not be accepted without proper substantiation. Some people may even be unwilling to accept the insights as tentative hypotheses, until they are shown data upon which to base such hypotheses. The lack of appreciation for poetic insights is likely to be especially acute if the poet is perceived to be a scientist who is engaged in sloppy scientific work. In such instances the poet is likely to be asked to come back with computer print-outs presenting proof of the assertions made---via statistical analysis of substantial data. What if the insights without data are of great political significance? Are decisions and actions to be suspended, while the controlled experiments and statistical analysis are completed? Can life continue as if the insights had not yet occurred? If not, what is the responsible and helpful way to regard unsubstantiated insights? Suppose many people with common sense regard the insights as helpful, even though not scientifically substantiated? Is common sense to be held hostage by self-conscious objective scientific analysis, lest political decisions be made on the basis of unsubstantiated poetic insights? Often those who are concerned with---proof become so compulsively concerned with evidence that they gather data without insights. There is no rhyme, rhythm, nor reason which guides their heart; apart from the love of data of a particular sort. If the infatuation is total, it will be impossible to see the hidden weaknesses, flaws, and biases in the object of affection. Such relationships are rarely fruitful, and when they are fruitful the progeny is monstrous. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in www.essayz.com Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================Lines beginning with a percent sign are KEYWORDS for use in ESSAY-System Searches. Their terminal digits are dates of writing in the format @yymmdd#, where @ = a means 99, @ = b means 20, and # = is a within-date essay-count. Links to date-adjacent essays are near page top & bottom.
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