Thursday, November 06, 2008

An Elephant in the Room

Berlzebub has a good post on the old "blind men and the elephant" story. He's said pretty much what I think about it: The analogy falls apart when you encourage the blind men to feel more of the elephant.

2 comments:

Rhoadan said...

Good discussion, but I would like to point out that Greta Christina did it first.

valhar2000 said...

Greta Christina has an excellent criticism of this metaphor, where, among other things, she talks about what happens when, after years of exchanging results, the blind scientists spend billions of dolars on the Space Program, to send a ship to the top of the elephant, and discover this amazing things no-one had ever imagined called "ears".

So, the metaphor which was supposed to show how small science is can in fatc be used to show it's real power.