Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What if I am tricked?

One of my friends posted this video up on Facebook. It is about Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo surprising Professor Andrei Linde at Stanford with evidence that supports cosmic inflation theory.

Now, I don't know anything about cosmic inflation theory. But this video made me smile so much at the professor's look of disbelief and wonder when his colleague says at the door "five sigma, as clear as a day, with a R of 0.2".

After a rather crappy day of trying to break the will of this obdurate block of data, I was deep down in the dumps. Seriously, there is nothing that sucks the morale out of someone like staring at Excel all day long without food.

This video added a little more perspective to why I signed up for this deal.

The professor goes on to say (after looking at the results, of course) "What if I am tricked", then looking lost, probably in the poignancy of the moment, slowly and deliberately adds "What if I want to believe in this just because it is beautiful?"

I guess being with people like this who "want" to believe in things just because the said things are beautiful, is what makes my own little world filled with vindictive and egregiously large p values, worth it - however academically unacceptable they may be.