Very Secure

Big Science VS Little Science

I remember the day at MIT where a "great discovery of our universe" was made. As I walked through the hallways the flags of the United States were waving on the screen while a women in a suit was standing behind the podium announcing the results of a finding at the LIGO lab. She was saying that a great theory regarding gravitational waves predicted by none other than Einstein himself had been confirmed with the help of some very expensive equipment. The halls of the university were packed with excitement, all of our teachers announced the finding in the beginning of class, and i had the feeling we were all supposed to be very happy about this great scientific accomplishment ~ regardless of our ability to understand it.

Shortly after many videos were released to help 'non-sciency' people understand the work of the great scientists. I recall lots of videos with a bed sheet spread taught and a marble placed in the middle drawing objects closer together was supposed to somehow explain this gravity finding (isn't that circular reasoning - gravity is the thing that's pulling things together on the bed sheet?) I digress.

Every truth in the world has a cost to confirm for yourself. Some truths, such as the presence of a force that attracts objects together based on their mass and distance apart are very cheap to verify for yourself. It's cheap to see that there is another electromagnetic force between things called magnetics. It doesn't cost so much to see that oil and water don't mix. It's cheap to see computers are the king of chess - just download stockfish.

Others truths, like the presence of microscopic bacteria, cost a little bit more to verify for yourself. A good microscope for this purpose may run you between $100-$500. Still doable, but the range of people who can confirm this truth is narrowed.

And lastly there are truths that most individuals will never have the resources to be able to confirm themselves. This is the Big Science. This is Google's supercomputer powered AI. This is the LIGO experiment. This is CERN. This is the Manhattan Project. This is the images from the Hubble telescope.

Big science is incredibly important, and with its use a few people are able to make profound discoveries. But to an individual, its authenticity forever can be put into question.

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