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The Art of Positive Skepticism
“In the late 1500’s, everyone believed Aristotle’s claim that heavy objects fell faster than light ones. That is, everyone except Galileo. To test Aristotle’s claim, Galileo dropped two balls of differing weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And guess what? They both hit the ground at the same time! For challenging Aristotle’s authority, Galileo was fired from his job. But for his place in history, he showed us that testing human claims should be the mediator of all truth.
Fast forward to modern times. Challenging commonly held assumptions about computers and human behavior, Steve Jobs lost his job with Apple in 1985. Returning 12 years later, he changed the way people use technology by testing the truth of other people’s claims. As a result, history considers Jobs one of the most innovative minds of the 21st century.
Galileo and Jobs were skeptics. They had developed habits of thinking that challenged what appeared to be reliable facts. They understood that testing assumptions over human authority led to greater understanding, innovation, and creativity.
LJL ❤ * !