November 10th, 2010

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Why do we have this forward complex?

Why am I subjected to a daily barrage of forwards?

Especially, why do I get so many forwards (no one knows where they originate!) when there is

Snopes

to check if something is true or false, before forwarding stuff? Why do we seem to thrive so much on forwards?


The most popular are the fear-provoking ones.Coca-cola will strip my insides, water in bottles left in the car will give me cancer, water heated in the microwave will explode in my face, I'll be given a knockout pill at a party and my kidneys will be harvested....


The other thing we thrive on is what I call false sympathy. From the cancer patient for whom Microsoft will allegedly give a dollar for every email sent (how they are going to track this, I don't know) to the wonderful couple who were turned away by some great college....we seem to think that forwarding some email makes us better people, because we are sympathizing with the situation described in the email.

It's...mostly...just a waste of time, and clogs up people's inboxes. Compared to this, forwards of "bridges with water flowing over them" and "greatest hotels of the world" and "Dubai royal family's houses" are quite good things to get!

Today I got the SAME forward from SEVEN people.....! I "snoped" it and it was false...
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Ant-Mimicking Spider

One gets to see things in the most unexpected places. I went to see a 11-day-old baby, and I found this...Prashanth pointed it out to me in a plant that was in a flower-pot!


ant mimicking spider 091110


At first sight, this looks like a weaver ant carrying another; it's only when you look closely, and count the legs, that you realize it's a spider!


here is the wiki

about ant-mimicry; apparently many creatures mimic ants!


A delightful and unexpected episode; thank you, prashanthks! Alas, the spider was moving too fast for me to get any good shots.
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When do I know something really well?

When I know something, I should be able to explain it, clearly, to a set of people who know nothing about the topic. If I can do so, without talking down to them, yes, I know that topic well.

When I am willing to admit that yes, there may be gaps or mistakes in my knowledge, and am willing to add or correct it, I am better at knowing the topic.

Knowledge without humility...and with the arrogance of "I know it"...is worse than no knowledge at all.

Thanks, PC, for letting me think this thought!