Thursday, November 08, 2007


I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why...

-Dick Feynman
Have you ever wondered when you asked someone the question "Why" and they answer the "How" part or "When" part coupled with "Where" part. I dont intend to follow teleology but generally was curious as to why people answer a different question than what is asked and especially relevant in rhetoric and sales arguments. Lawyers and programmers are very good at persisting with the question whereas the normal layman usually accepts the answer and willing to be digressed into other territories.

I recently found the answer to be that human brain tries to answer the simplest abstraction of the question being asked. In other words, if the brain is not equipped with an exact answer it tries to give you an approximate answer in the neighboring region of the question rather than like a computer which simply answers "it doesnt know". Its neither good or bad but understanding such phenomenon helps navigate some turbulent waters especially when radical issues are being discussed.

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