There was an earthquake this week in MontrĂ©al. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I did notice it.

The computers provided for my design team are new, but they have trouble sometime. They turn themselves off periodically, and sometimes their fans sound like an aircraft preparing to take off.

So when I saw my computer monitors shaking, my first thought was that it was another problem related to the fans inside my computer. In fact, to test my theory, I started pushing the leg of my desk slightly against the enclosure of my computer, to see if the shaking increased or decreased.

And here’s where it gets weird: For a second, I thought I had established a relationship between them. I nearly called over one of my co-workers to show them that whenever I pressed the leg of my desk against my computer, the whole thing shook enough to make my computer monitors shake.

Then the earthquake ended.

This is what is interesting about what I did: I think I unconsciously selected which observations I would pay attention to, and ignored the ones that didn’t support my theory.

So how do I know I’m not doing the same thing with my earthquake theory, now?

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The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

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