The Problem With Observations
An interesting article that points out the same message I try to get across to students: relying on observation as to what is "normal" or "abnormal," while valid for many things (e.g. blood spilling out of your forehead because you decided to be a macho and not wear a helmet while wrestling bears), might not give us a really good idea about the true nature of temporal patterns. We often think of ourselves as having "seen a lot" in our days, but frankly, we live for very fractional amounts of time. We fall into a few biases including negativity bias and the end of history bias that really skew our "observations" and our interpretations thereof.
I'm not evaluating the article's scientific merits, however, I believe the author is wholly correct when he points out that "the worst," "the most unusual," etc. are limited, prejudiced, and exceptionally biased temporal observations that have very, very, very little to do with actual history.
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From time-to-time I find interesting articles about the state of universities, the field of history, etc. I'll post them here just in case anyone else is interested.