Known unknowns | Mr Whellan’s science

I’m currently reading Tim Shipman’s ‘All out War’, an account of the 2016 EU referendum. Early on he suggests that three of the major actors in what would become the dismal drama that has soaked the social and political stage for the last 18 months were influenced strongly by their earlier personal experiences. Chancellor Merkel, he suggests, was strongly in favour of free movement of people after experiencing the restrictions of growing up in East Germany. Party-hopping Douglas Carswell’s upbringing under Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda developed his sense of ‘libertarianism’ and Daniel Hannan’s…

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Known unknowns | Mr Whellan’s science

I’m currently reading Tim Shipman’s ‘All out War’, an account of the 2016 EU referendum. Early on he suggests that three of the major actors in what would become the dismal drama that has soaked the social and political stage for the last 18 months were influenced strongly by their earlier personal experiences. Chancellor Merkel, he suggests, was strongly in favour of free movement of people after experiencing the restrictions of growing up in East Germany. Party-hopping Douglas Carswell’s upbringing under Idi Amin’s regime in Uganda developed his sense of ‘libertarianism’ and Daniel Hannan’s…

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Scalable and non-scalable subjects | Mr Whellan’s science

There is a way to consider mastering a skill as a series of three stages. Take the example of learning the piano. When you first sit in front of those keys every one of them is much the same as another. Sure, some are white and some are black, and you might notice that the black keys have a slightly irregular pattern to them, but you could probably pick your way towards a simple, delightful tune with a few minutes of pecking around. A note is just a note. Spend some real-time getting to know things however, and you discover that the notes can be grouped together into scales, and that some…

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