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open loops

Wilfred M. McClay:

Our dignity derives not only from our relentless drive for mastery but also from our graceful acceptance of limits -- from how we come to terms with our defeats, failures, decay, and yielded territory. The conquest of the world will not change that, except to make it harder to understand, and harder to achieve.

Gary Taubes:

One lesson of science is that if the best you can do isn't good enough to establish reliable knowledge, first acknowledge it -- relentless honesty about what can and cannot be extrapolated from data is another core principle of science -- and then do more, or do something else.

Frank Chimero:

I think we often mischaracterize design as a practice of problem-solving, as if the problems go away. But closure, at least in my experience, is so rare in design. The loops stay open, because most problems are chronic and shift forms. They can be diminished, but they hardly ever entirely go away.

Protagonist of A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick:

I see only murk. Murk outside; murk inside. I hope, for everyone's sake, the scanners do better. Because, if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we'll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too.

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