Category – Psychology
Reading time – 5 minutes
Luca Parmitano is an astronaut. He is the youngest astronaut to go to International Space Station. He was given duty to do a spacewalk to repair a few things.
But that was not a normal day. There was something in his space suit. He felt there was liquid in his headpiece; mainly on back of the head. He was not sure what it was; when he reported this to the command in Houston.
He even tasted few drops to make sure if it was water ; it tasted metallic. Then suddenly liquid reached his nostrils and cut his communications from the space station.
With luck he reached the hatch. When he opened his halmet, water flew out. He survived; but it was close.
In his spacewalk one weak earlier; he had noted water droplets in his helmet. He and Crew in Houston had regarded it as a leak in water bottle without digging deep.
But it was due to leakage from fan pump separator. I don’t know what that means but it was part of the spacesuit.
So engineers in the Houston overlooked possible new reasons for a new observation and attributed this to their most visible belief. ( Availability bias)
They didn’t even think for a second that they may not know few of the things and they are not infinite in their intelligence.
Thay failed to rethink.
But there was one physicist who did the opposite. He had his reputation in the line. He was at centre stage of a big event of astronomists. In an important conference.
He was about to share an astounding discovery of a planet around a collapsed star; which is called PULSAR.
His research had shown a planet around a Pulsar; which was never believed earlier by physicists.
But he caught his mistake. In his calculations he had assumed orbit of earth around Sun to be circular in stead of elliptical.
When he corrected himself new planet vanished away.
He didn’t try to act smart or superhuman. He walked on podium and expected his mistake and retreated his paper from conference.
He got standing ovation. For saying that be was wrong thus time. For accepting with humility that he doesn’t know everything and he needed to work more.
We need more of such people.
Professor Andrew Lyne is a genius.
Everytime their is anomaly in observations try to find new insights.
Rethink everytime you think.
Inspiration – Think again by Adam Grant.