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August 16, 2002
Nature Stood Me Up
. . .not for the first time either, and doubtless not for the last. For anyone stopping by to get an update on my experiment, well, not very much happened. The controls all worked about like I figured they would, but the real experimental cases refused to do anything. And the one run that perhaps moved off the starting point was the one that I least expected to see anything from.
My colleague is going to set up another run in a few days, this one under more forcing conditions (in case I've underestimated the ease that things should occur.) I can come up with a couple of other hypotheses to check as well (as I alluded to this morning.)
But what this means is that (even if my whole concept is right) it isn't going to be easy. It's not like the door is just swinging open to this new field I'm picturing. I'd wondered if it was just because no one had thought to give it a push. I still think the basic idea is sound (although I still have scant evidence for that belief,) but it's an open question how far it can be generalized. If it were as general as I'd hoped, this experiment probably would have worked, frankly.
So, if the door isn't just opening up, the next thing to do is pick the damn lock. I've been uncharacteristically quiet since I got the data today, while I absorbed it and thought about what to do next. But I feel things getting back to normal already. I've got another system to try next week (and I'm working on another new one after that.) And I've had a decent idea to address today's failure, just while sitting here tonight. I'll be back on Monday morning, trying something new. Fortes fortuna juvat.
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