Sunday, 6 April 2014

Putting on the sceptic cap

This year on Aprils Fool I got an interesting e-mail about the Escherian Stairwell at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Remarkably, this email was not sent as an Aprils fool joke, but it got me to thinking a lot about scepticism and its application in everyday situations.

My first and  correct reaction to this video was along the lines of "what rubbish, obviously this is not true." Even though its a real cool trick, anyone that has studied a little physics will know that it defies the laws of gravity. However, what I got to thinking about was, why do I have to stop there in my scepticism? I think this is a valid place to stop but the question is always more interesting when you know the full answer.

So my next question was one I think more people should ask. Its the question that helps you defeat ridiculous arguments in future when you encounter rubbish as it gives you possible reasons behind something that may seem remarkable. The question is simply, how did they do it? Mirrors, video editing, etc? On the web its pretty easy to find the answer and see its some crafty editing and filming.

I like to think that scepticism does not only mean dismissing rubbish, but also been able to at least have some rational reason as to why you are dismissing a certain claim.