'One day when I was a junior medical student, a very important Boston surgeon visited the school and delivered a great treatise on a large number of patients who had undergone successful operations for vascular reconstruction.

At the end of the lecture, a young student at the back of the room timidly asked, “Do you have any controls?” Well, the great surgeon drew himself up to his full height, hit the desk, and said, “Do you mean did I not operate on half the patients?” The hall grew very quiet then. The voice at the back of the room very hesitantly replie

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I like the message behind the quote, but surely in the case given a massive natural control exists in all patients prior to the introduction of the new surgery?

2kpreid8y I have empirically determined that this quote is excellent for reading aloud. 2/3 of the audience was moved to applause.

Rationality Quotes: December 2010

by Tiiba 9y3rd Dec 2010342 comments


Every month on the month, Less Wrong has a thread where we post Deep Wisdom from the Masters. I saw that nobody did this yet for December for some reason, so I figured I could do it myself.

* Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be voted up/down separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)

* "Do not quote yourself." --Tiiba

* Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB. That's like shooting fish in a barrel. :)

* No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.