My wife has been accused of viewing a restaurant's menu more as a list of ingredients than as a list of finished dishes.  She often asks them to make something special for her.  Here's the thing:  I'm kind of the same way about technical results.  When a coworker gives me a report with some experiments and the conclusions they've drawn, I'm likely to go straight to the data and come up with my own conclusions.  Data, of course, are the ingredients of a technical argument.
(I can't help it.  All my training and inclinations drive me to take observations and generate abstractions from them.  I will not be satisfied with someone else's abstractions if I get a chance to see the data.  Trust plays a role here, as does the fact that people learn best what they figure out for themselves.  As for Alice, she might order "off the menu" simply out of personal preference, but trust might have something to do with it too.  She might look at a menu, see a parade of bad combinations, and simply lose faith in the ability of the kitchen to produce something good without her guidance.)
The work of the chef and the work of the scientist are not so different.  I've always said that mine is a creative job.  They call us "knowledge workers".  We start with the elemental and construct something novel.  Ingredients become new forms of sustenance, or new areas of human knowledge.


I'm writing this post in Blogger In Draft, with the "Google Scribe" feature on.  As you type, it offers suggestions on what word you might be in the middle of typing,  or might want to type next.  It is the strangest damn thing I've ever experienced.  It feels like someone is constantly interrupting me, or trying to finish my sentences.  I'm tempted to use it to write a blog post about nothing, just by letting it dictate the next word and see what the infinite monkeys produce.  They're developing self-driving cars--in fact, Google is part of the effort--next, will we get automatically generated art?

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