In this excerpt from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams ©1985, John Watson, also known as “Wonko the Sane,” discusses the scientific method:

I’m not trying to prove anything, by the way. I’m a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that… So, the other reason I call myself Wonko the Sane is so that people will think I am a fool. That allows me to say what I see when I see it. You can’t possibly be a scientist if you mind people thinking that you’re a fool.

It reminded me of this quote by Leo Buscaglia:

I don’t mind it when people call me “Kooky Buscaglia.”  I find it gives me a lot of leeway with my behavior.

(That was an aside.)


  1. markonit

    …and a fitting aside it was… seems that one must lose the social encumbrances to use the gifts of observation that we all have…


  2. I hope I will always remember the child in me!


%d bloggers like this: