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Sam Arbesman's <em>Half-Life of Facts</em> Comes to Fully Animated Life [VIDEO]
Science | December 12, 2012

Sam Arbesman's Half-Life of Facts Comes to Fully Animated Life [VIDEO]

If you liked Samuel Arbesman's breakthrough new book The Half-Life Of Facts, or if you've been meaning to read it, a new digital illustrated short from the Kauffman Institute really brings the content to life. Part of the Kauffman Sketchbook series, the video provides an animated synopsis of the revolutionary research that Arbesman conducted about the way knowledge evolves and changes over time. As Arbesman, Senior Scholar at the Kauffman Foundation, says in the short video: "science is constantly in draft form [and] we always know that things are subject to reexamination." This may sound scary, as it suggests that everything you know now may eventually change and nothing is certain. However, Arbesman says that teaching people from a young age that everything they learn isn't definitive, but rather, that it acts as a building block for learning new things, can be a positive experience.

It can be "liberating", he says, if we accept the idea that facts have an indefinite life span. "There's an order and regularity to how knowledge changes," he says in the video, "and understanding that can actually give you a certain amount of hope and a way of ordering the world around you." In the three-minute short, Arbesman gives a brief run-down of the major themes presented in his highly talked-about new book. In an engaging and fun style, the video presents us with a new method of learning, and Arbesman gives us hope that embracing the way that knowledge changes will help us better understand the world around us.
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