Black Swans

I liked this little bit of philosophy from the Fullermoney pages:

The original notion of the black swan, propounded by the philosopher Karl Popper, was based on the idea that if someone saw that all the swans on a particular village pond were white, they would have a good working hypothesis that all swans were white. This would be reinforced by visiting the next village etc.

The trouble is that searching for more white swans can never prove that all swans are white, while the sighting of a single black swan disproves the hypothesis completely.


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