A Posteriori Good Fortune

“At any one time there is a natural tendency among physicists to believe that we already know the essential ingredients of a comprehensive theory. But each time a new frontier of observation is broached we inevitably discover new phenomena which force us to modify substantially our previous conceptions. I believe this process to be unending, that the delights and challenges of unexpected discovery will continue always.

“It is highly improbable, a priori, to begin life on a cattle ranch and then appear in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics.”

But then again, he said, thinking of his good fortune with family, friends, teachers and colleagues, it didn’t seem so improbable at all.

– Val Fitch, Who Discovered Universe to Be Out of Balance, Is Dead at 91, The New York Times

also, should it be ex ante & ex post instead? hmm..

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