Counter intuition

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A glass of water weighs more than a glass of air. So rain clouds floating in air hardly make sense—they are, after all, composed of water. The idea of heavy water floating in light air is counter intuitive. (The answer, by the way, is that the constituent parts of water—oxygen, and hydrogen—have a lower molecular weight than those of air: oxygen, and nitrogen. This fact, combined with Avogadro’s Law is why water-laden clouds float). There are plenty of times when our intuition serves us: not eating something when it smells disagreeable, ignoring heated words when we suspect the veracity of the speaker. Intuition can also steer us in the wrong direction: turning down subwoofer levels when placement is the problem, dismissing tweaks and observations when they don't agree with our worldview. I always give my intuition the benefit of the doubt but am careful to quickly reverse course when proven wrong.
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Paul McGowan

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