The Tail of the Elephant

There is this old story of the 3 wise blind guys who come to examine an elephant. They are lead up to it, and one of them gets to grab the ear, another the holds on to a tusk, and the third gets hold of the tail.
Later, they come to completely different opinions about the nature of the object under study – is it flat and flappy, thin and wriggly, or hard and pointy? And, obviously, later they spend a looong time arguing and beating each other up about their theories on what it really is like.

George Cham, creator of Ph.D. comics, refers to this in this beautiful animation on how current science might redefine our understanding of the universe – Enjoy!


(Ctrl-click -> watch on vimeo, see in HD there)

I met George when he was invited to give a talk at the Dahlem Colloquium at the MPIMG in Berlin. So I am quite happy to spread the word on his recent work – “The PHD Movie” :

Like his comic strips, it’s so well observed and true, that I guess many people who have been through (or are in) this situation won’t be able to laugh about it without feeling a bit of a sting. I find it quite healthy to retain a sense of humour on his own profession in order to not start taking oneself too seriously. And most importantly you, see: you are not alone!

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