There’s a certain something that makes the scientific mind differ from the ordinary mind.

An example: We are in the habit of walking into our dog’s room (it’s a hypothetical room, okay?) at cocktail time and feeding Rover (becausepavlov he looks like a Rover, okay?) (and he’s hypothetical too). This makes Rover quite happy. One day we walk in, drinking our cocktail but forgetting Rover’s food. No, he doesn’t bite us (an angry look, maybe). But he salivates even though there’s no food. What do we do? We beat Rover, clean up his drool, drink our cocktail, and get on with our lives.

But a scientist? He’d stare at that saliva, ponder it, apply a little scientific method and possibly come up with a bunch of new scientific ideas. Ivan Pavlov, born on September 26, 1849, did just that. He saw his Rover drool, and he developed a major branch of learning called classical (or Pavlovian) conditioning with theories and laws and all sorts of scientific accoutrements. This in turn led to concepts such as comparative psychology, behavior modification and Brave New World.

Ever the scientist, even on his death bed, Pavlov engaged a student to sit with him and take notes as he died. He did not salivate. We don’t know if the student did.

Inspirational Quote for 9/26/16



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