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“For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn’t work. For academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn’t exist.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Have we seen this today, in recent events? I think so. It is not a new phenomenon. In the late 17th and 18th century, scurvy was a menace during long sea voyages. Oddly enough, preventative treatment was known in the late 16th and early 17th centuries: citrus and teas made from spruce needles. However, these cures were rejected as “folk medicine” by the medical academics of the day because it clashed with then-accepted medical theory. Instead, useless but “scientific” remedies, such as vinegar and malt were substituted, the folk remedies forgotten, and generations of sailors suffered scurvy. After all, the science was settled. Not until just after the American Revolution did Dr. James Lind discover (or rather rediscovered) the benefits of citrus, and the scourge was ended.