Obsession with Precision & Accuracy

A reader wrote…

“I finished second round of your Mahabharata War book. Enjoyed it. I do understand your focus and insistence on experiments, but do not understand your fanatic focus on precision and accuracy. Having some idea for the time of events of history that occurred long time ago should be enough. Specifically, once you found 4380 BC as the lower limit on time of Mahabharata, in my mind, there was no need to prove that there was only THE epoch of Arundhati. All other proposals can be disproved anyways with this date (4380 BC).”


——–
This reader is correct in noting down my insistence (in his words.. fanatic focus (or insistence)) on precision and accuracy.

While it is intuitive to me why I insist on being precise and accurate, I find it challenging to convey the rationale to others.

I will attempt explaining it by giving one illustration and then asking readers to watch portion of a lecture by Richard Feynman.

(1) One may read my blog articles on Rama-Khara fight and apparent lack of corroboration of Valmiki Ramayana descriptions when another reader tried to corroborate them with the help of ‘Stellarium’ astronomy software.

https://nileshoak.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/khara-rama-fight-28-march-12210-bce/

And in less than 7 days from my first post, another reader made relevant corrections and re-simulated the observations using the same software, to corroborate my findings.

https://nileshoak.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/scientific-exploration-of-history-neither-an-armchair-speculation-nor-a-spectator-sport/

When we insist on precision/accuracy, not only we make statements that offer high value, when they either corroborate or falsify other proposals, but also offer an opportunity to test out background assumptions (in this case the very tools – astronomy software- whose accuracy we are taking for granted.

(2) The entire lecture of Richard Feynman below is fascinating and has relevance for subject of Ancient Indian history (e.g. when he talks of survival of only 3 out of 100s of Mayan books).

At a minimum.. listen to 7:30 through 14:00 (as it relates to accuracy and precision of experiments and its relevance for a quality of a theory).

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