“Macbeth did not murder Duncan because he saw a dagger in the air: he saw the dagger because he was about to murder Duncan.” — A.C. Bradley
Suppose you notice a correlation between two (or more) things or events. The two most common mistakes you’re likely to make are:
- Believing there is a causal connection between them when their isn’t.
Believing the causal connection goes in one direction, when in fact, it goes in the other.
We had to invent the scientific method in order to combat the failure of our commonsense to accurately describe the world around us. Beware of any strong belief about causes. You may be seeing daggers in the sky…
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. The quote at the top is from Andrew Cecil Bradley in his book Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth.
PPS. The photo is of Orson Welles in his version of Macbeth, from 1948.