The Scientific Method: User Guide

Congratulations on your purchase of
The Scientific Method™! We hope that
it will provide many years of useful
service and allow you to answer
those nagging questions about the
universe you've been having.
Here are a few tips to help you get the
best out of your investment:
We're confident that The Scientific
Method™ will rapidly become your
key tool for investigating the natural
world. When used according to the
instructions, The Scientific Method™
will allow you to test and refine your
ideas, adjust and even overturn your
hypotheses and build knowledge that
will really satisfy your curiosity. You
will be able to share and discuss your
results and, thanks to the built-in
universality module, these results can
be tested and developed by other
users too.
It is important not to become too
attached to the body of knowledge
that you will acquire using The
Scientific Method™. It may be that in
certain fields this entire edifice will
occasionally have to be replaced.
Conversely, don't expect revolutions
too often: small steps will also prove
useful.
When instructing new participants in
The Scientific Method™, try to get
them using it for themselves as early
as possible instead of memorising the
body of knowledge. This will help
reinforce awareness of The Scientific
Method™, even in people who don't
go on to use it full time. Encourage
children interested in The Scientific
Method™ to make their own
investigations. It is fully implemented
in their firmware at young ages but
sometimes needs shielding from input
delivered by incompatible
information systems. Early use of
The Scientific Method™ will also help
dispel the worry that it involves large
amounts of factual learning.
Emphasise the creativity of past users
to get the more curious youngsters
involved.
If you are interested in observing The
Scientific Method™ from a non-user's
perspective and conveying the results
to the public, remember that
discussion and debate are a normal
part of the process but breakthroughs
are more unusual. It is not necessary
to manufacture artificial
confrontation by over-emphasising
the arguments of an outlying figure,
however romantic this makes your
story. It is not always possible to
process the results of The Scientific
Method™ through the "News Values"
filter. Remember that The Scientific
Method™ usually doesn't produce
certainties. Pay attention to the
degree of uncertainty, the statistical
confidence of results and the quality
of the work that produced them.
Those in control of public finances
should remember that The Scientific
Method™ works best when applied
widely and without thought of
eventual profit or exploitation of the
insights gained. You will find it more
useful to engender an atmosphere
where creativity flourishes than to set
targets aimed at achieving economic
advantage. Do remember also to use
The Scientific Method™ wherever
possible to answer questions about
medicines, economic policy, drug
control and similar subjects. Expert
users of The Scientific Method™ will
always be more than happy to help!
Even if you are not planning to
become a regular user of The
Scientific Method™ you will still find
it useful to have it running in the
background. You may become
interested in the work of established
users and it will be helpful to know
how they are operating. It is hoped
that more and more results of The
Scientific Method™ will soon be
freely available on the web. Watch
out for people who claim to have
employed The Scientific Method™ but
are more interested in using its
appearance in order to sell you
shampoo and miracle cures. Also
beware of those who seem to have a
strong answer in mind before they
begin to use The Scientific Method™.
This may trigger potential
compatibility problems with DOGMA
and certain versions of "Belief".
Lastly it is worth noting that The
Scientific Method™ is useful for
answering questions that start "How
… ", "What … ", "When … " and
"Where … ". Attempting to answer
questions beginning "Why … " and in
some cases "Who … " will invalidate
the manufacturer's guarantee.