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The talented bluefin tuna

"According to the laws of aerodynamics, the bumblebee can't fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know anything about the laws of aerodynamics, so it goes ahead and flies anyway." When I read that quote several years ago I absolutely loved it. It felt so inspiring because it gives freedom to try and do things anyway. Yes, the experts might say that it is not going to work, that it is impossible but that doesn't mean that you can't find a creative way around all the obstacles to make it happen anyhow against all odds.
Times have changed of course. Scientists have finally found out how the bumblebee does it.
So let's look at the talented bluefin tuna instead. Physically the tuna is too weak "to swim as fast as it does, to turn as compactly as it does, to move off with the acceleration it does". But scientists don't claim that it is impossible for the tuna to do what it does, no, they say that "these fish actively create and exploit additional sources of propulsion and control in their watery environments. For example, the tuna uses natually occuring eddies and vortices to gain speed, and they flap their tails so as to actively create additional vortices and pressure gradients, which they then exploit for quick take-offs" (from p. 143 of "Mindware" by Andy Clark). Isn't that fascinating? These tuna fish have found ways to be greater than they actually are by being creative problem solvers using their environment effectively.
Let's try to be more like them!



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