The Experimental Ethic
Any experiment begins with the notion that there is something missing from the big picture. Some area unexperienced, shapes out of focus, realms yet to be nudged out of the periphery and into common view. From this basic inkling, where we acknowledge our ignorance (as well as subject what we "know" to scrutiny) stems a methodology whereby we examine ourselves, our institutions, our preconceptions, and our very existence. Experimentation can be as spiritual as it is scientific, driven by an intense desire to know and sense the universe around us in novel ways.
An experiment is a chance to test established truths in order to uncover less obvious or hidden ones. The methodology inherent in an experimental approach presupposes a few things, namely, an inquisitive mindset and an area of uncertainty (or ignorance) that we hope to gradually replace with knowledge. Hypothetical outcomes are rendered, initial conditions are established, instruments are positioned, goggles are donned, and the experiment is under way... or has it been going the whole time>>>?
Sometimes the hypothesized outcome becomes secondary in importance to that of a serendipitous occurrence, where we learn something we hadnâ€™t initially set out to discover. In other cases we may uncover flaws in out systems of observation, calibration, measurement, or data recording. And of course there is always the possibility that the experimental model is inadequate in the acquisition of certain intangible kinds of knowledge. Even so, the process of experimentation is useful even when accidents, oversights, or miscalculations result in some deviation from the established hypothetical goal.
A self-reflective device, a navigational tool, a process of epistemic feedback, a recipe for conscious growth, an engine or wonderment. The experimental ethic is all these and more, and only ceases to be when we stop asking questions or think we have it all figured out. With this in mind experiment plays itself out...