David Deutsch (paraphrasing): There is a distinction between experiments, demonstration and measurements.

Experiments are done to test rival theories (at least 2). At the end of the experiment, your doubt in each theory must change from before.

Demonstration: just show that the predictions of a theory are indeed born out in practice.

Measurement: determine the value of a parameter in a single theory.

He says that the latter two are often confused for the first.

The mathematical "reason" is that at low energies all potentials are linear or quadratic, or the inverse square of planetary motion.

But that doesn't explain why at a very wide variety of length scales, all human-sense-observable phenomena settled down to such energies.

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A curious fact about Newtonian Mechanics: It explains and accurately models pretty much all mechanical motion observable by unaided human senses. But soon as you build some sophisticated experimental appratus it breaks down. eg. Mercury precession or double slit.

I have found over the years that the most productive research outcomes occur when there is a balance between optimism that one's preferred techniques will work (or that one's conjectured assertions are true), and pessimism that a proposed technique will encounter insuperable obstacles, or that a hoped-for result is unlikely to be true. Too much pessimism and one becomes discouraged and quits; but too much optimism and one wastes time chasing arguments or results that will never pan out. 1/4

An interesting critique of certain economic systems based on money. The question, why is our economic system so prone to short term behavior. Ans:

Risk is a monotonically (rapidly) increasing function of time, which determines the optimization behavior of agents in the game.

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