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JEFFREY KOOPERSMITH

Editor in chief , American Politics Jouranl

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The Birth of the Fly Flying enigma -

In the year 1623, two German scientists - Wagner and Ramacher - set out to find the answer to how a fly flies. They tried more than 700 experiments when Wagner suggested that they remove one wing of a common house fly to study what might happen.The next day they did so. Of course the fly merely flew, nearly glued to the table, in circles. Ramacher offered, "Let's take off the second wing and observe," and Wagner agreed. When they took off the second wing the house fly did not fly at all. Both of them almost siumltaneously shouted "Come on Herr Fly, fly!" and generally rooted the fly on to take to the air. The fly remained on the examinging table, only walking around dumbfounded. Now remember this was in the 17th Century. However the two professors made a stunning, even if off the mark, conclusion:
The published a single sentence summary - "When a fly's wings are removed the fly becomes deaf."

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    Feb 26 2013: Still giggling from your story but confused as to what the "idea" being presented is short of maiming flies...
  • Mar 10 2013: i'm cold
  • Feb 27 2013: This an excellent example of what I call learning the wrong lesson.

    Once a co-worker had done what he considered a good deed. The unexpected and unintended results were negative and he was very mildly disciplined by his supervisor. He remarked that the incident taught him to never try to help others. He definitely learned the wrong lesson.

    A very common example is people who get caught doing something wrong and learn that they should not get caught.

    I suspect that people who repeatedly learn the wrong lesson must wind up in a lot of trouble.
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    Feb 26 2013: The idea is simply irony. I couldn't resist. However, you might have a similar story?