Friday, August 14, 2009

Walka Waterworks

Early philosophers, in dealing with the question of whether inductive reasoning leads to truth, (that is, can you generalise about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class) used as an example the inference that "all swans we have seen are white, and therefore all swans are white." So "all swans are white" was long used as the standard example of a scientific truth.

Then in 1697 explorers found Cygnus atratus in Australia.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, says we place too much weight on the odds that past events will repeat themselves, and he argues that most of the really big events in our world are rare and unpredictable. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as "black swans" — undirected and unpredicted.

Nowdays we are a little more cautious about inductive reasoning - "all swans we have seen are white" therefore "we have only seen white swans" not "all swans are white." And we recognise that not all future events can be predicted on the basis of our past experience.

Oblivious to their role in the history of philosophic thought, the Black Swans at Walka practiced their synchronised swimming and added padding to their reed nest.

Bird List:

Black Swan (pictured above)
Musk Duck
Blue-billed Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Australasian Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Australian Pelican
White faced Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Straw-necked Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Purple Swamphen
Dusky Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Bar shouldered Dove
Crested Pigeon
Sulphur crested Cockatoo
Eastern Rosella
Laughing Kookaburra
Azure Kingfisher
Superb Fairywren
Yellow Thornbill
Red Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird
Yellow faced Honeyeater
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Grey Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Australian Raven
Red-browed Finch
Australian Reedwarbler
Common Myna
Golden Whistler

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