I liked the grounding point in the Professor Loeb interview that it is important to be able to do more than just predict things accurately. Sometimes knowledge for knowledge's sake can have implications that are far reaching beyond the original curiosity. Professor Loeb cites Einstein's general theory of relativity's importance to GPS as an example of a non-obvious connection between two subjects that are seemingly disconnected: outer space and getting accurate directions from CVS to Cape Cod. Predictive models that are purely predictive are sometimes important and useful for applications where all we care about is accuracy, but deeper theoretical understanding allows for these models to be implemented in ways that allow for intra and interdisciplinary progress beyond the scope of the original research question. It is easy to forget that there may be many connections that we just have not discovered yet, and abandoning the underlying theory that supports our predictive models does a disservice to building upon that knowledge later.
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Great connections, Cici! I enjoyed reading your post, and I also took note of this idea of the importance of usefulness/practicality of knowledge outside of just accurately predicting while watching this interview. I really liked your point about the almost limitless connections that we can make when we combine our predictions with our knowledge of theory to turn an accurate prediction model into a tool to apply and connect to other subjects or ideas. Thank you for highlighting this in your post!