Daniel Lemire's blog

, 6 min read

Asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer

7 thoughts on “Asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer”

  1. jld says:

    What I loathe most is “proof mania” an excruciatingly detailed reporting on inconsequential technical details (and I read a lot of papers), that’s not even wrong it’s usually perfectly right but it’s just noise which detracts from any attempts to catch the “big picture”.

  2. eugene says:

    Quora platform pays for asking questions, presumably as a reward for traffic. Is pay a good measure of one’s ability to ask right questions? How do they figure when to pay, a question can attract answers years from now.

  3. Mark says:

    Fantastic article blog as usual! You make an excellent case and provide useful practical tips.

    As in most things, there is a balancing act. Following the herd, frameworks, and “rules of thumb” are necessary to be fast and efficient in your thinking.

    But when trying to come up with unique or innovative ideas; it is often best to take a step back, take a big picture view, and re-evaluate the foundations of your ideas.

    I find meditation, and focusing on the physical realities of what you are trying to accomplish, as well as freeing yourself from pre-established biases and methodologies, so critical.

    This is why the scientific laws of observation and change based on those new observations, independant of your perspective, are so important.

  4. Yukun Wu says:

    Thanks for your article.
    This is really a very important suggestion and I see many people just are urged to solve the problem.
    There is a phrase that I always remind myself: “A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.”

  5. IdPnSD says:

    “I can almost guarantee you that these 5 questions will be already covered by sources you read. They will be “known” questions”. – You are very correct. But you will be surprised to know that you cannot even ask any new questions on any subjects. Everything is already there. There is an underlying truth behind this assertion. But first some notable quotes on such phenomenon. Bible says – “There is nothing new under the sun. Whatever has happened will happen again.” Vedas say – “Nonexistent cannot become existent.” German Philosopher Nietzsche defined it as eternal recurrence, i.e. same things repeat.

    There is a law called the destiny law of nature, which says everything that will happen is precisely predictable long before it happens. There are many examples of destiny predictions all over the world, and they are all very precise and exact. Thus nobody can ask any new questions, provide any new answers, and even any new products or concepts. Take a look at the https://www.academia.edu/8353307/A_SCIENTIFIC_THEORY_OF_DESTINY for examples and proofs.

    1. Gayatri says:

      Thanks for a great blog. It really is the need to ask right questions that will instigate a student to look for answers. It is indeed difficult to frame right question as it requires one to know how to apply, analyse and inquire. Every teacher must find her own good question I believe. There is a lot to learn as yet.

  6. You should search about Feynman Technique (I’ve planed to write Wikipedia article about this, since it’s missing).