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Countering Myths 


First, I want to thank Barry Evans for his periodic Field Notes, which serve to enlighten us on an eclectic variety of topics. In his last column on "The Myth of the Lone Genius" (June 6), he noted that the lone genius concept is in fact a myth, failing to take into account the many who came before and upon whose shoulders the discoveries are based, and often the colleagues with whom the genius worked. The saying "it takes a village" is apt because it requires us to recognize the interconnectedness of humanity and the spread of knowledge among cultures and fellow entrepreneurs and researchers.

That said, we live today with the spread of many myths, including the myth of "the great man" who alone can solve the world's problems. Such myths are both mythical, by definition, dangerous and counterproductive. And we need to recognize them as such. But myths have persisted for centuries and the comment from the author Renee Diserta discussing her newly published book Invisible Rulers that "if you make it trend, you make it true" needs to be heeded. She was discussing how influencers, algorithms and crowds are propagating such myths.

Let us recognize these myths for what they are and be willing to be search for the truth.

Jane Woodward, Arcata

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