Bodging with Jonathan Drori

Jonathan Drori helped launch the online face of the BBC. He’s edited and produced TV series on science, and is not a director at Changing Media Ltd.

In a TED talk in February, 2007, he discussed why we don’t understand as much as we think. Points that stood out for me:

  • We look for evidence to support our mental models.
  • Some people are all too ready to supply that evidence.
  • Early mental models are extremely persistent.
  • We collude: we design tests so people pass them.

At one point, Drori says that kids learn by messing around with everyday objects, things that are “bodged and stuffed.” “Bodge” was new to me, but “quick and dirty” seems a good American English counterpart. Urban Dictionary gives this example:

Bodge (verb)… to repair hastily and without care of durability or aesthetics or perfection. Popularized in British television show “Scrapheap Challenge,” known as “Junkyard Wars” in the US, and by producer Cathy Rodgers.
“Your task is to bodge together a hovercraft from nothing but twisted metal, scrapped cars, and other assorted bits of rubbish!”

But he can speak for himself:

(Here’s a direct link to Drori’s talk on the TED site.)