a small problem or weakness in a person or system that can result in failure.
Maths has always been my Achilles heel.
An Achilles’ heel or Achilles heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall.
While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.
Achilles is a typical Greek hero;
celebrated for his fleetness of foot,
prone to excess of wrath and grief,
at the same time he is compassionate,
full of affection for his mother and respect for the gods.
“The Achilles heel” is an idiomatic expression that originated from Greek mythology and is commonly used in English to refer to a particular vulnerability or weakness in a person, system, or situation. The key points of using the expression “The Achilles heel” are:
Vulnerability or Weakness: The phrase “The Achilles heel” refers to a specific area of weakness or vulnerability. Just as Achilles, the legendary Greek hero, had a weak spot in his heel that ultimately led to his downfall, the expression implies that there is a particular aspect of the subject being referred to that is susceptible to failure or harm.
Known Weakness: The weakness referred to by “The Achilles heel” is typically well-known or easily identifiable. It is often a known flaw or deficiency that may be exploited or targeted by others. The weakness may not be immediately apparent, but it is something that can be recognized or exploited under certain circumstances.
Connotation of Fatal or Disastrous Consequences: The expression “The Achilles heel” is often used to convey the idea that the identified weakness or vulnerability has the potential for serious consequences, such as failure, defeat, or downfall. It suggests that the weakness is not trivial, but rather a significant flaw that can have dire outcomes.
Contextual Usage: “The Achilles heel” is commonly used in a metaphorical or figurative sense to describe weaknesses or vulnerabilities in various domains, such as individuals, organizations, systems, processes, plans, or strategies. It can be used in a wide range of contexts, including but not limited to, business, sports, politics, and everyday conversation.
Familiarity with Greek Mythology: The origin of the expression “The Achilles heel” is from Greek mythology, where Achilles was a hero with extraordinary strength, except for his heel, which was his only vulnerable spot. Therefore, a basic understanding of this mythological story adds depth and meaning to the usage of the expression.
In summary, “The Achilles heel” is an idiomatic expression used to refer to a known weakness or vulnerability with potentially severe consequences. It conveys the idea of a specific area of vulnerability that may lead to failure or downfall, and it is often used in a metaphorical or figurative sense in various contexts. Familiarity with Greek mythology is also helpful in understanding its meaning and usage.
An Achilles’ heel is a fatal weak spot in an otherwise invulnerable entity.
The name is derived from the Greek hero Achilles, who plays the main role in Homer’s Iliad. According to mythology, Achilles was dipped into the waters of the Lethe or Styx, rivers in the underworld, by his mother, the sea goddess Thetis, to make him invulnerable. However, she had to hold him somewhere, and she held him by his heel. This was the only vulnerable spot on his body and eventually led to his downfall in the battle against Troy: Paris struck him with a poisonous arrow after Achilles lost his sandal while chasing Hector around Troy.
The myth clearly refers to the fact that when the large tendon in the human heel (aptly named the Achilles tendon) is cut or damaged, it results in lameness or disability.
Trust in research – the ethics of knowledge production
1 Trust in research — the ethics of knowledge production | Garry Gray | TEDxVictoria
Gepubliceerd op 22 dec. 2014
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. We all take knowledge for granted every day: we assume that those who studied the health effects of using everyday products did their research accurately and without bias. But did they?
What if the researchers we trust to keep us safe are having their work influenced by hidden biases?
Garry Gray is a University of Victoria Sociology professor and a Network Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
Draft summary of the talk by professor Garry Gray (12 minutes)
For the past 3 years I was a researcher at the centre for ethics at the Harvard University where I examened
Corrupting influences and hidden biases in the persuite of knowledge
My goal to understand everyday life of researchers across all disciplenes
In the end I ended up with close to 10 000 pages of in-depth-interviews transcript
Today I want to share with you some of the ethical dilemmas
An increased risk of bias depending who is funding thier research
Why shoud we be concerned about the ethics of knowledge production
An idealist and naive idea of science
The ethics of knowledge production
The structures and Institutions
The close examination of how scientists produce
Patterns of scientific distortions
the corruption of knowledge
The majority of these distortions were not produced by bad people – although this does happen – your friends and family
Initially small lapses here and there
Little Scientific lapses
Not happy with the higher risk of a negative result
Maybe I sensor myself
these types of rationalizes
these little compromises
Neutralize any guily
Over time these small lapses
of which we convince it is ok
I sensor myseld and put the question in a different way
For instance plastic waterbotles
We trust that drinking from the waterbotle
We should be a little bit less trusty
Every study funded by the industries
The funding effect
Some of the ethically dilemma’s
Patterns of distortions
Corrupting of knowledge
Corrupted and blinded
Corrupting influences and biases
The funding effect bias is real
Scientist funding by the industry
No industries funded studies
The questions themselves are kind of
Overtime these little compromises
Knowledge production is overtime distorted
We see the pattern
From cell phone safety to climate change to soft drugs
Industry depended think tanks
There is a tendency to have sympathy with the food industry
A little bit
That the questions themselves are kind of selective
The most frequent often consulting managers
These voting members often service consultes
They might be experts but they are not independed experts
As you know in 2008 the world suffered a major financial crisis
blinded and corrupted professors
An upset queen of England
If the problem is so widespread why anyone noticed it?
The director told at every stage the Queen everyone was so blinded
A lack on in depended researchers
The blind leading the blind
And everyone though they did the right thing
No conflict of interest would influence my work
Corrupting influences an hidden biases
An conflict of interest
I would never …
However the power
Accidents related to cell phone distracted driving
The power to rationalize
Saying you have integrity is easy, practicing integrity is not easy...
And recognize our own lapses
What does this all mean
What kind of knowledge is produced
What are the strings attached when we receive funding
What questions there were asked
What kind of knowledge is used
Data confidential so that the research can never be verified
The funding effect bias is real.
What does this all mean in the context of knowledge production?
Ask yourself what are the strings attached when we accept funding
Are the string visible?
Are the strings invisible?
Scientist sensor themselves
My interviews make clear that the funding effect bias is real and if left unchecked
When you check a book
Information in knowledge take
A critical eye for independence
To value science
That the recherche result can never be checked
Information and knowledge requires science
Summary: these little compromises
Minute 5: clips
Minute 7: The Queen
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