Search

Get Full Essay

Locke thinks that the archetypes of these ideas are in the mind rather than in the world. A copyright notice in the Sircam code says that this worm was consequences of stealing essay in Mexico, but I have seen no confirmation that this statement is correct. Locke thinks that the human mind is incredibly active; it is constantly positive thinking essays what he calls operations. Single-parent families make up about 60 percent of their households. Ethical people are not favorably impressed by someone whose portfolio harms other people. Future victims were most commonly infected by opening an attachment in an e-mail from someone who they knew, and presumedly trusted. Focuses particularly on agency, consequences of stealing essay, personhood, and rationality.



Artwork by Sidney Harris. Introduction We are about to take up some of the more speculative topics, like space combat and star travel. To make things work, we will have to bend, and perhaps even break some of the theories of physics.

But you have to do it responsibly, remaining true to the spirit if not the letter of the laws of science. Otherwise your SF world will degenerate into a self-contradictory mass of putrid fantasy pathetically trying to cover up with scraps of ridiculous technobabble. There is some good reading on this topic at StarDestroyer dot net.

In particular beware of pseudoscience. There are a few areas where the problem crops up again and again. They are all where the theories of science are inconveniently preventing the writer from doing something they want, and the writer is getting petulant about it. The most common ones are: In a recent thread on StarDestroyer. People can only juggle a limited number of important points in their head at a time; if you pile enough rules and confounding variables on them they start rejecting some of them simply as a defense mechanism.

Most people prefer to be left with some ideas that are at least as interesting as the ideas that get shot down by the power of SCIENCE! Blogger Matterbeam is doing his best to come to your rescue. His blog Tough SF is full of analysis trying to find parameters for your science fiction universe that are both [A] reasonably scientifically accurate and [B] dramatically fun universes to set your stories in.

The first few entries are aimed at space combat that is not more boring than watching paint dry. Having said all that, you will find me unsympathetic if the reason that you are upset with the science is because it is preventing you from recreating Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, or whatever other unscientific Hollywood media SF that you happen to be fixated on.

You are not interested in creating a scientifically accurate science fictional universe. You just want something vaguely resembling "proof" to be used as ammunition to maintain that your favorite media SF franchise is going to become true Real Soon Now "NASA scientist are working on a Warp Drive! The fact that your beloved franchise is about as scientifically accurate as Phlogiston theory means this website will hold nothing but tears for you.

Their self-confidence is good, but they have about the same chance of success as a child in a soapbox derby car winning the Indy A dilettante with home-made gear cannot hope to compete with trained professionals with precision equipment.

Net by Michael Wong. Among the ranks of Star Trek fandom, there seem to be a lot of people with little or no technical background, who think that they can take a "shortcut" to advanced scientific knowledge by skipping over the usual years of hard work in university, and simply reading some books on quantum mechanics. I dare say I probably have better knowledge of these subjects than you do, so you should watch your mouth before you go putting down my knowledge. But if a layperson makes claims about science which I know to be incorrect, I will tell him.

How hard did he really work? What sounds more difficult? Reading some science books in your spare time, or studying science or engineering for 5 days a week, every week, for years? Reading a handful of books for personal enlightenment, or reading textbooks and papers because you have to take grueling three hour long exams and submit a series of fifty page laboratory reports? Skipping over the boring parts and jumping right to conclusions or abstracts, or knowing that the boring parts are the parts on which you will be tested?

Trying to run before you learn to walk: Comprehension of advanced scientific concepts requires comprehension of the basics. People without a grasp of the basics and no, high school does not give you a grasp of the basics tend to misinterpret complex material.

The result of this ignorance is that they can read "The Physics of Star Trek" and conclude that Treknology is realistic, or they can read "A Matter of Time" and conclude that conservation of energy has been rendered obsolete. When someone gets a university degree, there is a public record to prove that he has done the work that he claims to have done. But what about our "independent study" oppponent?

When someone gets a university degree, there is a public record to prove that not only did he do the work, but he was tested and found competent. But what about our "independent study" opponent?

How do we know that he understood any of what he was reading? No one forced him to write reports, submit theses, perform experiments, or take exams, did they? However, I have studied certain subjects at length, in a university environment where my comprehension of the material was tested. Therefore, if I make a statement about scientific or engineering concepts which were covered in my education, it is made on the basis of the fact that I studied those subjects at length, in much greater detail than one who has merely read a handful of science books especially when those books are the type that contain no equations.

Michael Wong The man who goes by the internet name of "Comic" had these words of wisdom: So you know, university Physics is essentially three years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts.

Done with supercomputers, access to the textbook collections of five continents and thirty languages. On four hours sleep a night. The facts are wrong Gene Ward Smith asks what looks like a reasonable question on rec. The actual answer is probably "a bit of both". One subthread rapidly turns into "Well, maybe the mass-luminousity relationship is wrong!

In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.

George Orwell, Dunning-Kruger effect About the only thing that can resist an Atomic Rocket is a thick shell of pure Dunning-Krugerite According to Wikpedia, the Dunning-Kruger effect is "a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average.

This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes. It goes on to say "Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others"" Rational Wiki translates this into English: If you have no doubts whatsoever about your brilliance, you could just be that damn good.

On the other hand The effect can also be summarised by the phrase "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". In those innocent days before the internet you would only be plagued by the relatively small number of Dunning-Krugreites who were within hearing distance. Now you can hear all the ones on the entire planet.

The observation is not particularly new. In the s Bertrand Russell said "The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. In Charles Darwin said "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge".

From Indexed The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a cognitive bias in which people perform poorly on a task, but lack the meta-cognitive capacity to properly evaluate their performance. As a result, such people remain unaware of their incompetence and accordingly fail to take any self-improvement measures that might rid them of their incompetence. Dunning and Kruger often refer to a "double curse" when interpreting their findings: People fail to grasp their own incompetence, precisely because they are so incompetent.

And since, overcoming their incompetence would first require the ability to distinguish competence from incompetence people get stuck in a vicious cycle. Hawes Limiting The Damage In some cases you have no choice but to violate a theory of physics. For instance, if you are going to have FTL travel, you are going to have to violate either relativity or causality ; one of them has got to go. The important point is to keep the fracture under control.

Hack writers will assume that "if we have to break a few theories of physics for FTL, why not just throw all the theories out the window? Omitting physics will degrade your setting to a pathetic lack of believability worse than an average Space Ghost cartoon.

The goal is to take the more fantastical elements and give them a sense of verisimilitude. For science fiction, scientific accuracy in anything not hand waved for the good of the story is a good start. If you want to preserve the sense of being real, you have to diverge as little as possible in your hand waving. For the other, while this website is mainly a resource for novelists, I know many people online who employ it as a useful guide for roleplaying games, board games, and just plain intellectual debate.

Throwing out the laws of physics is going to screw up the setting the story occurs in, whether novel, fanfic, game, or thought experiment. Mark Temple And try just to break one theory, not two or three.

Breaking the theory in question might make things a little too unlimited. It is often wise to create your own fake "theories" to rein things in. No transit time, click and you are instantly at Altair 6. It would be better if you create a fake theory that restricts FTL speeds to some convenient multiple of the speed of light.

Finally, be aware that the more fundamental the theory is that you just broke, the more serious and the more numerous will be the unintended consequences. Unintended Consequences Caprica "where a startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence brings about unforeseen consequences" Things have implications. This means every time one adds a new scientific law or gizmo to their SF universe, you have to examine it to ensure that it does not introduce unintended consequences. In the real world we have such examples as stiffer penalties for drunk driving leading to an explosion of hit-and-run accidents as fear of the stiffer penalties cause drunk drivers to flee the accident , and how the introduction of the internet has lead to virtual extinction of magazines, newspapers, telephone books, and encyclopedias.

As a rule of thumb, the more fundamental the theory is that you just broke, the more serious and the more numerous will be the unintended consequences.

If you the author make your standard spacecraft propulsion system powerful enough to reduce interplanetary travel times to a few weeks, you suddenly have to deal with the fact that any old tramp freighter spaceship can vaporize Texas. The classic science fiction example is the "Transporter" from Star Trek.

When Gene Roddenberry was producing the original Star Trek, he did not have the special effects budget to land the Starship Enterprise on the planet du jour every episode. So he added the Transporter: All the producers need is a cheap optical effect, and the actors are on the planet ready to get the episode rolling. Twenty-six repetitions a season make a mistake very hard to live with. The transporter room is a good example. Thus, the special-effects crew was relieved of the responsibility of having to show either the starship or its shuttlecraft landing on a new planet each week.

Unfortunately the use of the transporter set up conditions of its own that were not foreseen in the initial postulation. And that was the miscalculation. If the transporter had been designed for the express purpose pun intended of getting our heroes into the story faster, then it also allowed them to get out of it just as quickly.



John Locke () John Locke was among the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the 17 th century. He is often regarded as the founder of a school of thought known as British Empiricism, and he made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government. The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus.

Total 1 comments.
There are no comments on this entry....