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horndgmium
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So I'm currently sitting in class right now behind a girl wearing a a blue/white wig and tiger ears, so I am unable to concentrate. Nor do I care, because I am a senior taking freshman biology, because I transferred in sophomore year and my university demanded that I take it (it doesn't really help that I came here immediately after my graduate-level advanced biochemistry course). That being said, I obviously have been nosing around the Kerbal forum shamelessly, and an unfortunate behavior seems to dominate the interpersonal interaction between you, my fellow Kerballers.

This behavior in question: the tendency to propose/address scientific phenomena with scientific certainty, in turn causing others to debunk said phenomena in a totalitarian manner.Because of this, I'd like to extend to you all, my favorite community, a public service announcement (I have recently broken up with Imgur because of the hypocrisy and self-righteousness that I hope to never see in my new lover, the KSP forum).

Many of you suggest or bring up excellent ideas and speculation about complex topics, with minimal research. I understand this, and do this sometimes myself, as it is an effective way to initiate conversation about something you either wish to know more about, or see implemented into the game (or has been already). While initiating conversation with a lack of knowledge due to incomplete research is a minor fiend, this leads to another problem: for others to debunk these ideas in full, while also either with a limited knowledge of the matter, or limited research on the matter.

The fact that you simply have heard about a phenomenon does not mean that it is always the case. Galaxies and start systems form in BILLIONS of ways, maybe trillions. Please don't null someone's idea right from the start because YOU don't know about something, or whether or not it is feasible in the whole Universe (key concept: the Universe is large as balls). Contrary, simply because you have NOT heard of one phenomenon, does not mean it is wrong or impossible either. That's like saying CO2, for example, is NEVER a reactive gas, because it's predominantly inert. Under the right conditions, anything in our universe may be possible WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE HEARD OF IT OR THE CURRENT RESEARCH THINKS/KNOWS IT IS POSSIBLE (or not).

Please offer reasonable discussion instead, about why you THINK the idea/phenomenon is improbable, since you are likely not an expert on the topic (if you are... prove it?). Be a little less ambivalent. Like any development in science, and has been the case thousands of times in the past, many previously "impossible" ideas have proved to be, in fact, the way things are. Some of these things include: the earth being round, the ability for humans to move faster than 50 mph without exploding, and evolution). Be a little bit more amiable in your discussions, because by shutting down someone else's idea, you are hindering the forward-moving nature of scientific discovery, as well as even the development of the game itself.

If TL;DR, don't be a know it all douche.

You'll never see me personally respond to any topic about space with absolute certainty, just hopeful speculation, but if you want to talk proteins and biochemistry, get at me.

Horndog, out.

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It always seemed to me the amount of rocket scientists and astrophysicists around here is suspiciously high :P

+Rep!

Indeed. I can understand the desire to debate things, but lots of people take it way too personally and should just calm down. Its ok to not know something. With the kinds of things talked about here there are people at NASA who have no idea. This game is for fun and doesnt use real physics. However I dont want to rant so i will just ask that people on here be a bit more polite to those who might not know some things.

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"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

 Clarke's first law (lesser known than 'sufficiently advanced technology')

I think this quote is something people need to keep in mind when discussing the topics we do around here. No matter how much research you may have done, unless something has been PROVEN to be impossible, beyond any reasonable doubt, you can't say that it is impossible.

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Ask her for her Number already!!!

Amen. You could ask if she's a tiger in bed. Sounds like a nice icebreaker (or a good way to get slapped, depending on the girl)

Anyway on the rest of the topic: The human brain always wants to be right. It's bred into our evolution. You don't get to reproduce by admitting the other guy is right, so your brain will refuse to admit defeat, sometimes going even as far as to convince itself of things that have been unquestinatly proven wrong right infront of you. I'm pritty sure that's the reason everyone is so quick to debunk things they THINK they know. Your brain has convinced you that you DO know

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

 Clarke's first law (lesser known than 'sufficiently advanced technology')

I think this quote is something people need to keep in mind when discussing the topics we do around here. No matter how much research you may have done, unless something has been PROVEN to be impossible, beyond any reasonable doubt, you can't say that it is impossible.

If I understand it correctly, it's actually impossible to prove something impossible (ironic much?). Just because we never seen it happen, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Especially if you take the effect observation has on an experiment.

The perfect example is God. You can never prove that god doesn't exist, you can only NOT prove that he exist (until you do prove that he exists ofcourse, but let's leave that part out of the discussion)

Edited by Sirrobert
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"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

 Clarke's first law (lesser known than 'sufficiently advanced technology')

Ah thank you so much for this, I love this quote. This and the "fear is data" quote.

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I'm willing to get on board with this, conditioned on the understanding that possibility does not equal probability.

I don't mind saying anything is possible. However, in science, it's not enough to simply state that something is possible to validate an opinion or position. To paraphrase Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory: It's possible that at the center of every black hole there's a little man fumbling for the light switch, but it's not probable.

Galaxies may form in million or billions or trillions of ways. But its far more likely that a small number of processes are responsible for the vast majority of galaxies out there.

CO2 and N2 may be reactive in some situations, but the conditions are so uncommon that they are widely accepted to be inert gasses.

My point is this: It's a two-way street.

Yes, posters who come across as know-it-alls may be obnoxious, but I think it's necessary to simultaneously acknowledge that posters who argue points simply because the point can't be definitively disproved, even after presented with mountains of contrary evidence, are equally guilty.

I

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This forum is already quite tame, compared to some others i had un-pleasure of visiting :P Population of trolls here is stunningly small - a phenomenon in itself. But there are positive things to say about a lively discussion, free thought-sharing and humour too. We don't want this community to become stiff and stuffy - don't we?

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This forum is already quite tame, compared to some others i had un-pleasure of visiting :P Population of trolls here is stunningly small - a phenomenon in itself. But there are positive things to say about a lively discussion, free thought-sharing and humour too. We don't want this community to become stiff and stuffy - don't we?

Labcoats and glasses for everyone!

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It is generally accepted to say CO2 inert; as CO2 is inactive in most cases, the probability of a reaction is low, redaction is slow and difficult (energy state).

Scientific method is never 100% and is open to false data, mis-measurement and high expectations. So I agree people should not use science with "absolute" certainty when making statements. The purpose of (most) peoples post is to gain more information or "thrash out" concepts they may have, so most time, ksp'ers postings are not even fully formed when put 0n-line.

Give the majority a break, it is only a GAME !

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I had this debate with a staff member who doesn't understand science yesterday in fact. Empiricism does not allow you to "prove" anything but can allow you to disprove something. Often times this disproving takes place under specific tightly controlled circumstances but we can say (for example) that at STP ~4.6 billion years after Earth coalesced naturally occurring Uranium will not form a critical mass since the fissionable material will be too dispersed.

All of our statements have assumptions built into them and without acknowledging those assumption (and making sure that all parties in a discussion share those assumptions) there can't really be any sort of discourse. This sounds kind of trivial (after all most people will agree with the assumption that the world that we exist in is in fact real) but when discussing a video game it can get more convoluted since there is more room for these assumptions to vary between observers. That's why I think some of these disagreements on the "science" of KSP exist - we aren't operating under the same assumptions.

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I like how quite often, on many different topics someone DOES show up that has a deeper understanding of the subject than everyone else and then takes the time to educate the rest a bit. It's not always a case of textbook lessons, but interesting and helpful pointers are often given. Which is great!

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There is of course one scientific tidbit that bugs me, or rather how often people say it's impossible, and that's Warp Drives. More Specifically the Alcubierre Drive. I could go nuts and spew my thoughts on the matter all over this thread, but that would be awkward and would likely get people in trouble for replying Tl;Dr.

Simply put, it's possible, we just need to generate this "exotic matter" that has negative mass(or something), which isn't even impossible according to at least two scientists. One of them is a bit of a nutball, honestly. His name is Michio Kaku and he believes in STRING THEORY! Well, okay, that's not that bad, actually, it's weird but I don't get it. According to the Youtube Comment Section however, he is INSANE! But that's the Youtube Comment Section, so it's not fair to them to pay attention to pretty much anything said there or take it at face value.

Also there this guy called NASA seems to believe in this stuff. Wait. No, sorry, a Group called NASA. They're doing research on this stuff. Maybe you've heard of them?

And yes, Clarke's first law is very important here. I mean, just 'cause one guy says that E=MC2 doesn't mean he knows EVERYTHING! Plus he didn't believe Quantum Physics was going to go anywhere(called it names to boot), and here we are talking about the Alcubierre Drive which needs Quantum Physics to talk about. Also Quantum Physics is a big deal these days. Go figure.

I could post links to dozens of things to help my case, but basically, all people need to see me post is this youtube video: http://youtu.be/ctjbE_zcurg.

Anyway, I'll give back the soapbox, guys. Cheers.

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So I'm currently sitting in class right now behind a girl wearing a a blue/white wig and tiger ears, so I am unable to concentrate.

I don't know why, but this reminded me of a lightbulb joke or two or three:

1. How many fine arts students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: Five. One to change the lightbulb and four to express themselves.

2. How many engineering students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: All of them. One to hold the lightbulb and the rest to drink until the room spins.

3. (back to the biology theme) How many mice does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: two.

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Okay, maybe the lounge would be best :/

lol

I don't know why, but this reminded me of a lightbulb joke or two or three:

1. How many fine arts students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: Five. One to change the lightbulb and four to express themselves.

2. How many engineering students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: All of them. One to hold the lightbulb and the rest to drink until the room spins.

3. (back to the biology theme) How many mice does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

ans: two.

Ok the first one is fine, the second one would probably apply better to students in general, but you REALLY have me confused at the 3th one. Is that a reference to something I'm not getting?

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