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SpecFictionGuy

Science roadblocks in Sci-Fi

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Or, just drop a billion Pepto Bismol tablets into a vast ocean of water.

 

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh the atmosphere, it is!

 

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17 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Well, first Wes, I've got to ask who is the original "they" that you were talking about, and when do "...they shoot it down almost as quickly as the appear?"  I'm not being argumentative, just curious.

 

Good one!!! Those pesky pronouns can really trip us up...

 

The "they" I was referring to would refer to certain people allegedly doing science reporting.  If anyone from a physicist, down to a grad student working on a master's thesis makes some speculative assumption about the physical laws of the universe, then runs the math and gets a result that might be remotely interpreted as allowing TT of FTL, said alleged reporters may announce it with great fanfare. Those who read such reporting over the **decades** will notice they never hear anything about it again, except from SciFi authors.

 

One reason we may never again hear about the claims is because once published, they go under the scrutiny of the full scientific community, which proceed to employ legitimate means to tear them to shreds. Any disproof that's presented is of little interest to those who like to report the spectacular claims in the popular press. So while the claims get effectively shot down, no one talks about them, save those who follow the non-layperson-style of science press.

 

There will of course be speculative work involving things that can't be proven or disproven, such as things involving close proximity to black holes and such, and some of the more established "hard sci fi" writers work with these, knowing they have a reasonable shot of remaining speculative for years yet, and so have less chance of becoming quickly dated. 

 

But they require doing things on a grand scale. When  we get down to putting things in small, convenient-to-the-story packages, like an H G Wells-time machine, or a Star Trek warp drive, we just shut up, enjoy the story, and hold our grumbling about implausibilities. There are times we expect the rules, and times we don't even want to think about 'em...

 

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1 hour ago, Wes B said:

warp drive

Now, NASA has confirmed the theory is viable. The problem is we can't generate the power needed to verify it, so therefore it's still an unknown. 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, zx1ninja said:

Now, NASA has confirmed the theory is viable. The problem is we can't generate the power needed to verify it, so therefore it's still an unknown. 

 

Now... there you would need to provide a source... 

 

I'm not looking to argue, but to get some context for a statement that looks a bit startling. I'm sure you didn't intend it to be so. While I'm sure that someone at NASA could have said something of interest, this is... a little more than that...

 

EDIT: See, if NASA as an organization had made a claim that upends general relativity, the buzz in the scientific community would have exploded into chaos; I haven't seen that. It would be comparable to my missing the headlines that the space aliens have landed and are establishing diplomatic relations. I suppose i could somehow sleep through a "biggie" like that, but the aftershocks would still be felt. In the absence of these, I suspect something a bit different.

 

OTOH, if some individual on NASA's website made a statement that some might consider a bit over optimistic or ill-advised (it's happened...) I might understand that. So i really would like to examine what it is you're referring to.

Edited by Wes B
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Sorry, Wes, but I've got aphasia pretty bad tonight so I can't answer you at length, I just wanted you to know that I found your answer intriguing.

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Aphasia, by the way, is a communication disorder, that doesn't affect the way that I think, but only the way that I communicate, and tonight, well, this has taken an incredibly long time to type, so I'll try again tomorrow!

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