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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 25 April 2013 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 436 ]
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George - 17 April 2013 10:33 AM

The threads with unusually high number of views have almost certainly very little to do with our members. I imagine that both your and my thread come up in a Google search when people look for popular topics like Star Trek or speed of light.

Yeah, they would have to go through the sign in process to post and figure it ain’t worth the time.

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Posted: 25 April 2013 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 437 ]
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You don’t need to sign in to read posts.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 438 ]
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For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein,

It is his first and last novel.  First written and last published in 2003.

Lost for decades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Us,_The_Living:_A_Comedy_of_Customs

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Posted: 20 May 2013 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 439 ]
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psikeyhackr - 31 January 2013 10:40 AM

I will suggest 5 stories as archetypes to demonstrate some differences rather than only explain the characteristic with words. These stories are all in the public domain so everyone can get them easily and they are also available as audiobooks.

#1. Red Nails by Robert E. Howard
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32759/32759-h/32759-h.htm
http://librivox.org/red-nails-by-robert-e-howard/

#2. Cat and Mouse by Ralph Williams
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24392/24392-h/24392-h.htm
http://ia700300.us.archive.org/2/items/short_scifi_006_0811_librivox/catandmouse_williams_blb_64kb.mp3

#3. The Servant Problem by Robert F. Young
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23232/23232-h/23232-h.htm
http://ia600408.us.archive.org/25/items/short_scifi_028_0910_librivox/servantproblem_young_64kb.mp3

#4. Omnilingual (Feb 1957) by H. Beam Piper
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/scientific-language-h-beam-pipers-qomnilingualq
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/308/omnilingual
http://librivox.org/omnilingual-by-h-beam-piper/

#5. All Day September by Roger Kuykendal
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24161/24161-h/24161-h.htm
http://ia700508.us.archive.org/21/items/short_scifi_016_0905_librivox/alldayseptember_kuykendall_bt_64kb.mp3

#1 is blatantly not science fiction but instead sword and sorcery fantasy.  It is part of the famous, or infamous, Conan series.  Many stories called science fiction today are actually fantasy and some mix SF and fantasy elements.
#2 was nominated for a Hugo but lost to Flowers for Algernon so it should be decent even though it says nothing whatsoever about the “science” or “technology” enabling the story. An alien just makes things happen as though by magic though in this genre we assume the alien is using advanced but unexplained science.
#3 is unusually similar to #2 in that the technology driving the story performs the same function of interstellar transportation but the writer offers a kind of explanation mentioning topology and mobius loops and also includes a little astronomy.  A bit of Treknobabble though not quite that bad in this case.
#4 is a mixture of speculation about future technology combined with considerable discussion of real science regarding physics and chemistry though it describes a Mars which we now know does exist.  This story is from before Sputnik and after World War II.  I regard this story as the quintessential science fiction tale.
#5 is strictly hard SF and contains nothing likely to be impossible at some time in the not too distant future. It is in fact curious in that it is a Moon colony story 10 years before the first Moon landing in 1969 and a prospector finds water on the Moon which was actually found in October of 2009. The story also has a little chemistry. It brings to mind A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke.

[39,936]
psik

Changed story #1 from Red Nails to Queen of the Black Coast.

#1. Queen of the Black Coast by Robert E. Howard
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42183/42183-h/42183-h.htm
http://librivox.org/conan-and-the-queen-of-the-black-coast-by-robert-e-howard/

It came out in Project Gutenberg in Feb. 2013.

It’s a shorter story and I think shows more about Conan’s personality.

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Posted: 23 May 2013 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 440 ]
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Racism in science fiction?

Watch at 33:30 into the flik.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_3zmx1jxIA

“Us Bloods don’t care nuthin’ about science.”

But to what degree is the statement correct and have our schools helped create that attitude?

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Posted: 23 May 2013 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 441 ]
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psikeyhackr - 23 May 2013 07:49 AM

Racism in science fiction?

Watch at 33:30 into the flik.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_3zmx1jxIA

“Us Bloods don’t care nuthin’ about science.”

But do what degree is the statement correct and have our schools helped create the attitude?

psik

I think that whether one cares about science is largely about cultural influences and learning.  But I wouldn’t point to our schools, exclusively.  A large part of those who consider themselves Republicans (a very predominately white group), seem to care “nuthin’ about science”.

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Posted: 23 May 2013 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 442 ]
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Interest in science, and capacity for doing science are two different things.

I think most of humanity is not interested, nor has much capacity to do science, but the majority of science inclined people are European, or northeast Asian. It’s not the schools, it’s biology.

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Posted: 23 May 2013 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 443 ]
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If one has little capacity for doing or understanding science, then, naturally, one would have little interest in science.  OTOH, schools can increase one’s capacity for understanding and doing science. But schools are by no means, the only factor, as biology is by no means the only factor.

Even if the statement, “the majority of science inclined people are European, or northeast Asian” is correct, it doesn’t mean that cultural, educational, and economic influences in those and other areas of the world cannot or do not play an extraordinarily important part in promoting or inhibiting interest in science.

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Posted: 23 May 2013 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 444 ]
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mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 02:42 PM

Interest in science, and capacity for doing science are two different things.

I think most of humanity is not interested, nor has much capacity to do science, but the majority of science inclined people are European, or northeast Asian. It’s not the schools, it’s biology.

Now that’s interesting!

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Posted: 23 May 2013 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 445 ]
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TimB - 23 May 2013 03:14 PM

If one has little capacity for doing or understanding science, then, naturally, one would have little interest in science.

I don’t think this is accurate.

Even if the statement, “the majority of science inclined people are European, or northeast Asian” is correct, it doesn’t mean that cultural, educational, and economic influences in those and other areas of the world cannot or do not play an extraordinarily important part in promoting or inhibiting interest in science.

An individual with an interest in science, living in a place where science appreciation is lacking, will no doubt have trouble reaching their potential. But the interest has to be there in the first place.

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Posted: 24 May 2013 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 446 ]
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mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 08:52 PM

An individual with an interest in science, living in a place where science appreciation is lacking, will no doubt have trouble reaching their potential. But the interest has to be there in the first place.

I think I see what you are proposing, i.e. that “interest in science” is predominately (or completely?) an inherited trait.
This in an interesting proposition.  We should get Steven Pinker onto this right away.  I’ll believe the data when I see it, if it is convincing.

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Posted: 24 May 2013 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 447 ]
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mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 02:42 PM

It’s not the schools, it’s biology.

If it was biology shouldn’t most of them be able to figure out planned obsolescence is going on in so many products on the basis of the “science” by now.

The Laws of Physics do not change style.

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Posted: 24 May 2013 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 448 ]
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mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 08:52 PM
TimB - 23 May 2013 03:14 PM

If one has little capacity for doing or understanding science, then, naturally, one would have little interest in science.

I don’t think this is accurate.


Well, for example, in my past vocation, I have known many individuals who have had moderate, severe and profound intellectual challenges.  None, that I recall, showed indications of “interest in science”.

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Posted: 24 May 2013 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 449 ]
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An individual with an interest in science, living in a place where science appreciation is lacking, will no doubt have trouble reaching their potential. But the interest has to be there in the first place.

 

Case in point, Homer hickham who was raised in a coal mining town in West Va. and became a NASA scientist. inspired by his teacher to learn the science of rocketry he went to college on a scholarship and after a stint in the military Became an NASA Engineer.
As you said, it begins with the interest. The same goes for his contemperory, Chuck Yeager another West Virginian who became the first human to break the sound barrier.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 24 May 2013 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 450 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 24 May 2013 03:42 PM

An individual with an interest in science, living in a place where science appreciation is lacking, will no doubt have trouble reaching their potential. But the interest has to be there in the first place.

 

Case in point, Homer hickham who was raised in a coal mining town in West Va. and became a NASA scientist. inspired by his teacher to learn the science of rocketry he went to college on a scholarship and after a stint in the military Became an NASA Engineer.
As you said, it begins with the interest. The same goes for his contemperory, Chuck Yeager another West Virginian who became the first human to break the sound barrier.


Cap’t Jack

The question is, would Homer have ever been particularly interested in science, if his teacher had not inspired him to learn the science of rocketry.  Were there other potential Homer Hickhams who never became interested in science, because they were not “inspired”?

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