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  1. #141
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Or to make a parallel: it's ok to watch a medical drama and be inspired and appreciate what surgeons do, and strive to be a surgeon yourself one day. It is not ok to watch a medical drama and think you're somehow in on it. That is very dangerous.

    Science is at least more forgiving in that there are a lot of experiments that you can try without killing people, especially in computer sciences and electronics if you have the dosh for things.
    That's why I wrote, "People who indulge in 'recreational science' do things like launch rockets in their backyards, observe the night sky with a home telescope, play around with arduinos, or even get into the chemistry of things like cooking or winemaking." Sci-Fi, medical dramas, etc. are more to motivate interest and set people on the path to learning more. Ideally, though, they will be well-researched enough that the technical or medical content is at least accurate, so viewers or readers don't learn things wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    It's easy to forget that Science is very non-intuitive. Even with all of this education on the sciences, on reasoning and maths, I suspect that most people only get out of it what they manage to find useful in everyday life. Everyday people on the whole need to know pretty much nothing about scientific method, physics and logic.
    I disagree. Scientific inquiry, or put more simply, figuring out how things really work, is part of human nature. Small children generally exhibit it spontaneously. Then grown-ups and schools extinguish it with rules, requirements, procedures, and "how things are supposed to be done". All science education should have to do is get students (or adults) to rediscover their original childhood curiosity.

    Of course science as a profession is much more involved than this, but this is where it starts. For some people it leads them to careers in science. For the rest, it should persist as a curiosity about the world around them that will only be satisfied by the facts. Yes, this will relate most directly to their everyday life, but for the average non-scientist, it would be more than enough to understand even that.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Additionally I would argue that dry information is efficient information and I could trivially back this up based on computational requirements.

    How much 'salt' a person thinks they need in their information in order to digest it comes down to personal preference, but when it comes to the information itself, straight up is the best way to transmit it.

    Edit:
    Also most of you guys appear to be intermingling science into life and the social circus, and meanwhile I'm separating it from the same.
    No. Efficient information is concise. Part of what makes technical communication dry and boring is that it is needlessly verbose and convoluted, NOT efficient or concise. When the ideas leap from a page, unencumbered by needless verbiage and presented with the minimal, exact vocabulary, it is stark in its significance, and far from dry.

    Moreover, science is part of life, and should be. See comments above.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #142
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    That's why I wrote, "People who indulge in 'recreational science' do things like launch rockets in their backyards, observe the night sky with a home telescope, play around with arduinos, or even get into the chemistry of things like cooking or winemaking." Sci-Fi, medical dramas, etc. are more to motivate interest and set people on the path to learning more. Ideally, though, they will be well-researched enough that the technical or medical content is at least accurate, so viewers or readers don't learn things wrong.
    There's nothing wrong with that.

    My main concern is the rogue elements all over YouTube and other places which are doing real damage. And yes they are, because I've seen it, and can bring up too many examples of it happening. Of course there's often someone there to challenge it too, but this constant battle is getting old. (And it is a constant battle and is a huge part of the reason people end up with a wrong opinion instead of no opinion)

    No. Efficient information is concise. Part of what makes technical communication dry and boring is that it is needlessly verbose and convoluted, NOT efficient or concise. When the ideas leap from a page, unencumbered by needless verbiage and presented with the minimal, exact vocabulary, it is stark in its significance, and far from dry.
    Well this comes down to a difference in word choice, but I agree.

    However part of the point still stands - many would consider minimal and exact vocabulary to be 'dry and boring' perhaps even more so than information which is verbose and convoluted. I mean if it's complicated it must be worth something right?

    Edit:
    And actually no, on second thought I don't entirely agree. Whether the words leap off the page for you is more dependent on you than on the words, so my point that it is preference still stands.

    This is ironic considering the fact you could keep the same words yet get different emotive results from different people.

    Moreover, science is part of life, and should be. See comments above.
    Science is a part of life but that doesn't mean we can't isolate it for discussion. Sleeping is a part of life too. I could even argue that sleeping is important for doing science. That doesn't mean it is necessary to include it.

    I only said what I said because it describes how I'm approaching it and that there may be a difference in our views. That was it. I don't see why there had to be more than that.

  3. #143
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @Coriolis

    Also to more illustrate the point about convoluted vs. efficient, just look at sci-fi itself. Especially things like The Matrix, or any hacker movie, or any movie where we see fictional characters dealing with and manipulating vast amounts of information.

    This is actually a convenient illustration because it shows both part of the current problem with sci-fi AND the fact that people LOVE for science to be complicated.

  4. #144
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Also YouTube IS a problem currently. It's a science jungle that some of you might not be privy to because you're sheltered by the good graces of school, or mentors who do all the filtering for you, or you're too busy working to really see how bad it is.

    YouTube is packed to the gills with science and science opinions in an informal setting, and is one of the primary places where a subset of society looks to for their sound bytes and opinions. YouTube is so ubiquitous and used to make points, that it was even used in this very thread.

    The problem with YouTube is that it is polluted. You might be wise enough to not wade into the comments section but not everyone is so well prepared, and let me tell you it is a very dangerous jungle in there which is messing up millions of people every day, whether they realize it or not. I don't mean to sound like an ass, but I have my reasons. These billions of peanut gallery comments in YouTube are too significant to just be ignored as if they play no role in the meta situation of science as a whole. And that's just YouTube, which is only one of many venues causing problems.

    Also I realize that this isn't entirely relevant with this thread, but I got this thread confused with the other one, that's my mistake.

    Edit:
    Also a lot of people are there for amusement. A little TOO much amusement to be actually productive. A lot of them are kids too, they are our next generation.

    Maybe I recoiled a bit to far in the other direction and started saying that science shouldn't be fun. I could admit wrong there. All I really meant to say is don't let it become so fun that you stop actually being scientific.

  5. #145
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Also I have an explanation for EVERYTHING I have said in this thread.

    If there's some reasoning of mine that you don't understand, I can expound on it if you wish. You talk about not being a mind reader, well neither am I. If you don't want to understand me then I won't make you. If you want to, I CAN try to explain. But if you automatically write me off then I'll be a lot less inclined to do so.
    Just because you explain something doesn't mean it is going to be well understood.

    Based off what I have seen and heard you say, this is what I have taken away:

    - You see the public as being inefficient with learning science.
    - You think the public should put a more honest concerted effort into it.
    - You think a major problem stems from scientists improperly passing their information onto the public.
    - You think there should be limitations on what the public does with science
    - You think that information should be free access to everyone (those two conflict).
    - You think scientists are doing a poor job in general.
    - You think scientists sit in an ivory tower and need to level with the public more.

    Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these because I am drawing on memory going back quite some ways and I suspect I mixed things up a bit. I ask that you try and clarify in as simple/concise terms as possible, as to avoid this going off on tangents. Altogether these things seem a bit disjointed, pet issue like, and in some cases they outright conflict with each other in such a way to suggest there is no solution to the problem.

    Ultimately, I want to boil this down to understand where you take your core issues at. This will make clear if there are issues with translation and the details making things appear like they are different when they might not be.
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  6. #146
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Just because you explain something doesn't mean it is going to be well understood.

    Based off what I have seen and heard you say, this is what I have taken away:
    Ok, true enough

    - You see the public as being inefficient with learning science.
    To an extent, but that wasn't my focus, and I don't think it's necessarily a problem, but this would have to go into how efficient we can be and how much learning we think is sufficient to function well

    - You think the public should put a more honest concerted effort into it.
    Not necessarily. I'm perfectly ok with little effort as long as one recognizes that's what is being done. I'm pretty sure I even said so in some form or other.

    - You think a major problem stems from scientists improperly passing their information onto the public.
    That's actually a point I was arguing against, several times. So no, I don't think that. I did mention people like Bill Gaede - who I still think is a menace - but I'm not counting people like him among the norm for scientists (or even crackpots)

    - You think there should be limitations on what the public does with science
    I think the public should be safe and conscious with science if they're going to get involved. I find that to be reasonable?

    - You think that information should be free access to everyone (those two conflict).
    I do think information should be free, and used responsibly, and not muddied.

    - You think scientists are doing a poor job in general.
    I don't think this and have to some degree attempted to argue against this notion with several people.

    - You think scientists sit in an ivory tower and need to level with the public more.
    I don't think that, per se - I think some people believe that but I don't agree. I think that scientists level with the public a lot more than the public realizes, but because of cloudy information and just being busy in general, a lot of it gets missed (or they get pulled in by the crackpots and people making videos of perpetual motion machines which are secretly powered by a blower off camera) It's not people's fault but it's something that happens.

    Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these because I am drawing on memory going back quite some ways and I suspect I mixed things up a bit. I ask that you try and clarify in as simple/concise terms as possible, as to avoid this going off on tangents. Altogether these things seem a bit disjointed, pet issue like, and in some cases they outright conflict with each other in such a way to suggest there is no solution to the problem.
    I'm sure I said some nonsense considering my mood. If there's anything more specific you'd like to understand with me I'll be glad to explain it.

    Ultimately, I want to boil this down to understand where you take your core issues at. This will make clear if there are issues with translation and the details making things appear like they are different when they might not be.
    I just don't want science to be polluted. That's not me putting anything on a pedestal or being pretentious, that's me being seriously interested in several kinds of science and finding it difficult to learn because of information pollution. Not from scientists, they're good - from other rather vocal people blocking my way because everybody can post stuff on the internet nowdays and that's my primary source of study right now.

  7. #147
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Ok, true enough

    To an extent, but that wasn't my focus, and I don't think it's necessarily a problem, but this would have to go into how efficient we can be and how much learning we think is sufficient to function well

    Not necessarily. I'm perfectly ok with little effort as long as one recognizes that's what is being done. I'm pretty sure I even said so in some form or other.

    That's actually a point I was arguing against, several times. So no, I don't think that. I did mention people like Bill Gaede - who I still think is a menace - but I'm not counting people like him among the norm for scientists (or even crackpots)

    I think the public should be safe and conscious with science if they're going to get involved. I find that to be reasonable?

    I do think information should be free, and used responsibly, and not muddied.

    I don't think this and have to some degree attempted to argue against this notion with several people.

    I don't think that, per se - I think some people believe that but I don't agree. I think that scientists level with the public a lot more than the public realizes, but because of cloudy information and just being busy in general, a lot of it gets missed (or they get pulled in by the crackpots and people making videos of perpetual motion machines which are secretly powered by a blower off camera) It's not people's fault but it's something that happens.

    I'm sure I said some nonsense considering my mood. If there's anything more specific you'd like to understand with me I'll be glad to explain it.

    I just don't want science to be polluted. That's not me putting anything on a pedestal or being pretentious, that's me being seriously interested in several kinds of science and finding it difficult to learn because of information pollution. Not from scientists, they're good - from other rather vocal people blocking my way because everybody can post stuff on the internet nowdays and that's my primary source of study right now.

    That makes sense, and I largely agree (at the moment I am not terribly interested in debating down minutiae). Based off this, it does seem like there is a slight disconnected from what you've tauted in the past, and what you actually think. It could just be a product of this thread shifting gears and exact focus several times.
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  8. #148
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    That makes sense, and I largely agree (at the moment I am not terribly interested in debating down minutiae). Based off this, it does seem like there is a slight disconnected from what you've tauted in the past, and what you actually think. It could just be a product of this thread shifting gears and exact focus several times.
    Probably. I do get things mixed up that way. My sentiment often lies with some previous issue which can cause bleed over and that's definitely something I need to work on.

    Edit:
    And also depending on how far back "past" you're talking about I might have simply changed my mind by now as well. This is a possibility with the amount of time I've been here.

  9. #149
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    My main concern is the rogue elements all over YouTube and other places which are doing real damage. And yes they are, because I've seen it, and can bring up too many examples of it happening. Of course there's often someone there to challenge it too, but this constant battle is getting old. (And it is a constant battle and is a huge part of the reason people end up with a wrong opinion instead of no opinion)
    You are correct on this count, and not just about Youtube. Popular culture is rife with bad science. We can motivate and excite people with accurate content just as well as with errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Well this comes down to a difference in word choice, but I agree.

    However part of the point still stands - many would consider minimal and exact vocabulary to be 'dry and boring' perhaps even more so than information which is verbose and convoluted. I mean if it's complicated it must be worth something right?

    Edit:
    And actually no, on second thought I don't entirely agree. Whether the words leap off the page for you is more dependent on you than on the words, so my point that it is preference still stands.
    Yes, much of it is in the word choice. If you are concise, you have to get the most from every word used. That presupposes a varied and rich vocabulary, which will add variety and interest to the writing. Also things like avoiding passive voice, overly long sentences, etc. Unusual, precise words will leap off the page much more readily than bland, trite, overused ones for most people. (I used to argue about this with one of my grad school professors; then I ran across an editorial in a scientific journal that agreed with me. Attached it to my last lab report.)

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Edit:
    Also a lot of people are there for amusement. A little TOO much amusement to be actually productive. A lot of them are kids too, they are our next generation.

    Maybe I recoiled a bit to far in the other direction and started saying that science shouldn't be fun. I could admit wrong there. All I really meant to say is don't let it become so fun that you stop actually being scientific.
    For some of us, being scientific is fun.
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  10. #150
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    This thread ruined my YouTube science channel idea.
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