what science is this

The signs as science memes

Aries:

Taurus:

Gemini:

Cancer:

Leo:

Virgo:

Libra:

Scorpio:

Sagittarius:

Capricorn:

Aquarius:

Pisces:

5

Okay so I was talking with @picnokinesis about the magic copier and how Ford and Fiddleford were both too big to copy themselves but then I thought about them copying a caricature of one of them and wondering if that’ll work? 

THEN I remembered that episode of Spongebob called Franklendoodle where there was a giant pencil and a doodle Spongebob and this bunch of stupid doodles were born xD Enjoy 

I really do believe that at least part of the problem of people distrusting science has to do with how we as scientists portray ourselves.

We have actively created a system where we derive authority from being seen as better/smarter/more competent than everyone else and then when people ask why they should trust us we respond with a very condescending version of ‘because SCIENCE IS FACT’ or something along those lines.

Like, consider how that would feel from the outside? Here are a small group of people who you have never met/interacted with who sequester themselves in impenetrable ~elite institutions that you can’t access and don’t feel party to who then tell you that what they say is fact because they’re smarter and better educated than you. And if you ever try to question them (no matter how reasonable your objections may be/seem to you) they condescendingly pat you on the head and say something like ‘don’t worry we know better. you can’t possibly understand what we do.’

Why the hell would you trust them? 

No one likes being told that they’re not smart enough to understand something, and no one likes feeling excluded from something they’ve essentially been asked to accept sight unseen. 

I don’t really have a solution to this, except some vague notion about working harder to portray scientists as people working a job, rather than geniuses who are above it all. 

And like trying harder to understand where people are coming from when they question science. And remembering that being better educated than most doesn’t make us smarter than most. It just makes us better trained in certain types of thinking.

I just think we need to keep in mind what we are asking of people. Which is to put a whole hell of a lot of faith in us.

On the direction of the cross product of vectors

One of my math professors always told me:

Understand the concept and not the definition

A lot of times I have fallen into this pitfall where I seem to completely understand how to methodically do something without actually comprehending what it means.

And only after several years after I first encountered the notion of cross products did I actually understand what they really meant. When I did, it was purely ecstatic!


Why on earth is the direction of cross product orthogonal ? Like seriously…

I mean this is one of the burning questions regarding the cross product and yet for some reason, textbooks don’t get to the bottom of this. One way to think about this is :

It is modeling a real life scenario!!

The scenario being :

When you try to twist a screw (clockwise screws being the convention) inside a block in the clockwise direction like so, the nail moves down and vice versa.

i.e When you move from the screw from u to v, then the direction of the cross product denotes the direction the screw will move..

That’s why the direction of the cross product is orthogonal. It’s really that simple!


Another perspective

Now that you get a physical feel for the direction of the cross product, there is another way of looking at the direction too:

Displacement is a vector. Velocity is a vector. Acceleration is a vector. As you might expect, angular displacement, angular velocity, and angular acceleration are all vectors, too.

But which way do they point ?

Let’s take a rolling tire. The velocity vector of every point in the tire is pointed in every other direction.

BUT every point on a rolling tire has to have the same angular velocity – Magnitude and Direction.

How can we possibly assign a direction to the angular velocity ?

Well, the only way to ensure that the direction of the angular velocity is the same for every point is to make the direction of the angular velocity perpendicular to the plane of the tire.

Problem solved!

Where I imagine Science Officer Kirk argues with Captain Spock ALL the TIME. Except then they start to agree with each other.

Bonus:

since Science Officer Jim is still fundamentally Jim

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