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 Post subject: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:10 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
Scientists Teleport Not Kirk, but an Atom
by Kenneth Chang
The New York Times<p>And the beryllium atom said to the Starship Enterprise, beam me up!<p>Two teams of scientists report today that for the first time they have teleported individual atoms, taking characteristics of one atom and imprinting them on a second. <p>In physics, teleportation means creating a replica of an object, or at least some aspect of it, at some distance from the original. The act of teleporting always destroys the original - not entirely unlike the transporters of the "Star Trek" television shows and movies - so it is impossible produce multiple copies. <p>...<p>(Seventeen grafs later):<p>"It's certainly not useful for any beaming in the 'Star Trek' sense," Dr. Blatt of the University of Innsbruck said. "Consider even some molecules or something small like a virus. I cannot imagine it. As far as I can see, it's not going to happen."


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:49 pm 
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Location: Batavia, NY
Dammit, why should the facts stand in the way of a reporter's clever lede? (I haven't seen the whole story, so I'll just have to trust that at some point, we're told why this accomplishment is important.)


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:20 pm 
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Location: Washington, DC
And of course, this begs the question, if this is how "Star Trek" beaming works, is it the SAME Captain Kirk and friends, or simply brand-new copies of them made every time they teleport?<p>And does this make Scotty a mass murderer?<p>Oops, wrong forum...
:asbestos suit on:<p>Jen


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:57 pm 
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This shoots down our scheme to save money by canning all the delivery drivers and beaming our papers to your doorstep.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:01 pm 
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Please, can we cease and desist with the Beam Me Up, Scotty line? Enough, already. It ceased being humorous or witty long ago and is now edging past banal into hackneyed.<p>I'll take my medicine now.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:16 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jen:
And of course, this begs the question...<hr></blockquote>
No, it doesn't.<p>D.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:32 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by DominEditrix:

No, it doesn't.<p>D.
<hr></blockquote><p>Heh. You're right. That's what happens when a girl who should probably be in the emergency room tries to mess with the Big League Copy Editors.<p>Can anyone, by the way, recommend a board or forum where the nitpicky questions can be asked?<p>Jen


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:45 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jen:
<p>Can anyone, by the way, recommend a board or forum where the nitpicky questions can be asked?
<hr></blockquote><p>Nitpicky questions are OK here, although we tend toward the Big Picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:19 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by slummingreporter:
Sorta begs the question, actually<hr></blockquote>It still doesn't. <blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Begging the question: <p>Arguing in a Circle: The basing of two conclusions each upon the other: That the world is good follows from the known goodness of God; that God is good is known from the excellence of the world he has made.<p>Petitio Principii: 'assumption of the basis'. The fallacy of founding a conclusion on a basis that as much needs to be proved as the conclusion itself. Arguing in a circle (see above) is a common form of p.p. That foxhunting is not cruel, since the fox enjoys the fun & that one must keep servants because all respectable people do so, are other examples of begging the question or p.p., in which the argument is not circular. <hr></blockquote>Fowler, Modern English Usage<p>[ June 21, 2004: Message edited by: DominEditrix ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:38 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by majorbabs:
Please, can we cease and desist with the Beam Me Up, Scotty line? Enough, already. It ceased being humorous or witty long ago and is now edging past banal into hackneyed.<hr></blockquote>Plus, no one on the crew of the Enterprise* ever said it.<p>*"NCC-1701. No bloody A, B, C or D."


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:30 pm 
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Location: Homebush NSW Australia
You Dirty Rats, next they'll tell me no one said Play It Again Sam in Casablanca [insert wink here].<p>[ June 21, 2004: Message edited by: Paul Wiggins ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:15 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Oeditpus Rex:
Plus, no one on the crew of the Enterprise* ever said it.<p>*"NCC-1701. No bloody A, B, C or D."<hr></blockquote>And now, from the London Times, a truly witty headline: <p>'Star Trek' sex row warps race to rule Senate <p>D.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:11 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by slummingreporter:
I am curious, now. What would be a proper use then of "begs the question." Not being snarky, here, just curious.<hr></blockquote>See the above definition, with examples. "Begging the question" is not a synonym for "raising the question"; it refers to a circular form of argument that takes a proposition and structures the argument so that the proposition is assumed to be true, then used to "prove" that the conclusion [a reiteration of the proposition] is true. It's similar to a tautology.<p>Classic example:<p>According to the Bible, God exists. As the Bible is God's word and God doesn't lie, God must therefore exist.<p>Or: slumming reporter is a writer. All writers are drunkards, therefore slumming reporter is a drunkard.<p>[Whilst many a writer I have known drinks to still the voices in his head*, I would not accept that as a tenable argument for determining anyone's degree of alcohol consumption.]<p>OTOH, you may accept the validity of the following, which neither begs a question nor argues a proposition:<p>The DominEditrix is an old curmudgeoness who believes that the English language should be vital and evolving, but has observed that, of late, it appears to be devolving into lowest-common-denominator babble. She spent too many decades tweaking a comma here, a clause there, striking out factual errors and distilling the gist of a piece into a few pithy words not to have noticed the linguisitic decline of what passed across her desk. [If you think publishing is bad, try law.] Now that she is in testy semi-retirement, she has decided to remain as cantankerous as ever she was back in the Age of Aquarius. She still refuses to grok anything, continues to believe in the who/whom distinction, and would cheerfully light matches under the fingernails of those who say "between you and I".<p>D.<p>* Not sexist of me; I just don't know any female writers who drink to excess.


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:11 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by DominEditrix:
<p>* Not sexist of me; I just don't know any female writers who drink to excess.<hr></blockquote><p>Stop it! You're killing me!


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 Post subject: Re: Stoopid Science Fiction
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:36 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
Stop it! You're killing me!<hr></blockquote>Ha! I never said they didn't exist, just that I don't know any personally. The female writers I know who self-medicate tend to indulge in pills rather than liquor.<p>Liquor, after all, is fattening.<p>D.


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