Friday, 13 November 2015

What is an Artificial Scientist

Natural sciences are the most wonderful achievements of humanity.

Without them, our world would be colder, darker, and far more dangerous than it is. When it comes to how I would change the world, it would only be to encourage more people to be scientists, to study Physics, and Chemistry, and stamp collecting if the first two are too hard.

But then again, I am a Physics teacher. I have a vested interest in getting people invested in my interests.

This is Artificial Science, where I discuss video games, cinematic worlds, table top games, the whole gamut of nerd and geek culture, all through the lens of Science, reason and rational thought. In each of our make-believe worlds there are truths and systems which can help us to understand our own world. I love dissecting the world around me, and analysis of data can keep me entertained for a far too long a time.

I want to share these musings with you. Because there's nothing a nerd likes more than to lecture on and on about the things he knows. As a group, we tend to vent trivia. Because learning is fun!

I am a Physics teacher, and through the many twists and turns of my life, I never quite made it to the vaunted goal of Real Scientist. As much as I would love to drop everything and go back to university to eviscerate to bounds of the unknown, I am a family man. Sometimes you have to be sensible about things, and focus on where the next pay cheque comes from.

Teaching, and working in the labs so that others may go forth into the intellectual wilderness is satisfying enough... at least for now. Even though I may never get there, at least I will have helped many become Real Scientists. And save them from the perils of, well, English Literature or Gender Studies.. or other wastes of academic time.

That's unfair... all subjects have their place. But it's rare when an interesting interpretation of Hamlet produces an iPhone. Even rarer will a conversation on the roles of transgender iPhones in modern society. I'm not saying the work isn't important, but finding cold fusion and engineering more abundant food stocks will be better in the long run.

That's really the point of this. I don't find debates about skirt lengths in fighting games all that interesting, and there's already a few thousand people out there raging on about them being too high/low/long/blue etc. demanding immediate change and action at a societal level. That strikes me as exhausting. This is a place to relax and talk about light sabres, and how they're better off being plasma brands rather than lasers.

If I can't be a Real Scientist, I'll settle for being a weekend one. I'll settle for examining our artificial worlds, which are a tad more easy to put numbers to than the natural one. An Artificial Scientist. If at the end of all this I have the skills to be a Real Scientist, then excellent! I can retire from teaching, get my evenings back from lesson planning and sit in a lab happy as a pig in data-based muck. If not, well, at least I'll have had some fun.

And isn't that the point of movies and games?

I've preamble rambled on enough, and I've got some books to mark.

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