1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

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1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby squall_line » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:22 pm UTC

Image

Alt-text: "They always try to explain that they're called 'solar physicists', but the reporters interrupt with 'NEVER MIND THAT, TELL US WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE SUN!'"

Shouldn't that be archaeologist?

Also, given the prevalence of interviews with astronomers leading up to The Eclipse, I'm not sure I agree with their placement on the scale.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Draconaes » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:30 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:... given the prevalence of interviews with astronomers leading up to The Eclipse, I'm not sure I agree with their placement on the scale.


I think those wouldn't be considered part of a "breaking news story". Unless it was an unexpected eclipse, in which case that might indeed be pretty worrying.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby qvxb » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:46 pm UTC

Environmental Analytical Chemist

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby squall_line » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

Draconaes wrote:
squall_line wrote:... given the prevalence of interviews with astronomers leading up to The Eclipse, I'm not sure I agree with their placement on the scale.


I think those wouldn't be considered part of a "breaking news story". Unless it was an unexpected eclipse, in which case that might indeed be pretty worrying.


Depends on the size of the locale. I'm not old enough to remember how news was covered before the 24-hour news channels came around, but at least one of the local stations in my area reported on The Eclipse as if it were a breaking story, presumably to gain the attention of viewers.

The cohort of local reporters contains one individual who was reporting live at a flash flooding event and said, out loud, "I wish that car was parked fifty or so feet closer so that it was underwater; that would be a MUCH better shot!"

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:22 pm UTC

If it was perhaps an aged Henry Walton Jones IIIrd, as archaeologist, being interviewed outside of (say) a newly discovered grave/tomb by the Onon River in Mongolia, it's quite possible that we have to be quite worried about something...

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby chrisjwmartin » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:13 pm UTC

He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby MrT2 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:53 pm UTC

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New particle discovery - left-ish
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby xtifr » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

Living in a University town, I wouldn't consider any of these particularly worrying, since I'd assume the local angle was the scientist, not the discovery.

A lot of these are likely to vary depending on where you live. For example, local breaking news coverage of a vulcanologist is probably routine in Hawaii, worrisome in New York, and downright terrifying if you live in Wyoming or Montana.

chrisjwmartin wrote:He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.


I don't see how that would be worrying, unless you believe in No Biochemical Barriers. Personally, I'd be glued to the TV, but wouldn't be at all worried.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:59 pm UTC

Virologist in jeans and t-shirt: centre.
Virologist in suit, holding a glass of champagne: left.
Virologist in lab-coat, holding clicker for PowerPoint show: as shown.
Virologist in last night's clothes, pale-faced and sweating: start drinking now.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby wumpus » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:54 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:Virologist in jeans and t-shirt: centre.
Virologist in suit, holding a glass of champagne: left.
Virologist in lab-coat, holding clicker for PowerPoint show: as shown.
Virologist in last night's clothes, pale-faced and sweating: start drinking now.


Champagne might indicate connections to Theranos. Be wary.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:59 pm UTC

I don't get the concern about vulcanologists; surely klingonologist would be more worrying.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby cryptoengineer » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:06 pm UTC

Seen recently, and quite far over to the right: Meteorologist.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:06 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:Virologist in jeans and t-shirt: centre.
Virologist in suit, holding a glass of champagne: left.
Virologist in lab-coat, holding clicker for PowerPoint show: as shown.
Virologist in last night's clothes, pale-faced and sweating: start drinking now.

Virologist, interviewer (and also hints of camera/sound/production crew) in full containment gear in front of a famous cityscape..?

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Heimhenge » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:36 pm UTC

cryptoengineer wrote:Seen recently, and quite far over to the right: Meteorologist.


And not surprisingly (in today's political climate [in the USA]), climatologists aren't even on the radar.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Flumble » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:28 pm UTC

Given this is a projective line, mathematician is at infinity.

Also where is AI researcher? If there's still breaking news at that point, there's still hope.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:15 pm UTC

Paleontologist in dusty overalls holding a rock: see "Archaeologist."
Paleontologist in dusty overalls and dust-mask holding a jar of sand: see "Nutritionist."
Paleontologist in kevlar body-suit, ballistic goggles and plate armour holding a shotgun: see Jurassic Park.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:49 pm UTC

Cosmologist.
EDIT: Underdressed cosmologist .
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:23 pm UTC

Or, generalized:


More worried ----->

Scientist who studies things about the size of a human .... Scientist who studies things an order of magnitude larger/smaller than a human ...... more orders of magnitude .... more yet .....

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

Presumably if they're interviewing an eschatologist (in their professional capacity) as breaking news, it's far too late to worry...

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby chrisjwmartin » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:29 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.

I don't see how that would be worrying, unless you believe in No Biochemical Barriers. Personally, I'd be glued to the TV, but wouldn't be at all worried.

If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:53 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Presumably if they're interviewing an eschatologist (in their professional capacity) as breaking news, it's far too late to worry...

<snerk>!

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby sotanaht » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:26 am UTC

xtifr wrote:Living in a University town, I wouldn't consider any of these particularly worrying, since I'd assume the local angle was the scientist, not the discovery.

A lot of these are likely to vary depending on where you live. For example, local breaking news coverage of a vulcanologist is probably routine in Hawaii, worrisome in New York, and downright terrifying if you live in Wyoming or Montana.

chrisjwmartin wrote:He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.


I don't see how that would be worrying, unless you believe in No Biochemical Barriers. Personally, I'd be glued to the TV, but wouldn't be at all worried.


I suppose we shouldn't really be too worried about meteorite bacteria. While it's entirely possible it could be deadly, it's much less likely than it is for bacteria of terrestrial origin. In general though, I think similarities are more likely than differences, and that likelihood increases the more complex the organism. That goes to the extent that if intelligent alien life exists it is most likely as far as we know to have evolved on a very earth-like world to a very human-like form. As far as we actually know that's the only way things actually work. That's not just a sample-size bias, it's physics, applied physics and etc.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Draconaes » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:43 am UTC

chrisjwmartin wrote:If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


I'm not sure what sequence of events would lead to exobiologists being the first scientists to be interviewed in relation to a potential alien invasion. If there's an alien fleet in orbit or some such, I don't think many news stations will be rushing to exobiology for explanations.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby pogrmman » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:22 pm UTC

Draconaes wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


I'm not sure what sequence of events would lead to exobiologists being the first scientists to be interviewed in relation to a potential alien invasion. If there's an alien fleet in orbit or some such, I don't think many news stations will be rushing to exobiology for explanations.


I think the most likely scenario for an exobiologist to be on TV for breaking news would be if we found microbes on Mars or one of the icy moons in the outer solar system. An alien invasion would probably have military/government people being interviewed.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Keyman » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:06 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:
Draconaes wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


I'm not sure what sequence of events would lead to exobiologists being the first scientists to be interviewed in relation to a potential alien invasion. If there's an alien fleet in orbit or some such, I don't think many news stations will be rushing to exobiology for explanations.


I think the most likely scenario for an exobiologist to be on TV for breaking news would be if we found microbes on Mars or one of the icy moons in the outer solar system. An alien invasion would probably have military/government people being interviewed.

Oh sure, like they're going to talk to reporters. :wink:
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby richP » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:19 pm UTC

I grew up watching Scooby and the gang get chased by mummies often enough to push archeologist to the right at least a bit.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Old Bruce » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:36 pm UTC

richP wrote:I grew up watching Scooby and the gang get chased by mummies often enough to push archeologist to the right at least a bit.

How about old enough to have seen "Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy" on "The Big Show".

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby pkcommando » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:08 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Virologist, interviewer (and also hints of camera/sound/production crew) in full containment gear in front of a famous cityscape..?

I'm putting this slightly to the left of: Virologist, drunk, crying, and begging for forgiveness.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Sableagle » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:23 pm UTC

Theologists are a bit like the tangent of Schrödinger's cat, aren't they? They're simultaneously way off-screen to the left and to the right.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:14 pm UTC

chrisjwmartin wrote:
xtifr wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.

I don't see how that would be worrying, unless you believe in No Biochemical Barriers. Personally, I'd be glued to the TV, but wouldn't be at all worried.

If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


Diseases, we might be able to do something about. Any aliens coming to exploit the planet, our best bet is to co-operate if they're inclined to let us live, and do our best to trash the planet on our way down if they aren't. Keep the Kzinti Lesson in mind, and consider that any hostile aliens will have to have crossed interstellar distances...

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby svenman » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Diseases, we might be able to do something about. Any aliens coming to exploit the planet, our best bet is to co-operate if they're inclined to let us live, and do our best to trash the planet on our way down if they aren't.

Come to think of it, trashing the planet is what we already seem to be doing preemptively. And here I've been believing all the time this was just out of stupidity and lack of foresight for the continued existence of humanity...
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

svenman wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Diseases, we might be able to do something about. Any aliens coming to exploit the planet, our best bet is to co-operate if they're inclined to let us live, and do our best to trash the planet on our way down if they aren't.

Come to think of it, trashing the planet is what we already seem to be doing preemptively. And here I've been believing all the time this was just out of stupidity and lack of foresight for the continued existence of humanity...

Are we trashing it from their perspective, though? What if our potential invaders need trace amounts of mercury and lead in their diets, the way we need selenium and chromium?

This is sort of the Pascal's Wager of exobiology, here.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby pscottdv » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:44 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:
xtifr wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:He missed off the most worrying group of scientists that could be interviewed in "Breaking News!" stories: exobiologists.

I don't see how that would be worrying, unless you believe in No Biochemical Barriers. Personally, I'd be glued to the TV, but wouldn't be at all worried.

If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


Diseases, we might be able to do something about. Any aliens coming to exploit the planet, our best bet is to co-operate if they're inclined to let us live, and do our best to trash the planet on our way down if they aren't. Keep the Kzinti Lesson in mind, and consider that any hostile aliens will have to have crossed interstellar distances...


Perhaps. The aliens will be dealing with the ultimate long supply-line problem.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby markfiend » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:47 pm UTC

sotanaht wrote:...if intelligent alien life exists it is most likely as far as we know to have evolved on a very earth-like world to a very human-like form. As far as we actually know that's the only way things actually work. That's not just a sample-size bias, it's physics, applied physics and etc.

Non-human intelligences on this planet include:
Cetaceans
Cephalopods
Corvids*

OK I'll admit they all evolved on an earth-like planet ( :wink: ) but none of them are particularly humanoid.

* Not deliberately chosen for all beginning with C
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:52 pm UTC

Don't forget the mice.

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby markfiend » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:49 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Don't forget the mice.

:mrgreen:
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby xtifr » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:
Draconaes wrote:
chrisjwmartin wrote:If you think that diseases are the only thing we'd have to worry about from an alien invasion, well, I hope you're not in charge if it happens.


I'm not sure what sequence of events would lead to exobiologists being the first scientists to be interviewed in relation to a potential alien invasion. If there's an alien fleet in orbit or some such, I don't think many news stations will be rushing to exobiology for explanations.


I think the most likely scenario for an exobiologist to be on TV for breaking news would be if we found microbes on Mars or one of the icy moons in the outer solar system. An alien invasion would probably have military/government people being interviewed.


Exactly.

Not to mention that the alien invasion scenario, despite being a staple of bad SF, is so ridiculous that it makes the alien disease scenario look downright plausible. Long supply lines is only one of the most obvious problems. If they simply want our planet, their best shot is to soften us up by sending a few dinosaur-killers our way. They wouldn't even have to reveal their existence. Sending a conventional fleet to attempt to fight us one on one is about the stupidest thing they could do.
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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:Sending a conventional fleet to attempt to fight us one on one is about the stupidest thing they could do.
Keeping an open Wifi hotspot on all ships, accessible to an ordinary macbook, is an extra level of stupidity they could rise to!

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:35 pm UTC

pscottdv wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Diseases, we might be able to do something about. Any aliens coming to exploit the planet, our best bet is to co-operate if they're inclined to let us live, and do our best to trash the planet on our way down if they aren't. Keep the Kzinti Lesson in mind, and consider that any hostile aliens will have to have crossed interstellar distances...


Perhaps. The aliens will be dealing with the ultimate long supply-line problem.


Assuming they can't resupply on some other solar system body.

The unpleasant options for a hostile group of aliens with a drive capable of crossing interstellar distances in a reasonable time start with dropping rocks of various sizes, and get worse from there.

We might well be able to win the ground war, but if the aliens decide to stop worrying about taking the planet reasonably intact, they can always decide to cut their losses and make sure they don't lose overall...

Consider what happened in South America during the Conquistador period - a time of stretched supply lines and numerical inferiority for the invaders, but technological superiority

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Re: 1895: "Worrying Scientist Interviews"

Postby chrisjwmartin » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:52 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Consider what happened in South America during the Conquistador period - a time of stretched supply lines and numerical inferiority for the invaders, but technological superiority

This. It always amuses me how many hipsters have taken the ludicrously contrary view that alien contact could only ever be a good thing. My theory is that it is connected to the weird liberal tic whereby, in understandable moral rejection of cruel conservative racism, every single immigrant is asserted to be a pacifist, ideologically moderate heart surgeon with seven degrees and a puppy.


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