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Star Wars last night. Space piracy... accomplished! For the good… - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Beemer

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[Mar. 28th, 2006|10:41 pm]
Beemer
Star Wars last night. Space piracy... accomplished! For the good of the galaxy, of course.

Stage two of the proposal writing is underway. I actually got stuff written today, and it didn't totally suck. So that's an improvement. I still hate it, but it hurt less today.

One of my gripes about the "business" of science is the need to use overly formal language whenever you're writing something up. I read a paper today in which the authors described using the "Visual Animation Inspection method" to test their model for correctness. In other words, they animated the data and looked at it to make sure their agents were doing what they were supposed to instead of something stupid. Why can't we just write "we made sure the model wasn't broken by looking at the animated results"? Why are people so worried about appearances over actual results? Not that science is any different from any other field in that regard, I'm sure, but... feh.

Nifty discovery of the day: Frontier (and I expect other airlines, too) has real-time online flight tracking that will tell you exactly where the plane is when you check its status. Keen!
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Comments:
From: thetarnishedowl
2006-03-29 08:09 am (UTC)
So, what would happen if you wrote in clear, plain, grammatical, correctly-spelled English?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-03-29 08:39 am (UTC)
Well, it should always be grammatical, correctly-spelled, and (in theory) clear. But plain and informal writing won't get published/funded.

As in, you can't say "we tried to do it the first way, but our computers weren't studly enough, so we switched tactics". You'll get marked down.

Instead, you have to say "available computational resources proved insufficient to manage the former approach, necessitating a change in algorithm". Which communicates exactly the same idea, but is a lot more formal. And tiresome.
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From: thetarnishedowl
2006-03-29 08:49 am (UTC)
It's like if you don't speak the secret language, you don't get to be in the club.

I'd be pulling my hair out!
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-03-29 02:02 pm (UTC)
The two-stage process of "write it in plain English, then translate into formalese" is working reasonably well. It's still a pain, though.
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From: nosato
2006-03-29 09:11 am (UTC)
One of the web sites that provide real-time online flight tracking is: http://www.flightview.com/ . Check it out.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-03-29 02:01 pm (UTC)
That's actually what Frontier uses for their tracking, so it's what I was looking at!
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