OT: Speed of light [was Re: Why not a Python compiler?]
Erik Max Francis
max at alcyone.com
Wed Feb 13 07:40:03 CET 2008
> Erik Max Francis wrote:
>> My point was, and still is, that if this question without further
>> context is posed to a generally educated laymen, the supposedly wrong
>> answer that was given is actually _correct_.
> Except that they probably don't understand exactly how and
> why it's correct. E.g. they will likely expect a 2kg hammer
> to fall to the floor twice as fast as a 1kg hammer, which
> isn't anywhere near to being true.
Well, sure. But if the point of the question is to just point at
ignorance of physics concepts among the general population to make
people feel like jackasses, then that's not very hard to do. It's also
not very constructive.
The bigger picture is that if the sole purpose is to shame people
without physics knowledge (because really, what other point is there for
asking such trick questions), the fact that the questioner phrased the
question poorly enough and had to know that the context would be
misinterpreted -- so that, oops, the naive answer is actually _correct_
in context -- that he's the only person who should be ashamed.
Erik Max Francis && max at alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis
To be refutable is not the least charm of a theory.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
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