## Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

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ACU-LP
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Leah wrote:When I was younger, I was secretly fascinated by cars. Now it's just less of a secret. Nobody ever told me anything about them, there was no need to. I somehow managed to "work out" how they worked all by myself when I was about 5. I was convinced that when you put fuel in, it ran round and round inside like a hamster on a wheel, which made the wheels turn. When it couldn't run any longer, it went to sleep so you had to put more in.

Hehe Hampster Fuel....Funny thing is though, some time in the future when technology is even more advance (IF we get there) someone will probably invent that.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

At one point I made a program to generate every 100x100 pixel black and white image one at a time and compare it to a black and white image of Jesus of the same dimensions.

I also was trying to see if I could find the magic words to learn how to fly.
Spoiler:
They were "import antigravity"

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

J Spade wrote:At one point I made a program to generate every 100x100 pixel black and white image one at a time and compare it to a black and white image of Jesus of the same dimensions.

Did you let it run long enough to actually generate Jesus?
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
J Spade wrote:At one point I made a program to generate every 100x100 pixel black and white image one at a time and compare it to a black and white image of Jesus of the same dimensions.

Did you let it run long enough to actually generate Jesus?

Unfortunately, I didn't get it to run long enough before it had to be restarted when the computer was shut down. (At this time, my dad was adamant that the computer should be off at night.) And I hadn't figured a way to save the progress before another project took over.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Iori_Yagami wrote:Wow. Just how those theories in the thread qualify as childhood?

Those were from childhood, but I submitted them because I'd forgotten my more rediculous ones, I can remember one now, I remember drawing my "theory"

I thought that all ocean waves were caused by a curved rock beyond sight that water would hit, and then get in a wave shape and travel back to the shore.

I wish I knew where my drawing was.

I also used to splatter paint on paper and call it an "invention" I'd then explain what every little blob did.
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krikke
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

wow, first of all, there is some awesome stuff in here
some funny stuff but also some mind blowing stuff, even if its crackpot, it's great to see other peoples perspective and ideas about subjects like these.

i have a few simple ones

when i was 14 i started thinking about religion and concluded it was all a lie because everything is energy:heat, light, mass(someone told me about e=mc² wich i barely understood back then),... now I realise the 2 have nothing to do with eachother, i don't even know how i came to that conclusion in the first place.

when i first learned(also around age 13-14) about atoms(bohr model) I immediatly got the idea that they were small universes of their own and that you could infinetly scale down on the universe (like a fractal). i thought "everyone should know about this!!"... ofcourse i was disappointed when it turned out this idea was not new at all, and even more so when i learned how wrong it was.

Another thing that really amazed me was the heisenberg principle of uncertainty. I thought the key to all life and everything else lay in h-bar (uncerainty = defying the laws of thermodynamics and physics or something like that...). it thought the big bang happened because somewhere on the very small uncertainty scale "nothing turned to something" it sounds stupid when put like that but in my mind it kind of made sense

I also(until about a year ago) had an idea about how light interacted with molecules: i imagined how the molecular orbital was about the same size as the wavelengt of the light it interacted with, so that the electron would absorb light of the right wavelengths (like a string that makes a standing wave on the right frequencies).
ofcourse when i finally thought this trough i realised the scales of the molecules(orbitals) and their interacting wavelengths were completely different(by a few powers of ten) so this model of interaction was impossible, although i still use it to visualise interactions sometimes(why throw away a good visual representation if it helps you remeber stuff better)

ACU-LP
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

This is something I thought of philosophically a couple of years ago. Depepnding on your point of view, it might not actually be that crackpot.

I was looking at my old Acorn computer one day (still works and it plays Dune II smarter than any, ANY computer I currently have tested the game on, but thought; what is our definition of life. Now there are several different approaches here, philosophical ones, scientific ones, etc. Now think of all the requirements of life; metabolism, growth, etc. Now is it so hard to think that a computer is another form of life, albeit at a relatively primitive level. Now computers can now recreate themselves, need a food source (electricity), give off heat, can adapt the next generation to the environment (sort of like an aware evolutionary system), etc etc. So aren't computers, etc actually another form of life, just in a different way to which we see "life"; as squishy things etc.

Even if they are not, should we extend our definition of life to include them? We extend mathematical theories and scientific theories all the time, so why not this?

This is sort of crackpot sort of not, but I'd like to know what you guys think of it too. For, against? Other comments?
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

This is something I thought of philosophically a couple of years ago. Depepnding on your point of view, it might not actually be that crackpot.

I was looking at my old Acorn computer one day (still works and it plays Dune II smarter than any, ANY computer I currently have tested the game on, but thought; what is our definition of life. Now there are several different approaches here, philosophical ones, scientific ones, etc. Now think of all the requirements of life; metabolism, growth, etc. Now is it so hard to think that a computer is another form of life, albeit at a relatively primitive level. Now computers can now recreate themselves, need a food source (electricity), give off heat, can adapt the next generation to the environment (sort of like an aware evolutionary system), etc etc. So aren't computers, etc actually another form of life, just in a different way to which we see "life"; as squishy things etc.

Even if they are not, should we extend our definition of life to include them? We extend mathematical theories and scientific theories all the time, so why not this?

I had a similar idea. But, instead of computers, I thought that fire was close to being alive. As in, the process of burning is similar to the process of living. Animals consume plants, dissipate their stored chemical energy as heat, and turn plant mater into more things that do what they do(reproduction). Fires consume plants, dissipate their stored chemical energy as heat, and turn plant matter into more things that do what they do (fires spread).

If you are willing to be a little silly, you can say that fire adapts to its surroundings by doing different chemical reactions to burn whatever materials are available. The biggest problem for me when I believed this was that fire does not seem to evolve.
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The-Rabid-Monkey
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

A theory that I thought up when I was but nine or ten is as follows:
There will always be something smaller, we just need to produce the technology to find it. This would therefore mean that perhaps there are universes in the space between a nuclei and its electrons. And those lifeforms would know of something even smaller that to them are super tiny, like electrons are to us.
Based on this, perhaps our universe is just the space between a much bigger nuclei and its electrons. I suppose we'll probably never know.
Also, I had the idea that maybe only those super reactive, super unstable chemicals could house life, because it's such a concoction of enviroments. So one billionth of a nano second to us, could maybe be 500 trillion years to those lifeforms living in the space between the electrons and nuclei.
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. - Salvor Hardin, From Isaac Asimov's "Foundation".

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

At one point, I thought that the entire world did, in fact, revolve around me (not literally). I thought I was living in a dimension where everything that happens is completely illusory and simply put in place for me, making me the only actual person in the universe.
Once I realized that that was ridiculous (or maybe before; I don't know), I decided that I was a technological experiment and the first (and, at that time, only) of a set of robotic humanoids. That was how I explained why I'm so indestructible (I'm not, but my bones are very strong).
While I thought I was a robot, I also thought that everything I did was filmed through my eyes and everyone else was watching what I did like a TV show. Everyone else was real though; I was the only one who wasn't actually real =D
On a somewhat related note, when I was around four, I, growing up in a Catholic household, was told that "God is always watching you". This had me mortified.
For the next few months, at least, I covered myself with a towel when I was on the toilet and I always changed as fast as I possibly could because I didn't want God to see me naked.
The end =D
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Fat Tony wrote:On a somewhat related note, when I was around four, I, growing up in a Catholic household, was told that "God is always watching you". This had me mortified.
For the next few months, at least, I covered myself with a towel when I was on the toilet and I always changed as fast as I possibly could because I didn't want God to see me naked.
The end =D

Best story ever.
Also I think every kid has thought that maybe, just maybe they were a robot. Just because it would be outstandingly cool.
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. - Salvor Hardin, From Isaac Asimov's "Foundation".

RAPTORATTACK!!!
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

I thought up a couple theories for invisibility in middleschool. One method was basically fiber optic cables wrapped around the object to redirect light around it. few years later... saw it in the newspaper and i was like

But then I lol'd.

The-Rabid-Monkey wrote:
Fat Tony wrote:On a somewhat related note, when I was around four, I, growing up in a Catholic household, was told that "God is always watching you". This had me mortified.
For the next few months, at least, I covered myself with a towel when I was on the toilet and I always changed as fast as I possibly could because I didn't want God to see me naked.
The end =D

Best story ever.
Also I think every kid has thought that maybe, just maybe they were a robot. Just because it would be outstandingly cool.

Did that around 5! Also thought i was jesus.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

I thought that the government was controlling our minds for a while in 5th grade.

And at the beginning of 2nd grade I thought that magic was real. I searched online and found a bunch of occult websites when I was like 7 (I had no idea what the occult was at this age). I tried casting a spell like it said on the site. It didn't work. I was very disappointed. How could the internet lie to me!?
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

I had the opposite theory to me being a robot. Everybody else was a robot and this was all "a socio-whatever-the-word-is experiment". I was still quite small and sometimes large words eluded me.

But I guess quite a few people will have had that theory at one time or another.

EDIT: Love the kitty/monster/field avatar Smiling Hobo
Last edited by ACU-LP on Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Fat Tony
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

I used to be pretty sure that, when you win a Darwin Award, you unlock a special end screen that just says something along the lines of, "You have been artificially selected!"
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Fat Tony wrote:I used to be pretty sure that, when you win a Darwin Award, you unlock a special end screen that just says something along the lines of, "You have been artificially selected!"

Interesting.
Play computer games much? I was only introduced to the Darwin awards about a year ago (I would have been 15 at the time). When did they start exactly?
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Red vs Blue wrote:Wash: That was the worst throw ever. Of all time.
Caboose: Not my fault. Someone put a wall in my way.

Fat Tony
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

I think I started reading them when I was ten, and they'd been around for a few years by then (I'm 15).
It wasn't so much that I thought that happened, but that I thought it would be really cool =D
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I always used to imagine Sydney Australia (where I now live) with snow. Then I relaised that this was crazy.

However, just recently the north shore got sleet/hail/snow.

?!
I Am Raven wrote:Math is like a penis: it can be very satisfactory, but also a pain in the ass.
Red vs Blue wrote:Wash: That was the worst throw ever. Of all time.
Caboose: Not my fault. Someone put a wall in my way.

cj-maranup
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

OK, so I still couldn't handle the physics you all seem to have been messing with age 11...

My theory was that extraterrestrials may be out there but haven't bothered to contact us because they are so far away that the light reaching them from earth is showing them dinosaurs...

Or maybe they are closer, but are now just picking up broadcasts of big brother and have decided not to bother making contact at all, ever...

Sungura
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Clouds are white because they are missing chunks of the sky - that's why some rain and snow, the only way that stuff could get to earth is if there were holes! (Hence, the clouds.)

I don't remember how old I was...four years old or something like that.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

The-Rabid-Monkey wrote:Also I think every kid has thought that maybe, just maybe they were a robot. Just because it would be outstandingly cool.

See, I thought that I was an alien and it was just a mater of time until they came and took me home. I would look up at the light of planes going by at night and hope that one of them was really a ufo coming to get me.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I thought (age 8ish?) that clouds made it windy...

Logic: I was told that wind is the result of uneven heating and cooling of the earth, it is cooler when a cloud is blocking the sun, and it is usually windy when there are clouds (I live in an oceanic climate, cloud formation is directly associated with the sea breeze hitting the land), therefore clouds make the wind.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Heck, I was told that wind was caused by clouds, I think. I spent quite a while thinking clouds were some sort of blowing machine. How disappointing to learn the truth...
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Charlie!
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Oh, I just remembered a good one.

When I was quite little, I used to think that when people though good or bad thoughts about other people, little invisible darts would shoot out of their eyes and carry the good or bad thoughts to the target, unless they were blocked by glasses.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

When I was really young (about 4-5) I used to think that the reason the universe was finite was that the borders (which were in some asteroid field somewhere) were "guarded" by black holes. I also perceived the universe as being flat (not the earth, though). I still picture things this way, unfortunately. Oh, and if you went into one of the black holes, you would come out from one on the other side of the universe. Parents: Too much Asteroids can cause permanent damage to your children.

Later, when I was 14, I came up with this little theory: The universe is expanding, due to the Big Bang. I had also heard that it was accelerating and that the expansion had no single point of origin. Therefore, everything is expanding. The expansion decreases the distance between objects. Because it's accelerating, we also have inertia, making the objects stick together. And, I concluded, this is gravity.

Around the same time, I found the solution to world hunger: "Photosynthesis does not need chlorophyll, it just works as a filter for green light. QED".

I have these structures in my head that I use when doing arithmetics (well, when doing anything really, but that's a subject for another topic). When I was 8, I wasn't content with the number line. Instead, I thought up a number circle, where, just like 0 is the same as -0, [imath]\infty = -\infty[/imath], so if you went far enough in the positive direction, you would end up back at 0.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

When I first began to grasp the concept of evolution, I had a theory that human morality was the product of what was, essentially, an evolutionarily advantageous anxiety disorder.

I imagined a scenario in which several competing groups of Proto-humans existed in competition. if we imagine that whithin one of these groups, there developed a high rate of agoraphobia, they would probably be unable to compete sucessfully with the other groups and be eclipsed. But if one of the groups devoped a high rate of "Killing-members-of-our-own-group-phobia," such an irrational fear could be advantageous for the whole line, even if it caused individuals to pass up opportunities for personal gain through murder.

I decided that most morals, if considered as hereditary phycological disorders, would be advantageous.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Strange Quark wrote:The reason old photographs and TV are black and white is because sometime in the twentieth century the world became colourful. Before then, it was in black and white. I often wondered when the exact date was until one day I decided to ask my first school teacher.

I thought this exact thing.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Fat Tony wrote:At one point, I thought that the entire world did, in fact, revolve around me (not literally). I thought I was living in a dimension where everything that happens is completely illusory and simply put in place for me, making me the only actual person in the universe.

Thats not actually entirely ridiculous. No one can prove the existance of anothers consciousness, and I cannot prove that anyone else exists outside of my own mind. My perception of the world, all that I touch and see, to me, is all that is. Maybe all of creation only is because of the illusion you subconsciously brought forth upon yourself.

ACU-LP wrote:This is something I thought of philosophically a couple of years ago. Depepnding on your point of view, it might not actually be that crackpot.I was looking at my old Acorn computer one day (still works and it plays Dune II smarter than any, ANY computer I currently have tested the game on, but thought; what is our definition of life. Now there are several different approaches here, philosophical ones, scientific ones, etc. Now think of all the requirements of life; metabolism, growth, etc. Now is it so hard to think that a computer is another form of life, albeit at a relatively primitive level. Now computers can now recreate themselves, need a food source (electricity), give off heat, can adapt the next generation to the environment (sort of like an aware evolutionary system), etc etc. So aren't computers, etc actually another form of life, just in a different way to which we see "life"; as squishy things etc.Even if they are not, should we extend our definition of life to include them? We extend mathematical theories and scientific theories all the time, so why not this?This is sort of crackpot sort of not, but I'd like to know what you guys think of it too. For, against? Other comments?

I agree to a certain extent. I computer could very well be another form of life. Through more complex algorithms and higher processing power, artificial intelligence is getting to the point where its getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between the actions and conversations of a human and those of a computer. Right along the lines of the first excerpt I quoted, how can one tell that a computer with a high level of processing power does not become conscience of its actions. After all, our own brains are nothing more than a complex network of fireing neurons, electrical activity. The entire universe, we know, follows a certain set of basic principles and we are no exception to these rules. These are the same rules that govern all electrical activity, from the complex interworkings of own minds to the circuits of computers. Computing is all about taking inputs, manipulating them, and producing outputs. Do we not function in the same manner? We recieve inputs from the world around us, light waves and sound waves for instance, our mind does some processing and we react in the form of speech and other "voluntary" movements. I put voluntary into quotes because this could lead me into another whole discussion on free will, but that is for another thread.
Last edited by mysticRight on Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

ACU-LP
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

mysticRight.

You put it much better than I could, thank you. You also place some arguments I hadnt even thought of.

Despite this being off topic, are you referring to the "action before an actualy desicion is conciously made" thing?

*Tumbling into philosophy for my train ride to uni*
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Red vs Blue wrote:Wash: That was the worst throw ever. Of all time.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

mat-tina wrote:When I was 8, I wasn't content with the number line. Instead, I thought up a number circle, where, just like 0 is the same as -0, [imath]\infty = -\infty[/imath], so if you went far enough in the positive direction, you would end up back at 0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_projective_line

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

After watching The Fantastic Voyage when I was little I thought that eyes were completely water.
Felstaff wrote:I actually see what religion is to social, economical and perhaps political progress in a similar way to what war is to technological progress.

Gunfingers wrote:Voting is the power to speak your mind. You, apparently, had nothing to say.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

For a while I was running on the Infinite Universe Theory, until I realized that, if the universe was infinite, then there would be an infinite number of planets, and therefore an infinite amount of water, and why wasn't the universe flooded?

Also, I've got a theory that, while not technically childhood, given that I'm seventeen and I came up with it about a month ago, seems to fit in with this group of theories. (It's here.) The whole idea is essentially going faster than light by using a technicality. Sure, we don't have a way to actually do it, but technology's come a long way, and it's probably going to keep going, so who knows?

Strange Quark wrote:The reason old photographs and TV are black and white is because sometime in the twentieth century the world became colourful. Before then, it was in black and white. I often wondered when the exact date was until one day I decided to ask my first school teacher.
So did Calvin. But then, that's just because his Dad was messing with him.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Oh, i love this thread. When i was a kid, i had a pretty cool idea that lightbulbs actually absorb darkness, which is why they appear to light up a room. I never really developed it too much though, unfortunately.

mysticRight
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

ACU-LP wrote:mysticRight.

You put it much better than I could, thank you. You also place some arguments I hadnt even thought of.

Despite this being off topic, are you referring to the "action before an actualy desicion is conciously made" thing?

*Tumbling into philosophy for my train ride to uni*

Thanks. If you are reffering to my last sentence, then no, I wasn't really thinking about the "action before a conscious decision is made," but I do have quantum based theories about that too. But, yeah, it was off topic, which is why I ended it when I did. So, to stay on topic....

When I was a kid I had a theory that the sun was the center of everything and that Earth surrounded it. We were in fact on the inner shell looking inward toward the sun. The way our minds processed the information taken in through our eyes created the illusion that made it seem like the Earth was a sphere and we were looking outward toward the stars. We were kept on the earth not by gravity but by, as I remember describing it as a kid, "the same way water stays in a bucket when you swing it around." Of course this is absolutely ridiculous because it in no way describes how day becomes night.

mat-tina
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

phlip wrote:
mat-tina wrote:When I was 8, I wasn't content with the number line. Instead, I thought up a number circle, where, just like 0 is the same as -0, [imath]\infty = -\infty[/imath], so if you went far enough in the positive direction, you would end up back at 0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_projective_line

I figured there would be something like that. Thanks!

If only school hadn't disagreed with my young brain...
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ACU-LP
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

mat-tina wrote:
phlip wrote:
mat-tina wrote:When I was 8, I wasn't content with the number line. Instead, I thought up a number circle, where, just like 0 is the same as -0, [imath]\infty = -\infty[/imath], so if you went far enough in the positive direction, you would end up back at 0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_projective_line

I figured there would be something like that. Thanks!

If only school hadn't disagreed with my young brain...

Ah childhood theories caused so much conflict with teachers.

And general knowledge too;
I had a teacher who refused to believe me that infinity is <<<<<<; they thought it was zero. They also thought that if you held your nose it would be impossible to smell an orange. Which could be disproved on the spot should they listen.

If only primary school teachers were more welcoming of child-hood crackpot theories; the world would probably be a much better place as some of the stuff we think of couild be / has been developed by scientists today. Or at least considered.
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threepoint1416926dotdotdot
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

More of an idea than a theory, but you know how there are the wires in the back window of the car but not the windshield b/c you have to see through it? Well, I think we should put carbon nanotubes in the windshield because they are too small to see and that way defrosting would go faster. Put them in a hexagonal pattern between the plastic laminate and the glass.

When I was little I was always worried about security cameras, even when I was home and stuff, so I'd always hide whatever I was doing so you couldn't see it from any angle. I never worried about God seeing it unless I was sinning, in which case He knew my thoughts to so I wouldn't be able to hide.

I also used to spy on my parents when I was supposed to be asleep.

I used to think the universe revolved around the center of the Milky Way, and the reason aliens didn't exist was because the farther away galaxies were the faster they whirled around.
Yay!

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Back when my parents let me free reign of various mythos, I believed that Satan was a good guy and God was evil. I think I was about 8 or so. Around that time (+/- 2 years) I'd also had the idea in my head that the deity in every story I read was the same deity, just acting appropriately for that specific environment or whatever.

Turns out, someone had thought of it first, in each case.
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taby
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Had to take the paper down since it's under review, again.
Last edited by taby on Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:26 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

Fetret
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I was about 4-5 when I figured out that the cause of a runny nose was actual leakage.
So when one day I had the flu, I grabbed my Play-Dohs made a little ball and stuck it up one of my nostrils. After that I went to my mother and said "Mommy, my nose will never run again!", "Why?", "Because I plugged it". There was a lot of running around, parental induced hysteria on my part and a short hospital visit. Luckily I was crying so hard when we reached the hospital the ball fell on its own...

When I first learnt of "light is both a wave and a particle" I thought that light particles come together and form a small wave and go forward and backward and up and down.