0678: "Researcher Translation"

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Werewolf
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0678: "Researcher Translation"

Postby Werewolf » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:12 am UTC

Image
Alt text: A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely.

O_O
I was quick enough to create a comic thread!
Last edited by Werewolf on Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:18 am UTC, edited 6 times in total.

westrim
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby westrim » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:16 am UTC

And I'm the first one to comment? It's been 14 minutes!

Anyhoo, I think the comic is unnecessarily oversimplified and pessimistic. For one, NONE of the options has a positive outcome- which is, obviously, not the real world case. And I think a large part of the phenomenon he's addressing mainly because of perspective, as once a technology is mainstream its no longer cutting edge, or as first models are smoothed out and the next generations get better. Another part is unrealistic expectations- waiting for hovercars as though they were ever really compatible with our urban development, while ignoring that I can carry around FIVE THOUSAND SONGS in my damned hand!
Last edited by westrim on Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:23 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby JustMe » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:16 am UTC

Ain't that the truth!
When I was a kid in the 70's they said when we grew up, major highways would be designed for high speed automatic driving, we'd have paperlesss offices, the standard work week would be 30 hours and the big problem would be what to do with all our leisure time.

In the 90's they said they were testing high speed automatic driving in southern California.

It'll be 2010 in just over a week. I'm still waiting...... especially for all that leisure time!
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby Omegaton » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:17 am UTC

Wait a second, there was totally a topic here for this already, but now it's gone...

In any case, I'd also like a hovercar...

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby joee » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:17 am UTC

You're missing a link and commentary.

And urgh, research :( And where's my flying car?

Also, hi glasnt!
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Werewolf
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby Werewolf » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:18 am UTC

Oh a link. Of course. I'll get on that.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby rocketrat » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:19 am UTC

Very true, but not really funny.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby Greatgreen » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:20 am UTC

Reminds me of Valve Time. But with science \o/

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby dennisw » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:20 am UTC

I like being the only one with a... Oooh, wait, I'm not supposed to say.
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby VHBT » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:21 am UTC

Reminds me of Blizzard's "soon" (yes, I know someone already mentioned Valve time, but this one's worth reading, too).

I think the fourth one would make more sense as something more along the lines of "It is theoretically possible," though I can't think of a particularly funny way to word that.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby ComputerAnalysis » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:27 am UTC

I think this is one a slight rip off of a PhD Comic. The following one to be precise.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby guyy » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:40 am UTC

ComputerAnalysis wrote:I think this is one a slight rip off of a PhD Comic. The following one to be precise.


"Somthing vaguely similar's been done before by one of thousands of webcomics" =/= "it's a rip-off."

Besides, I don't think making fun of temporal estimates has ever been a new idea. Doesn't make it bad, though.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby Günter » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:00 am UTC

Five years can also mean "After the next funding cycle; don't stop giving us money."

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:14 am UTC

Reminds me of my transhumanist friend, "In five years we've all turned into a big puddle of nanotechnology rapidly consuming the earth at our leisure.". He's been saying that for as long as I can remember.
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:44 am UTC

Is this the second time I had to say "Randal Get out of my head."?

I have this idea to design and build a pedal-electric series hybrid bike. I estimated that it would take me ~20 years (~15 years left). Yes, I know about the parallel-hybrids: I want to do away with the mechanical chain.

It fits neatly between "I haven't finished inventing it yet, but when I do it will be awesome" and "It has not been proven conclusively possible" (Will it be too heavy? Will I get the efficiency over 80%?).

By the time I have a working prototype, I will be old enough to need it. So far I have asymmetric brakes (just to test how useable two different brake systems are) and a water/snow resistant stoplight control (signal needed for electric braking).
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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby pshmell » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:23 am UTC

I really dig the alt text, "A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely."
When someone is developing something, they have a goal, a target they are aiming at.
The first prototype never looks like the envisioned goal. But the next one looks closer to it. And closer and closer, with each revision. Just like an asymptote, we are always infinitely far away from our goal.

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Re: 'Researcher Translation' Discussion

Postby oneinsixbillion » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:35 am UTC

The hovercar punchline was worth the long set up.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby iamevn » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:54 am UTC

First thought: Black Mesa Source

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Cobramaster » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:25 am UTC

Oh this holds true in my lab, I remember saying oh I can do this project in a couple of weeks plenty of good data points and then we can write the paper. That was in August, I still have no idea exactly when I can finish the project.
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Gargravarr » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:37 am UTC

Is this comic about "inventor" Paul Moller? Interesting case. For the last 40 years, he's been promising full-scale production of flying cars within 2-3 years. The media still reprints his press releases and new suck... um investors flock to pay for dr Moller's next raquetball court.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby DanielCopelin » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:44 am UTC

Haha, I think there's a chance that Randall and a couple of the commenters here listen to the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast. This topic was raised in a very very similar in the episode released yesterday.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Vrishna » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:24 am UTC

For those of you who are skilled in both English and German, the following might be interesting (especially when you're a researcher):

http://www.janko.at/Humor/Wissenschaft/Forschersprache.htm
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby chernobyl » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:43 am UTC

Laptop fuel cells are a typical example. Every year a different company shows us some cool new prototype and assures us that it's ready to market very, very soon... then nothing happens. All I want is a computer that runs on alcohol so it can be my drinking buddy!

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby dtilque » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:05 am UTC

The 20 years bit is talking about two technologies that have been 20 years away for several decades: AI and fusion power. Apparently some people here are not familiar with the standard jokes about them.
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby chloroform » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:08 am UTC

The Australian government's plan to have 20 carbon sequestering power plants by 2020 is another example.
Seems pretty much impossible in that time constraint.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby GrantSolar » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:11 am UTC

It's a pretty good one... until the last where it becomes awesome!

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Splarka
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Splarka » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:33 am UTC

Image

Dear Canon: Still waiting, you assholes! I want my 100,000:1 "on screen" contrast ratio (not the LCD inflated 10x "dynamic" contrast ratio).

/Still using a crappy LCD with 6 dead pixels, waiting in anticipation.
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Whyareall » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:51 am UTC

lol, 20 years indefinitely

hi tehol!
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Lewton » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:59 am UTC

Splarka wrote:Image

Dear Canon: Still waiting, you assholes! I want my 100,000:1 "on screen" contrast ratio (not the LCD inflated 10x "dynamic" contrast ratio).

/Still using a crappy LCD with 6 dead pixels, waiting in anticipation.
//Would still be using a CRT if someone hadn't given me the aforementioned crappy LCD.
///Get off my lawn. And give me a SED!


How does SED compare to OLED?
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:18 am UTC

After reading the alt text, it made me think of Duke Nukem Forever.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Kolko » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:12 pm UTC

Vrishna wrote:For those of you who are skilled in both English and German, the following might be interesting (especially when you're a researcher):

http://www.janko.at/Humor/Wissenschaft/Forschersprache.htm

This was hilarious :lol:
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Splarka » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

Lewton wrote:How does SED compare to OLED?
http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/08/sony ... oled-hdtv/


About the same contrast ratio (though claims of 1,000,000:1 seem to exist) and a response time twice as fast, but about half the total brightness. Much thinner (even hypothetically rollable/foldable). Smaller limit on size (currently ~40" compared to ~55"). And quite a bit more expensive (projected).

Arg. I hate having a screen you can read a book by with the screen completely black. Sigh. Now I'm pondering getting my Sony Trinitron out of storage.
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:05 pm UTC

Quicksilver wrote:After reading the alt text, it made me think of Duke Nukem Forever.


Or the upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby Freiberg » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

westrim wrote:Anyhoo, I think the comic is unnecessarily oversimplified and pessimistic. For one, NONE of the options has a positive outcome- which is, obviously, not the real world case. And I think a large part of the phenomenon he's addressing mainly because of perspective, as once a technology is mainstream its no longer cutting edge, or as first models are smoothed out and the next generations get better. Another part is unrealistic expectations- waiting for hovercars as though they were ever really compatible with our urban development, while ignoring that I can carry around FIVE THOUSAND SONGS in my damned hand!


Definitely got to agree with you there, not to mention the fact that I can transfer twenty million bits per SECOND between the internet and my computer, and do so so regularly that I hardly notice. And hard drives you can buy at the store that hold 1000 bits for every man, woman, and child alive. Technology rocks!

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Khalid » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:44 pm UTC

Carteeg_Struve wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:After reading the alt text, it made me think of Duke Nukem Forever.


Or the upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII.


Since when? I don't think the developers ever promised an upgraded FF7. I believe that was just the fans' wishful thinking.

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

Khalid wrote:
Carteeg_Struve wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:After reading the alt text, it made me think of Duke Nukem Forever.


Or the upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII.


Since when? I don't think the developers ever promised an upgraded FF7. I believe that was just the fans' wishful thinking.


True. It was never promised nor a time frame given. But there was a statement that it was a possibility if they could get the appropriate crew together in their scheduling (who are currently on a variety of different projects).

I guess I just wish they would say "in 20 years" so we would know for certain it would never come to be. By simply saying "It's not very likely" they are getting our hopes up. :)

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby Svix » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

dtilque wrote:The 20 years bit is talking about two technologies that have been 20 years away for several decades: AI and fusion power. Apparently some people here are not familiar with the standard jokes about them.


I immediately thought of fusion power when I saw this. The more I learn about the intricacies behind getting it working the more justified these constant delays seem, I think I'll be happy if there's a commercial reactor in my lifetime.

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Re: Researcher Translation

Postby kernelpanic » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:29 pm UTC

rocketrat wrote:Very true, but not really funny.

I'd say it's very funny but not really true.
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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby SASnSA » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:36 pm UTC

They forgot this one:

"when it's done" | The company will go out of business before it finishes the product

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Re: "Researcher Translation" Discussion

Postby muchtall » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:54 pm UTC

A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely.


Case in point: Holographic cube storage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_data_storage . They've been talking about this since the early 90's, but it's always been just out of reach.


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