Re: Reading ranting grunting.

Anders Sandberg (
23 Sep 1997 11:25:50 +0200

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> SF is the only place where I can find new ideas that someone isn't
> trying to bury under umpty million syllables of latin-ish scientificese.
> Why do highly skilled and specialized scientists insist on writing about
> their discoveries in nomenclature and acronyms that only someone also in
> their own highly specialized field would understand? No wonder there
> isn't much cross fertilization.

True. The problem is, as Richard Plourde nicely explained, that we
*need* a lot of the terminology to work with the questions. An obvious
problem is that english lacks many of the words needed to describe
what we are stadying: how do you denote the medial temporal lobe
in english? ("the inner parts of the part of the brain beneath the temple"
is far too imprecise) The same goes for the processes and methods.

But on the other hand, we do not need this terminology as much
when trying to explain our discoveries to non-scientists in an
imprecise manner (we still need it to communicate accurately with
each other). I'm convinced that it is true that if you cannot explain
your field of study to an interested 10-year old, then you haven't
understood it yourself. So I really think we scientists have an
obligation to explain things simply to anybody interested in what
we have to say.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y