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Old September 1 2009, 11:30 AM   #29
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Re: Improving your Sci-Tech Forum

If I'm going to start a thread here, on, say, moving the Hubble into deep space solar orbit to take better pictures, I'll put in why I think it's a good idea (eg less interference from the upper fringes of the atmosphere as well as space junk) and post links if I can find them. Then see how the discussion evolves.

But if I say that it's a fact that Taiwan is building a robot army to fight the Chinese which will then move across SE Asia, or instead of the Chunnel build a bridge across the English Channel, then I had better have some damn solid facts to back them up, and be prepared to state them, not say "look them up yerself". Those two "OP ideas" I just pulled out of my head. Interesting? Maybe, up to a point. Feasible? Very doubtful.

Now if the discussion began and posters derided them, I could say, sure, and have a laugh, then open them up to wider discussions on incoming booster technology, optics in zero gravity, how to build stable bridges across water of any depth, the state of developing robot technology, Sino-Asian politics and control systems for remote military vehicles (some of which we did have in one thread, and it was interesting).

But I'd look bloody stupid if I said "Nuh, it'll work, you tell me how it'll work, I don't have to explain how I think it would work, wow, you must be dense not to understand what I'm trying to say". That way is guaranteed to put people's backs up. If you have an idea, you have to be able to support it or be able to amend how it would work, in an interactive discussion of concepts and ideas. And if people don't understand what you mean, reiterate it in a different way, use examples, simplify the approach, whatever it takes to establish communication. Two sides shouting and getting nowhere is entertaining, but only for a little why. Effort has to be made to be clear.

It's not that hard.
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