[LMB] Re: OT: Rocket Scientist = Genius
alfredkelgarries at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 6 10:19:33 BST 2006
>Does anyone know why rocket scientist seems to be synonym with genius (at
>least in the US, I am not sure about other anglophone countries, it is not
>the case in the Netherlands/Dutch)?
IMHO Rocketry was the first major discipline to have wide media attention
after the second world war, mainly because a firing rocket is one h*ck of a
shot for newsreel and then TV. And since *all* the disciplines involved,
from the materials science, fluid dynamics (plasma in a rocket behaves
rather like a fluid, IIRC) through orbital mechanics, required (shudder)
Given that the average"educated" adult American of the late 1940's and early
1950's barely completed basic algebra, men who routinely solved equations so
complex they required a ***COMPUTER*** (size of a freight car, powered like
a steel smelter, run by men in lab coats with reels of tape doing arcane
things...) could easily be viewed as so much smarter than the average person
as to be "like Einstein" (whom everyone knew was a genius and whom everyone
knew did hideously complex math stuff). Thus the idiomatic association.
Me , I HATE differential equations. They just seem so .... clunky....
And given that our best way to solve them is on a computer with a very
snarky set of assumptions (a technique named for two Indian mathematicians
which I cannot remember right now because It is four in the morning here and
I just finished installing the web support for Visual Studio Team Foundation
Server (MAY BILL GATES ROT IN H*LL!!!!) but which IIRC truncates rather
cavalierly), IMHO a nobel and/or math to prize is just waiting for somebody
to make a breakthrough in that field...
"War is the art of lying to your enemies better than they can lie to you."
Sun Tzu, modern version
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