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Author Topic: Scientific Rigor and Suspension of Disbelief
extrinsic
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I guess I implied Crichton is a Boom Generation child. Though I know he isn't technically, he comes from a generation that played the game to a degree but not as much a game as a storyteller ritual. Where else would Booms have learned it? From Silent and Greatest Generations too.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Oh, now, "idiot plots!" I could really get going on those. (They also fly across the room.)
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extrinsic
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From The Turkey City Lexicon, complied by Lewis Shriner and Bruce Sterling (not copyrighted). Hosted by SFWA.

"Idiot Plot
A plot which functions only because all the characters involved are idiots. They behave in a way that suits the authorís convenience, rather than through any rational motivation of their own. (Attr. James Blish)"

Then there's TSTL characters. Too Stupid To Live but through suiting an author's convenience do. Or don't survive for the purposes of showing how dangerous a setting really is and obviating how not so stupid a protagonist and supporting characters are who survive the danger. Like redshirt Starfleet security characters in the original Star Trek saga, they must die because they are TSTL.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Well, the STAR TREK redshirts also died because someone had to, and you couldn't kill off your main characters in episodic tv.
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redux
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
I guess I implied Crichton is a Boom Generation child. Though I know he isn't technically, he comes from a generation that played the game to a degree but not as much a game as a storyteller ritual. Where else would Booms have learned it? From Silent and Greatest Generations too.

I still don't understand what this game is. Could you please explain it? Does it have a name?
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MattLeo
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quote:
Idiot Plot
A plot which functions only because all the characters involved are idiots.

Yet another confirmation of my belief that in fiction *seeming* realistic and *being* realistic are two different things.
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Foste
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@Kathleen

Oh, your Star Trek comment reminded me that I need to pick up Scalzi's Redshirts. Much obliged!

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by redux:
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
I guess I implied Crichton is a Boom Generation child. Though I know he isn't technically, he comes from a generation that played the game to a degree but not as much a game as a storyteller ritual. Where else would Booms have learned it? From Silent and Greatest Generations too.

I still don't understand what this game is. Could you please explain it? Does it have a name?
The game is one-upmanship through telling tales that increasingly stretch credulity so far that someone cries nonsense. Whoever cries foul first loses. I know the name of the game as the less socially acceptable term for bovine feces. Bull puck, bull scat are also socially suitable substitute terms.
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Brendan
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I thought that the loser was the one that cried nonsense when the story is real. Crying foul on a blatant untruth was no problem. So the real trick was to have a true story that sounded so unlikely, that they would cry foul on that.
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redux
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
quote:
Originally posted by redux:
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
I guess I implied Crichton is a Boom Generation child. Though I know he isn't technically, he comes from a generation that played the game to a degree but not as much a game as a storyteller ritual. Where else would Booms have learned it? From Silent and Greatest Generations too.

I still don't understand what this game is. Could you please explain it? Does it have a name?
The game is one-upmanship through telling tales that increasingly stretch credulity so far that someone cries nonsense. Whoever cries foul first loses. I know the name of the game as the less socially acceptable term for bovine feces. Bull puck, bull scat are also socially suitable substitute terms.
Ohhhhh! *bovine feces clicks in*

GenXers played this game too.

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extrinsic
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The struggling writer friends of my youth and me played several flavors of the BS game: empirical truths disguised as elaborations and elaborations disguised as empirical truths and elaborations disguised as elaborations. Newcomers were welcomed but needed a briefing, or a program to catch on, after they'd caught up on penalty drinks or whatever. The purposes of the game as we saw it were to practice telling tales and pass time in friendly company.
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redux
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We played BS with a deck of cards. That's why at first I didn't recognize your version.
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babooher
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If you ever check out failblog.org, there is a wonderful example of a lack of scientific rigor and bad plotting as it appears in Prometheus. I chuckled mightily.
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by redux:
We played BS with a deck of cards. That's why at first I didn't recognize your version.

We did too. There's a similar game played with dice. Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Bootstrap, and Davy Jones play liar's dice in a scene from The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. I most enjoy the tale-telling and make-believe versions. Accurate or not, I'm satisfied Crichton does too.
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Robert Nowall
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I can't say I ever sat around playing what seems like a game of "Can you top this?" with a bunch of my fellow schoolmates---I think I have online, but that'd be later. Much later.

*****

Dragging it back to the main theme..."scientific rigor" is hardly the only problem something can have. I could never get into the TV show Friends because the characters lived in extremely expensive New York apartments while working low-paying jobs. Maybe that corrected itself, maybe it was just my impression from catching a couple of episodes, no more...but I couldn't enjoy the show because of it. (The distressing lack of widespread ethnicity didn't help, either.)

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