Neurologica: bias in science fiction, and Space ships??

31 Jul

I found this fascinating perspective on science fiction from the Skeptic Stephen Novella’s blog NeuroLogica about human bias, and the influence of certain ideas on our spaceship designs, and how we assume certain technologies and their use.  I found that Stephen Novella brings a bit of perspective to an assumed subject that I certainly would not have thought of.

First let’s take some common examples from science fiction, such as the Starship Enterprise. The decks of the Enterprise are oriented parallel to the direction of acceleration, which means that people standing on the decks are perpendicular and the force of acceleration would “push” them horizontal to the deck. The same is true of ships of all sizes in Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and many other popular science fiction shows…….

…….In order to accommodate the odd ship design of having decks parallel to the direction of acceleration, while still allowing passengers and crew to walk around normally, science fiction writers have had to invent both artificial gravity and “inertial dampeners.” They need to provide a force of gravity perpendicular to the decks, and they need to eliminate the force of acceleration horizontal to the decks (accept when needed for some dramatic tossing around the bridge).

You can find the Article here.

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Posted by on 2011/07/31 in Opinion, Outside ideas


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