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ezkajii
2015-05-05, 01:41 PM
Is it the improbability of success, the amount of cutting-edge discovery involved, ethical transgressions, or something else? What differentiates a scientist from a mad scientist?

enderlord99
2015-05-05, 01:43 PM
All science is mad, as far as the sections of this forum are concerned!

Kato
2015-05-05, 01:53 PM
What enderlord said :smalltongue:


But in the general understanding of the term as far as I know... it's the ignorance of "ethical transgressions", as you put it. Doing things, ignoring the (possible) consequences or the direct effects on people or other life. A mad scientist either has no regard for such pathetic concepts as "good" and "evil" etc, but acts purely out of a thirst for knowledge (or maybe power), or he is driven so much he is not aware of the possible effects. (Or too short sighted to realize them)


Of course you could also say a mad scientist is a scientist who suffers from a mental illness, but then the two definitions may (not rarely) overlap.

hamishspence
2015-05-05, 01:59 PM
But in the general understanding of the term as far as I know... it's the ignorance of "ethical transgressions", as you put it. Doing things, ignoring the (possible) consequences or the direct effects on people or other life. A mad scientist either has no regard for such pathetic concepts as "good" and "evil" etc, but acts purely out of a thirst for knowledge (or maybe power), or he is driven so much he is not aware of the possible effects. (Or too short sighted to realize them)


Science Related Memetic Disorder (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder) trope does a good job of summarising it.

weaseldust
2015-05-05, 02:42 PM
Signs you've become a mad scientist:

- When you stop calling the people who staff your laboratory "grad students" and start calling them "minions" instead.

- Likewise, when you use "base" vs "department", or "chief of staff" vs "director of human resources".

- When doing your hair in the morning requires 1000 volts but no conditioner.

- When the number of burn marks or bloodstains on your white coat exceeds the number of coffee stains.

- When your inventions are labelled with any of the prefixes super-, mega-, death-, psychic-, or, with the obvious exceptions, space-.

- When your laboratory is located in any of the following: a cave, a castle, a dungeon, a zeppelin, or a geodesic dome.

- When any part of your equipment requires being struck by lightning to function.

Jurai
2015-05-05, 02:56 PM
Signs you've become a mad scientist:

- When you stop calling the people who staff your laboratory "grad students" and start calling them "minions" instead.

- Likewise, when you use "base" vs "department", or "chief of staff" vs "director of human resources".

- When doing your hair in the morning requires 1000 volts but no conditioner.

- When the number of burn marks or bloodstains on your white coat exceeds the number of coffee stains.

- When your inventions are labelled with any of the prefixes super-, mega-, death-, psychic-, or, with the obvious exceptions, space-.

- When your laboratory is located in any of the following: a cave, a castle, a dungeon, a zeppelin, or a geodesic dome.

- When any part of your equipment requires being struck by lightning to function.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ao4WTcMtY8

Flickerdart
2015-05-05, 03:36 PM
"Mad science" is really just engineering - there's usually no meaningful sample size, no control subjects, etc. Just massive ray guns.

Eldan
2015-05-05, 04:20 PM
Well, you just do it. If someone yells "No! Stop that!" it was mad.

Alent
2015-05-05, 04:35 PM
I'm fond of the Schlock Mercenary definition:


"Mad Science" means never stopping to ask "what's the worst thing that could happen?"

More realistically, "Mad Scientist" is just a condemnation of a scientist's methods. (It needn't even be a valid criticism.)

Sith_Happens
2015-05-05, 05:54 PM
"Mad science" is really just engineering - there's usually no meaningful sample size, no control subjects, etc. Just massive ray guns.

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Mad_27a4af_1906348.jpg

Kato
2015-05-06, 04:58 AM
"Mad science" is really just engineering - there's usually no meaningful sample size, no control subjects, etc. Just massive ray guns.
Good argument, but then, how do you make a "test earth" if you try to find out if you can blow up the one you're on. Not everyone has the ressources for a reality transporter and replacement earths are in short supply in our solar system :smalltongue: Some experiments are just hard to do properly... but yes, many mad scientists are mad engineers, though with a bit of leeway engineers are kind of scientists. In broader terms.




- When the number of burn marks or bloodstains on your white coat exceeds the number of coffee stains.
Hey, I never had a coffee stain on my coat. Burns on the other hand... it goes with rarely drinking coffee.


- When your inventions are labelled with any of the prefixes super-, mega-, death-, psychic-, or, with the obvious exceptions, space-.
Ahem. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op2hRvUgcms)


- When any part of your equipment requires being struck by lightning to function.
Does that qualify Franklin (or whoever you consider the inventor of the lightning rod) as a mad scientist? :smallbiggrin:

NichG
2015-05-06, 05:55 AM
My current favorite example of real-life mad science is a plan to determine the detailed structure of the interior of the earth using a probe that transmits back to the surface. How do you get it down there? By first nuking the crust, then pouring enough molten iron in to create a self-propagating crack that can be used to lower the probe all the way to the core. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0514_030514_earthcore.html)

The best part is, this actually is science, not just engineering.

Jay R
2015-05-06, 10:18 AM
There is no such thing as mad science. A mad scientist is not a practitioner of mad science; he is a scientist who is insane - usually with some combination of megalomania, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, hysteresis, and (strangely) baldness.

warty goblin
2015-05-06, 10:37 AM
A scientist is a person who uses logic and observation to attempt to deduce something about the state of nature. A mad scientist is a person who generates plot devices. The two overlap when a scientist discovers something about the state of nature which drives them insane, at which point they may begin to generate plot devices.

Tyndmyr
2015-05-06, 03:39 PM
Is it the improbability of success, the amount of cutting-edge discovery involved, ethical transgressions, or something else? What differentiates a scientist from a mad scientist?

Hell if I know. A death ray really isn't any different from any other proof of concept, and a collection of them just shows devotion to showing your work. Perhaps it's that the "not mad" scientists lack ambition, and claim "morals" as a substitute. You try to create life, and they complain, but you try to end life and again...

You can't keep everyone happy, but maybe, just maybe, we can MAKE them happy.

NichG
2015-05-06, 07:27 PM
These days, trying to create life doesn't seem to get the 'thats mad!' reaction as much. I know plenty of people trying to make living chemical solitons, lego-block replicators, 'minimal' artificial cells, and so on. If anything, people these days are more likely to say 'you didn't go far enough, I don't consider what you've come up with to be life.' than 'oh noes, you're messing with things man was not meant to touch!'.

If you really want to get people touchy though, you can always propose to colonize Mars with bacteria in order to test the limits of evolution. That'll set some people off.

noparlpf
2015-05-06, 10:44 PM
Signs you've become a mad scientist:

- When you stop calling the people who staff your laboratory "grad students" and start calling them "minions" instead.

- When the number of burn marks or bloodstains on your white coat exceeds the number of coffee stains.

- When your inventions are labelled with any of the prefixes super-, mega-, death-, psychic-, or, with the obvious exceptions, space-.

- When your laboratory is located in any of the following: a cave, a castle, a dungeon, a zeppelin, or a geodesic dome.

- When any part of your equipment requires being struck by lightning to function.

Check, check, check, check... :smalltongue:

Edit: Although I guess in my chosen profession poop stains will probably outnumber burn marks. What genius looked at a messy set of professions and thought hey, let's all wear white?

ace rooster
2015-05-07, 06:04 AM
Check, check, check, check... :smalltongue:

Edit: Although I guess in my chosen profession poop stains will probably outnumber burn marks. What genius looked at a messy set of professions and thought hey, let's all wear white?

I believe the intention was to ensure that we washed. :smalltongue:

Eldan
2015-05-07, 06:16 AM
I agree on the lab coat. I had to set things on fire in the chem lab long before I started drinking coffee.

Radar
2015-05-07, 10:29 AM
I agree on the lab coat. I had to set things on fire in the chem lab long before I started drinking coffee.
Plus, you never, ever bring drinks or food into the lab - especially chem lab.

Mark Hall
2015-05-07, 11:11 AM
Plastic tubes and pots and pans
Bits and pieces and the
Magic from the hand

Things Ive never seen before
Behind bolted doors
Talent and imagination

Not what teacher said to do
Makin dreams come true
Living tissue, warm flesh

Radar
2015-05-07, 04:16 PM
Plastic tubes and pots and pans
Bits and pieces and the
Magic from the hand

Things Ive never seen before
Behind bolted doors
Talent and imagination

Not what teacher said to do
Makin dreams come true
Living tissue, warm flesh
I for one, actually understood your intentions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm-upHSP9KU). :smallbiggrin:

JDMSJR
2015-05-07, 04:59 PM
Obviously it is the compulsion to show them...SHOW THEM ALL!!!!

noparlpf
2015-05-07, 05:25 PM
Plus, you never, ever bring drinks or food into the lab - especially chem lab.

*walks into lab barefoot, munching on an apple*
*pets professor's lab*
*no not that kind, the dog kind*

Citizen Nij
2015-05-07, 07:53 PM
Plus, you never, ever bring drinks or food into the lab - especially chem lab.
You're missing the clear point: lab coats make for excellent whole-torso bibs.. :smallwink:

Eldan
2015-05-08, 01:30 PM
True that. I wear my old one with the acid-eaten sleeve and the burn marks while cooking and painting.

GloatingSwine
2015-05-09, 06:21 PM
1. Exclamation marks, the responsible use thereof.

2. Tencency to respond to loss of research grants with phrases like "I'll show them, I'll show them all!!!!!" instead of "bugger it, I'm going to the pub".

3. Uses lightning where caffiene would be more appropriate.

Sith_Happens
2015-05-10, 01:14 AM
3. Uses lightning where caffiene would be more appropriate.

Note that this one by itself indicates that you're a Sith lord about as much as it does that you're a mad scientist.:smallwink:

Kantaki
2015-05-10, 08:33 AM
Note that this one by itself indicates that you're a Sith lord about as much as it does that you're a mad scientist.:smallwink:

Looking at the old EU, especially the Kotor-era and earlier the border between the two is flowing. One has to wait for lightning the other makes it himself.

Bulldog Psion
2015-05-10, 03:25 PM
The mad scientist is just a certain kind of villain for pulp novels and superhero comics, I thought.

Tyndmyr
2015-05-11, 04:56 PM
Check, check, check, check... :smalltongue:

Edit: Although I guess in my chosen profession poop stains will probably outnumber burn marks. What genius looked at a messy set of professions and thought hey, let's all wear white?

I've always thought that was silly. Thus, while my first lab coat was white, I had to go red the second time around. WAY neater looking.

I don't normally do lightning, though, except that once by accident. The weather is just clear far too often for that to be a viable power source for any but the most occasional mad scientist.

Jurai
2015-05-11, 04:59 PM
Note that this one by itself indicates that you're a Sith lord about as much as it does that you're a mad scientist.:smallwink:

Hang on, there's a difference between Sith Lord and Mad Scientist?

Kantaki
2015-05-11, 05:05 PM
I've always thought that was silly. Thus, while my first lab coat was white, I had to go red the second time around. WAY neater looking.

I don't normally do lightning, though, except that once by accident. The weather is just clear far too often for that to be a viable power source for any but the most occasional mad scientist.

A true mad scientist would live in an area that has enough lightning or find a way to make storms or to bottle it.

@Jurai: As I said on the last page one of them waits for lightning the other one makes it himself.

Sith_Happens
2015-05-11, 07:00 PM
Hang on, there's a difference between Sith Lord and Mad Scientist?

Yes? The former are almost always far closer to mad wizards.

enderlord99
2015-05-11, 09:32 PM
Yes? The former are almost always far closer to mad wizards.

Science is basically magical, though!

Maquise
2015-05-11, 10:14 PM
Hang on, there's a difference between Sith Lord and Mad Scientist?

There is some overlap; however not all mad scientists are innately proficient with lightsabers.

snowblizz
2015-05-12, 07:18 AM
The mad scientist is just a certain kind of villain for pulp novels and superhero comics, I thought.

No, they have definitely existed in real life too. That's how they became villains for pulp and superhero comics...
But I think I'd run afoul of board rules if I try and expand that line of thought.

Eldan
2015-05-12, 02:49 PM
I think it won't be against the board rules if I say that I'm both a scientist and mad. As in, I have a nice list of mental disorders. Though personally, I prefer the term "Lunatic". The moon is nice, I like being named after the moon.

Sith_Happens
2015-05-12, 03:02 PM
Science is basically magical, though!

My Little Tarentatek: Genetic Engineering is Magic

Tyndmyr
2015-05-12, 04:39 PM
There is some overlap; however not all mad scientists are innately proficient with lightsabers.

Nonsense. At worst, we'll have a few robotic hands here and there, which seems to be exactly par for the course with jedi.

noparlpf
2015-05-12, 05:08 PM
Can't wait for cool robot hands to be a thing. Recovering from an amputation is easier than going through PT to get a mangled wrist to work properly again.

Jay R
2015-05-13, 08:32 AM
What genius looked at a messy set of professions and thought hey, let's all wear white?

All of them, obviously, or they'd stop wearing it.

ko_sct
2015-05-30, 06:44 PM
Check, check, check, check... :smalltongue:

Edit: Although I guess in my chosen profession poop stains will probably outnumber burn marks. What genius looked at a messy set of professions and thought hey, let's all wear white?

I always thought that was the point. Like, if your sleeve accidentaly enter in contact with the e.coli culture and you don't immediatly realise it, you can see it and wash before contaminating everything (or endangering your health... but it wouldn't be mad science without SOME danger)

Bulldog Psion
2015-05-30, 06:56 PM
Yes, the white shows contamination. So you know if you're bringing material into a clean environment; whether you're carrying dangerous chemicals or biological substances out on your person; and so on.

noparlpf
2015-05-30, 07:07 PM
Lots of stuff is colorless though. Not in vet med, that's all red, brown, and yellow, but in the lab.

ko_sct
2015-05-30, 07:54 PM
True, but even then, you can see wet clothes more clearly when its white than when it's an other color.

On that same note, I got 2 classmates who got black labcoat that looks like suits. They look incredibly sharp in them.


Edit: also, better some of the time is still better ! So even if the difference is small (and it can be almost insignificant depending on what you work with), it's still the best color for a labcoat !!

Bulldog Psion
2015-05-31, 04:32 PM
Lots of stuff is colorless though. Not in vet med, that's all red, brown, and yellow, but in the lab.

Yes, but as pointed out, even "wet" shows up decently on white. Plus it still works better than any other color for anything that has any color at all. An imperfect solution, but superior to any alternatives, much like most other solutions.

noparlpf
2015-05-31, 04:45 PM
I still prefer my grey scrubs because permanent stains end up being less noticeable.

Jay R
2015-06-01, 10:09 AM
Hang on, there's a difference between Sith Lord and Mad Scientist?

Of course. Two Sith lords are always master and apprentice. Two mad scientists are always rivals.

Alent
2015-06-01, 10:19 PM
Of course. Two Sith lords are always master and apprentice. Two mad scientists are always rivals.

This. Two rival mad scientists can reach a gentlemen's agreement to always play the game, while a Sith is pretty much duty bound to kill his master at the earliest opportunity, and then in moustashe twirling fashion, create an apprentice just like himself.

What you get at the end of one path is two siths who have to arm wrestle because they slowly lose knowledge of all their force powers to "I won't teach him that, he'll kill me with it" attrition, and what you get at the other is two mad scientists sharing tea atop a slightly bent and roughed up Empire State Building while looking out over the flaming ruins of new york wondering why they thought that zeppelin naval battle was such a good idea in the first place before one reminds the other it was the best way to test steam as a substitute for hydrogen at industrial scale, and asks what sort of game they'll play next week.