## Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I used to think the video game cartridges contained tiny worlds, and the TV simply showed those worlds. They had to be very tiny to fit in those cartridges, thus, the reason everything was so blocky was that it was magnified so much. This also explained why NES consoles were so sensitive to vibration (ours had to sit on a pillow because just walking by could bugger it up) - a small vibration to us would be a massive earthquake to something that small.

Also, I couldn't figure out how the car knew whether you wanted to go forward or backward when you pressed the gas.

Algebra was simple. A=1, B=2, C=3...

When I first learned about atoms, I saw a diagram that showed them. I noticed they stuck close to eachother, but there were large gaps between them. I figured if you pressed up against a wall, and moved over juuuuuust slightly, you could go right through it, because your atoms would line up with the gaps between the wall's atoms, and they'd slip right by eachother. Oddly, it never worked. I determined that this was because in reality, walls couldn't be made of atoms, because atoms have electrons and walls don't conduct electricity. Never did try to go through metal.

I knew there were starving people in Africa, so whenever I couldn't finish my dinner, I insisted we mail the rest to Africa. Yep, chuck that half-burger in a box and send it off.

nekolux wrote:I used to have this phobia for insects ( still am slightly phobic lol ). Right then i read some where about wormholes and stuff and well basically i thought that wormholes are always present on earth except the human eye cannot see them. And well i pictured the wormhole as a giant wormhole..... yeah and insects flooded through them onto earth. Insects could see and make use of them freely of course... i hate worms too

Some part of me still believe this.... i mean sometimes i swear i hit the damn fly but it just disappears!
I'm still convinced flies can move in 4 dimensions. It's the only explanation for how they know to fly away as soon as I even think of swatting them, and how I can clearly see my hand come down on them only to have them suddenly be beside me. That's why they have all those eyes.

Shiyiya wrote:I imagined the car a few feet over with one set of wheels on the sidewalk knocking over mailboxes and street signs but swerving back into the street for telephone poles and traffic lights (too sturdy). Actually, why did I put that in the past tense? I still do that
I did this too, except it was an awesome sports car capable of mowing down telephone poles like nothing (to no consequence), and I was driving it. Later, it was Mario Kart characters.

electronic mily wrote:
ACU-LP wrote:Thats a really cool/interesting/screwy/awesome idea. (by screwy I mean it screws with our views and thoughts)

I'll admit, I actually do still kind of believe it, even if the explanation was majorly faulty. I've got a thing for theories in which things are inside of themselves and stuff - quite recently I was suddenly struck by the thought that I might be a character created in my own imaginary world. I think I just like to be able to think about the same thing for ages and never really get anywhere with it.
I've had, and still have, similar theories. If you think of the universe as a hierarchy of objects (universe -> galaxy -> solar system -> planet -> etc), the parent of the universe is itself, or some random atom somewhere within it. Freaky stuff to think about. It's easier to understand if you think of how it would be represented in a computer program. Object[0].Parent = Object[0], or Object[0].Parent = (some object whose ancestor is object 0). If you leave the planet, you enter the next item up the chain, which is the solar system. Thus if you leave the universe, you enter it again, and you'd basically just be sitting at the edge not moving, because you'd move outside the universe into the same location in the next object, which is the universe. It can be done in computers, why not in reality?

Actually, thinking about life as a computer simulation explains a lot. The universe is not infinite; if we travel far enough, our coordinates will wrap around. Gravity happens because the deceleration routines add an offset to Y-axis speed, so we decelerate toward -9.6m/s instead of 0. (Naturally, when we're on the ground, the hit detection resets our Y speed to zero before moving us.) The universe can be so large and yet so incredibly detailed because all the little details, and all the far-away stuff, doesn't have to be rendered when we're not looking at it. (When you look right at the grass, it's individual blades, but when you're just looking toward the horizon, it's merely a bump-mapped texture. If you're way up in the air, it can be a few solid-coloured polygons.) Crackpot theories are fun to ponder.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Algebra was simple. A=1, B=2, C=3...

Haha, this. I thought it was what I'd today call cryptography.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I used to have that scarey feeling that my life was like the Truman Show.
Its a really hard one to talk yourself out of too.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I once came up with a theory very similair to what would eventually become the plot of The Matrix. The major difference being that we weren't all humans enslaved by power hungry machines, but the dreams of sleeping squirrels. Or somesuch.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

yay for squirrels. So cute an tiny. But also crazy and sharp-toothed.

yay.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Zake wrote:I remember, at a sort of eleven-ish age, being really upset by the theory of relativity. What, my idealistic younger self demanded, made the speed of light so special, anyway? There can't just be arbitrary numbers which govern the working of the universe, because there wasn't anything before the universe existed which could have chosen them!

When I first saw e=mc2, I realized that means that $c = \sqrt{\frac{e}{m}}$ so obviously the speed of light is the square root of the total amount of energy divided by the total amount of mass in the universe.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Around age 5, I came up with the basics of mormonism, then rejected them 10 minutes later for being silly. "I wonder if in heaven, I'd get my own planet. I wonder if this planet's just heaven for God, then? Then God's an alien from another planet who made HIS God happy, who was yet ANOTHER alien from ANOTHER planet who made HIS God happy..." and then I decided an infinite layering of dieties was probably not the best explanation for the universe.

Up until I was 6 or 7, I thought our car stayed in one place and the earth spun around beneath it. After all, sitting in a car at a constant speed feels a lot like sitting still. I couldn't quite figure out how the cars on the other side of the street were moving in the opposite direction.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Eleven year-old time travel rationalisation theory: every point in time has its own universe (infinite universes), traveling faster influenced your passage through each of the universes/frames.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

When I first heard about relativity, I thought about all the different frames of reference, and decided that....for a reason I cannot remember, depite all of physics, the entire universe was spinning around the central point of a fan in one of the school rooms. I also came up with the idea that we wouldnt be screwed by inertia when it got turned on/off due to the fact that relative to the universe, we were exceptionally close to it and hence turned very little compared to the universes outskirts.
But I ramble.

Hehe. Fan.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

ACU-LP wrote:When I first heard about relativity, I thought about all the different frames of reference, and decided that....for a reason I cannot remember, depite all of physics, the entire universe was spinning around the central point of a fan in one of the school rooms. I also came up with the idea that we wouldnt be screwed by inertia when it got turned on/off due to the fact that relative to the universe, we were exceptionally close to it and hence turned very little compared to the universes outskirts.
But I ramble.

Hehe. Fan.

What if the fan is turned off? Or was the fan just placed in the centre of the universe, and not the thing that makes it rotate? (actually, it might stay still, rotating in the opposite direction to the universe at the same speed...)
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

So this might actually count more as philosophy than science, but I still have an amount of faith in the ideas I'm about to put forth.

Imagine that you exist multiple times, but you're unaware of the other copies. Now, imagine that they were put in the world before and after you separated by some random number of years.

Whenever I saw an old man by himself next to me, I would think that he is me, but he was here before me and in a different set of circumstances. I was always tempted to ask about what my life would be like.

After I had forgotten that theory, I came up with a new one. This one revolved around the idea that there are only a set amount of different personalities, and that people were different because of what happened to them. I became very good at identifying which personality somebody had, and how it was modified from the last person I met who had a similar personality.

The first theory I had when I was five, and I still, to a degree, believe it, but modified by the second theory, which I came up with in fifth grade.

In fourth grade I thought that gravity was something that could be reflected.

By ordinary mirrors...

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Note: I was maybe 5 at the time.

I was at a restaurant with my family - parents, grandparents, and siblings. Someone got coffee, along with sweetener and half and half. I said "I know why they call it half and half. Half of it comes from a cow and half from a bull."
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

Shiyiya
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

emceng wrote:Note: I was maybe 5 at the time.

I was at a restaurant with my family - parents, grandparents, and siblings. Someone got coffee, along with sweetener and half and half. I said "I know why they call it half and half. Half of it comes from a cow and half from a bull."

I lolled.

This thread makes me think of this:

a sig on another forum I go on wrote:The mass-energy density times the presumed dimensions of reality versus its gravitational potential, sum up to zero within experimental error, implying that the total of everything is nothing at all.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Shiyiya wrote:This thread makes me think of this:

a sig on another forum I go on wrote:The mass-energy density times the presumed dimensions of reality versus its gravitational potential, sum up to zero within experimental error, implying that the total of everything is nothing at all.

That looks like a modified Hitchhiker's quote, Shiyiya.

A theory I have sometimes (and I've already posted this elsewhere, but oh well) believed is that I'm the test subject in a large conspiracy/experiment from the future (or the present, as it were) to test how people would behave in a different past (the "present") and therefore created, arbitrarily, this world and put in various scientists into it. There's probably a microchip in my brain transmitting my thoughts to all of you and you're knowing what I'm thinking as I'm writing this. From a random list, the important figures in my life (parents, etc.) are given a role to play and I'm to respond to that role the only way I know how, and all my choices are studied and carefully reviewed by all of you scientist types.

Not sure how much sense that made, but oh well.
Spoiler:

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Fin Archangel wrote:
Shiyiya wrote:This thread makes me think of this:

a sig on another forum I go on wrote:The mass-energy density times the presumed dimensions of reality versus its gravitational potential, sum up to zero within experimental error, implying that the total of everything is nothing at all.

That looks like a modified Hitchhiker's quote, Shiyiya.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Shiyiya wrote:
Fin Archangel wrote:
Shiyiya wrote:This thread makes me think of this:

a sig on another forum I go on wrote:The mass-energy density times the presumed dimensions of reality versus its gravitational potential, sum up to zero within experimental error, implying that the total of everything is nothing at all.

That looks like a modified Hitchhiker's quote, Shiyiya.

There is a PM button for a reason guys (to reduce thread derail), and you could have even dont your post/reply in a PM itself. Heck, I could PM this direct to you, but I'm making a point.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

emceng wrote:Note: I was maybe 5 at the time.

I was at a restaurant with my family - parents, grandparents, and siblings. Someone got coffee, along with sweetener and half and half. I said "I know why they call it half and half. Half of it comes from a cow and half from a bull."

Prime bull semen is actually pretty expensive. That coffee would cost about £1000 I think, going at current rates.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

my theory was more religion than science.
at age 8 i decided that the world we live in is a big video game for another world. the first version of this theory was something like an advanced version of sims. i think my ending theory was something like World of Warcraft (assuming what i know about WoW is correct), we sleep when our gamer is off line, our days are about a third of days in the real world and our basic concept of time is all screwed up.
i still toy with this idea once in awhile.

my version of communism was that everyone would have a card stating their level of work in some form or another, people with higher levels of work (doctors, lawyers, etc.) could 'buy' higher quality products than low level workers who could get low quality products. levels were judged by specific people whose job it was to decern one's potential and how much of it was being used. so if someone was mentally retarded and could only be a janitor at most, if he was a janitor he could live just as well as the average person.

i'm also still waiting on my dragon

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

That's not communism so much as a hierarchy.
Felstaff wrote:I actually see what religion is to social, economical and perhaps political progress in a similar way to what war is to technological progress.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

yeah i suppose it almost is. i think it's like communism with measures taken so people cannot take advantage of the system.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

You know

for some reason, I always associate this fora with correct grammar usage. I guess I'm just too asian -.-;;
Spoiler:

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Fin Archangel wrote:You know for some reason, I always associate this fora with correct grammar usage. I guess I'm just too asian -.-;;

Curious, then, that you would sully that association by using the word "fora".
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

^Dearail anyone?

Gah
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Let me rerail it, then.

When I was a kid, I thought I knew all about Godel and Turing and so on. I knew that all sufficiently powerful logical systems were doomed to be incomplete. However, I was *convinced* that it was possible to define a logical system that was *just* weak enough to not be affected by Godel, but still powerful enough to do everything you needed to do science and math and such.

I also believed that such a logical system would be able to solve the Halting Problem.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

When I was young and watched the Lion King, I used to believe that all the characters were actually humans in animal suits. I thought it was pretty cool how they made everything look the way it did, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how they convinced anyone to play the roles of the ones that died.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
nekolux wrote:I used to have this phobia for insects ( still am slightly phobic lol ). Right then i read some where about wormholes and stuff and well basically i thought that wormholes are always present on earth except the human eye cannot see them. And well i pictured the wormhole as a giant wormhole..... yeah and insects flooded through them onto earth. Insects could see and make use of them freely of course... i hate worms too

Some part of me still believe this.... i mean sometimes i swear i hit the damn fly but it just disappears!
I'm still convinced flies can move in 4 dimensions. It's the only explanation for how they know to fly away as soon as I even think of swatting them, and how I can clearly see my hand come down on them only to have them suddenly be beside me. That's why they have all those eyes.

I live in the Caribbean and the mosquitoes here definitely teleport. Also, they must have some sort of genetic memory as they quickly learned to disappear when we got the mosquito zapper.

I remember when I was about 9ish when I finally worked out that people who spoke other languages (I was learning Spanish at the time) had images in their heads that went with their words (I was trying to work out why they would go through the extra trouble of saying "bolsa" when they were thinking "bag" in their heads when it finally hit me that they saw a bag but didn't associate it with that word ) After I finally realised that they would be speaking Spanish inside their heads when they thought, I wondered how deaf people who have never heard anything think (Do they get images of their hands waving around, or just think in text, which I sometimes do when I've been reading way too much?) I've never actually met and known a deaf person well enough to ask, so if you know the answer, I would really like to find out.

My explanation for the myths of vampires and werewolves that change you into one of them when they bite you was rabies, I still think that that is a pretty good explanation, even though I now know about that condition which gives you those sort of characteristics (congenital porphyria)

I also used to think that there was a guardian angel who followed me around in cars, it took me a while to realise that what I was seeing was the reflection of the sunlight off the side of the car.

I can't remember any of the science theories I had, as they seem to have merged into those of my younger brother, who really went in for that sort of thing, so he would come up with all the time travel theories (one involved very strong torus magnets somehow distorting space-time), space ships (he had lots of designs), etc. - which I would either help him come up with or try to shoot down depending on the mood I was in. I'll have to show him this thread, I'm sure he would love it. Though now I come to think of it, maybe I made lots of mini theories whenever I learned something new to try to connect it to things that I already knew, which is why I always picked things up quickly and could never understand why other people can take so long to grasp a new concept (that was something I always struggled with, I have trouble trying to conceptualize how other people think, thus the whole fascination with the foreign language speakers).
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories

Teknobo wrote:I'm still decently convinced that every person in the world besides me is actually an android. I couldn't quite place who made all of the androids, or why, or where I had come from for that matter (since I'm a real human, duh), but the theory made so much sense!

So I'm not the only one who thought (still thinks) this?

Uh...

Let's start a rebellion against our android oppressors?
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

i like pi wrote:
Teknobo wrote:I'm still decently convinced that every person in the world besides me is actually an android. I couldn't quite place who made all of the androids, or why, or where I had come from for that matter (since I'm a real human, duh), but the theory made so much sense!

So I'm not the only one who thought (still thinks) this?

Uh...

Let's start a rebellion against our android oppressors?

but since I did/do sometimes think like that, then you're the android! Oh NOES!
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Xanthir wrote:Let me rerail it, then.

When I was a kid, I thought I knew all about Godel and Turing and so on. I knew that all sufficiently powerful logical systems were doomed to be incomplete. However, I was *convinced* that it was possible to define a logical system that was *just* weak enough to not be affected by Godel, but still powerful enough to do everything you needed to do science and math and such.

I also believed that such a logical system would be able to solve the Halting Problem.

Woah. I've been studying CS for 2 years and have no idea what you're talking about (googling as we speak). How old were you then?

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Not androids, but invented up by my mind!

Then again, if my mind invented the world and everyone in it, I think it would have given me a better life and made sure there were no wars and hunger and stuff.

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

And if I had invented the world, it sure wouldn't obey the laws of quantum mechanics.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

maybe your mind didn't make your life amazing because something in it wanted to be "realistic" and "believable." even though if the real world didn't exist, there would be no basis of comparison, but part of you knew you couldn't enjoy yourself all the time. if you did, then you wouldn't realize how much fun you were having when you were having it. that makes sense, right?

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

Let's see...

There were times when the family would have to take the car to go somewhere. Now, that somewhere could be reached via various paths, which always seemed to be two: The main road and the side road. The main road would always be the most direct path while the side road would be less so, through smaller streets. Still, the main road seemed to have the property to have traffic, which clearly meant that the side road would be quicker.

That's the point that confused me. If my family was in position to predict when the main road would have traffic without having access to some special source of information, wouldn't it be fair to assume that every other person planning to use the main road would think the same and decide to take the side road as well? Wouldn't that mean that the side road would get traffic while the main road would end up being empty? It seemed as if everyone would make a decision based on the knowledge that everyone else would act without thinking about the traffic, even though everyone seemed to have the same access to knowing about the traffic.

However, if everyone thought of that (and still, we have no reason to assume that they couldn't) then everyone would choose to take the main road because everyone else would take the side road thinking there would be traffic on the main road. That reasoning could continue ad infinitum, though! So, I guess it was more defining a problem than coming up with a theory.
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

I bet that constitutes some valid problem of game theory, really.

I wish all this new-age pseudoscience we hear about today had half as much sense as the "crackpot" theories supplied in this thread...

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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

_Big_Mac_ wrote:I wish all this new-age pseudoscience we hear about today had half as much sense as the "crackpot" theories supplied in this thread...

I may have mentioned this earlier, but funny thing is, like the stuff found in science fiction, crackpot theories such as ours (some of which could be quite valid actually) may eventually be fully investigated, with new discoveries possibly following, or at least new ways of thinking.
Think how much technology and how many concepts we have gained from someone looking at something in a science fiction movie and thinking, is that really so impossible?
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### Re: Childhood crackpot theories *EPIC THREAD*

ACU-LP wrote:
_Big_Mac_ wrote:I wish all this new-age pseudoscience we hear about today had half as much sense as the "crackpot" theories supplied in this thread...

I may have mentioned this earlier, but funny thing is, like the stuff found in science fiction, crackpot theories such as ours (some of which could be quite valid actually) may eventually be fully investigated, with new discoveries possibly following, or at least new ways of thinking.
Think how much technology and how many concepts we have gained from someone looking at something in a science fiction movie and thinking, is that really so impossible?

I'm gonna guess not too many, actually. I base this solely on my inability to think up any good examples. Sure, people might get more funding because of movies a la metamaterials research being sold as invisibility cloak research, but I can't think of any currently used products whose conceptual origin was in fiction. Robots as toys maybe? Kind of sort of?
Some people tell me I laugh too much. To them I say, "ha ha ha!"

Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
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### Re: Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

Charlie! wrote:
ACU-LP wrote:
_Big_Mac_ wrote:I wish all this new-age pseudoscience we hear about today had half as much sense as the "crackpot" theories supplied in this thread...

I may have mentioned this earlier, but funny thing is, like the stuff found in science fiction, crackpot theories such as ours (some of which could be quite valid actually) may eventually be fully investigated, with new discoveries possibly following, or at least new ways of thinking.
Think how much technology and how many concepts we have gained from someone looking at something in a science fiction movie and thinking, is that really so impossible?

I'm gonna guess not too many, actually. I base this solely on my inability to think up any good examples. Sure, people might get more funding because of movies a la metamaterials research being sold as invisibility cloak research, but I can't think of any currently used products whose conceptual origin was in fiction. Robots as toys maybe? Kind of sort of?

What about submarines (Jules Verne I believe), ships to the moon (Jules Verne again) and geostationary satellites (Arthur C Clarke)? While you could probably argue that we'd have got those anyway, they were still scifi before scientists started working on them.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Monty40xi
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### Re: Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

Angua - on that note, let's include Jules Verne's nuclear reactors and lasers.

EDIT: and powered exoskeletons from the original Starship Troopers. Raytheon, UC-Berkeley, and one or two Japanese companies are all getting very close there. The last hurdles to deal with there are power supplies and fast movement.
Last edited by Monty40xi on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Occam's Quandary: any idea can be made to sound like the simpler one.

thecommabandit
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### Re: Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

And Star Trek invented mobile phones. And possibly automatic doors.

Shiyiya
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### Re: Childhood (not so) crackpot theories

da VInci invented helicopters and tanks! (And a million other things. That man was awesome.)