The Phallacy of Don’s Thinking.

What’s this? I haven’t even started my ad hominem retort against Don’s post and I already got a jab in. As they say in Street Fighter, “Round one, fight.”

Don is a biomedical engineer. He has been his whole life. Don has his undergraduate degree in BME at Case, which is consistently ranked in the top ten BME programs in the nation. One might say Don has been on the fast track to BME stardom since he spoke his first words at the age of 9.

*ding* Round 2, fight.

Don likes to insult me by lumping me in with physicists. He writes of my ilk,

Nobody ever said physicists are dummies. Awkward, pompous, smelly jerks, maybe, but certainly not dummies.

Here’s the problem with this. You can’t just…well…if you…it’s not fair to… Okay, he’s right. There’s no problem with these claims. Touche, Don.

The rest of Don’s post is cute in an “I fear what I don’t understand” kind of way. He thinks, cutely, that physicists are allowed to set constants =1 whenever they feel like making things easy. For instance, in Don’s magical world of unicorns and rainbows, the equation f(unicorns) = ax^2 +bx +c can be changed to x^2 +x +1.

This is where Bob Barker would put his hand on Don’s shoulder and ask him to spin the wheel again, because 55 cents just wont get you into the showcase showdown, if you know what I mean.

Don is referring to an old physicist trick of using “natural units” to simplify algebra. The Planck units are the most well known. A glance at the wikipedia page will show there’s a lot more going on than setting everything to unity (the pompous physicist term for the number one). What Don’s “not-at-all-lazy physicists” are doing is to cleverly redefine units so that commonly occuring combinations vanish. Physicists don’t kill constants, guns kill constants.

And so it comes to pass that the climactic climax of Don’s post is nothing more than a pack of sausages wired to a crazy man’s chest.

All fuse, no explosion.

ps. Don smells.

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~ by wcuk on May 8, 2008.

One Response to “The Phallacy of Don’s Thinking.”

  1. I was expecting something like this after reading Don’s post… The fat guy at the wheel let’s me know that you delivered beyond expectations.

    Fight, Fight, Fight.

    In a pinch, you could use one of the dozen Sigmas on your blog as a shuriken.

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