A little bit of cynicism...
[*]Historian: "First there exists the innovation; Then some ridicule the innovation of being "impossible"; Then others attempt to steal the innovation and claim it as their own; Then, much later, when the innovation is in full use throughout society, there are those people who talk about the innovation and say, 'What's the big deal? It is obvious. Everybody knows that.'" -- Evan Soule, introducing Joseph Newman, 1998
- Skeptic: Someone who can provide a hundred reasons why it is impossible to fly. Eg. Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible".
- Crackpot: Someone who has a go.
- Inventor: A crackpot who succeeds.
- Scientist: Someone we trust to explain why it can be done, even though we trusted them to explain why it couldn't.
- Science Reporter: Someone who translates the words of a scientist into everyday language, but is unable to investigate the words of a skeptic or the actions of a crackpot. This is why there are no investigative science reporters. All other reporters (eg. political reporter) take the opposite stance, and don't believe a word told to them... by either side.
- Peer Reviewed Journal: A collection of documents with a price high enough to deter ley-readers, language terse enough to deter scientists outside their field, and peers that must remain anonymous and unaccountable in order to deter crackpots.
- Fringe Scientist: A scientist who can't get funding.
- Genius: A crackpot that succeeds AND gets funding.
- Received wisdom: That we know to be true, but isn't. Eg.:
- We all know that Marconi invented the radio. He didn't, it was Tesla who has a patent to prove it.
- We all know that the Wright Brothers invented powered flight. They didn't, it was probably Gustave Whitehead who flew for the first time two years earlier (as reported in his local paper), but a contract with the Smithsonian Institute prevents them from claiming otherwise.