User:Jnc/Astronomer vs Amateur

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The Astronomer and the Amateur meet on Wikipedia[edit]

In homage to Professor Steve Ward of MIT, who wrote an incredibly funny parody of his experiences as an expert witness in a civil trial. Believe it or not, much of this dialogue is actually taken from real events here on Wikipedia; for example, check out this and then read this.

Amateur: The Moon is made of green cheese.

Astronomer: No it's not, it's made (after oxygen) of silicon, aluminium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Amateur: Find me a citation that says it's not made of green cheese.

Astronomer: Here's a chart I just found in my files and uploaded which gives the composition.

Amateur: How do you know that's what it is? I say it's a chart of the composition of Pluto.

Astronomer: It's from a conference which I attended, plus to which I work in this field, so I know darn well what it's a chart of.

Amateur: Your opinions are biased, irrelevant, and probably wrong. I still say it's Pluto.

<Wait.>

Astronomer: OK, here's an email from the person who created the table, which says that I have correctly captioned it.

Amateur: That says it's the composition of rocks at the Apollo 12 landing site. I say the rest of the Moon is made of green cheese. Find me a citation that says it's not made of green cheese.

Astronomer: OK, here's a paper by Alpha, Beta and Gamma that says what the lunar crust as a whole is made out of.

Amateur: That doesn't say that it's not made of green cheese. So I'm right, it is made of green cheese.

Astronomer: These guys are the principal experts on the Moon's composition, and they say it's made of something else.

Amateur: Who says they are the experts? It's made of green cheese.

Astronomer: I've worked with them on determining the Moon's composition, and I know they are the experts.

Amateur: Your opinions are irrelevant. Please provide a citation which shows it's not made of green cheese.

<Long wait.>

Astronomer: OK, after wasting a great deal of my time, time which could have been spent adding a great deal of content on other things, here's a paper by Aleph and Beth which happens to mention that the Moon is not made of green cheese.

Amateur: That paper's entitled "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Moon, but were afraid to ask". It's clearly a joke, and useless as a citation. Please provide a citation which shows it's not made of green cheese.

Astronomer: Look, the title's a joke, but the content is clearly serious; I was there when they gave the paper at a conference, and it's not a joke.

Amateur: I don't believe you. Please provide a citation which shows it's not made of green cheese.

<Even longer wait.>

Astronomer: OK, after wasting a great deal of my time dredging through documents to find a citation which shows something that everyone who has 1/128th of a clue already knows, here's an old paper by Aleph and Beth which clearly states that the Moon is not made of green cheese.

Amateur: OK, the Moon is actually made of Limburger cheese.

Astronomer: No it's not, like I said before, it's made (after oxygen) of silicon, aluminium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Amateur: Find me a citation that says it's not made of Limburger cheese.

<Repeat from the beginning. After that, repeat several more times, with a variety of different types of cheese.>