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*To*: "'LIT Starship Design Group'" <starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu>*Subject*: starship-design: THE PHYSICISTS' BILL OF RIGHTS*From*: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>*Date*: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 20:31:03 -0500*Reply-To*: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>*Sender*: owner-starship-design

THE PHYSICISTS' BILL OF RIGHTS (Concise Edition) We hold these postulates to be intuitively obvious, that all physicists are born equal, to a first approximation, and are endowed by their creator with certain discrete privileges, among them a mean rest life, n degrees of freedom, and the following rights, which are invariant under all linear transformations: I. To approximate all problems to ideal cases. II. To use order of magnitude calculations whenever deemed necessary (i.e., whenever one can get away with it). III. To use the rigorous method of "hand waving" for solving problems more complex than the additions of positive real integers. IV. To dismiss all functions that diverge as "nasty" and "unphysical." V. To invoke the uncertainty principle whenever confronted by confused mathematicians, chemists, engineers, psychologists, and dramatists. VI. To justify shaky reasoning on the basis that it gives the right answer. VII. To choose convenient initial conditions, using the principle of general triviality. VIII. To use plausible arguments in place of proofs, and thenceforth refer to those arguments as proofs. IX. To take on faith any principle which seems right but cannot be proved. X. To ignore data that don't fit the curve.

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