Monday, December 11, 2006


The television program CSI is an offense unto god and man. It is the worst abuser of science in all media, in all history, past present and future.

My favorite example of CSI's absurdity was when they found a digital photo and zoomed into a pair of glasses so much that they could make out the person who took the photo. With no loss of resolution. This photo had a million pixels, (at least) in a small fraction of someone's glasses, which were not a particularly large portion of the shot.

A friend of mine told me that they pulled a similar trick in another episode. They took a satellite image and zoomed in until they could read a license plate off the reflection of another car's chrome. This is clearly an awesome satellite photo.

There are more important problems in the show, (Crime Scene Investigators investigate crime scenes, they don't interrogate witnesses, perform arrests, etc.) but the science impossibilities are the ones that make me retch in disgust.

Although CSI abuses science the worst, Numb3rs abuses math about as much. In the eyes of the show, mathematicians are mystical priests of ultimate knowledge, and the FBI is unaware of the basic precepts of their occupation (looking for trends, collecting data, gathering evidence are all important, even without math!).

Irritating. No wonder american scientific literacy is abysmal.

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