Difference between revisions of "2268: Further Research is Needed"

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Revision as of 00:31, 15 February 2020

Further Research is Needed
Further research is needed to fully understand how we managed to do such a good job.
Title text: Further research is needed to fully understand how we managed to do such a good job.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a CONFIDENT RESEARCHER. Expand, title text. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Many research papers end with a statement that more research is needed on a particular topic. This comic's fictional paper, however, ends with a statement that the paper has resolved all the problems about its topic, and that no more research is necessary. Humorously, the authors are so confident in their research skills that they believe that they have solved all the problems in that particular topic that can be solved. The irony is that doing so precludes additional funding to further study the subject, which would otherwise be good for both science and the scientists.

The Woodward Hoffman textbook on organic chemistry has actually made a statement very similar to the one in the comic as its conclusion.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

[A panel, representing an excerpt from a scholarly journal, with two sentences clearly visible. Below the text is the word "References", with a horizontal line below it, and then four lines of illegible text numbered 1 through 4, representing a list of citations. The legible sentences say:]

We believe this resolves all remaining questions on this topic. No further research is needed.

[Caption below the panel:]

Just once, I want to see a research paper with the guts to end this way.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


First! 14:56, February 14, 2020

Please sign your comments. That's right, Jacky720 just signed this (talk | contribs) 23:59, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

I got two things to say:

That's right, Jacky720 just signed this (talk | contribs) 23:59, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Paper title: "Constructive proof of P=NP". Conclusion: "No further research is needed" ... because anyone who read this paper can get so rich they won't need to do any research for rest of life, spent on nice tropical island. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:58, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

... other paper with similar property: "Experimental disapproval of second thermodynamic law" -- Hkmaly (talk) 01:01, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, but when experimental disproofs (we really hope one comes by soon) appear, entire research streams into how to optimise the disapproval begins. "No further research required" apply far more to constructive disproofs for theory (i.e. like maths) rather than for the empirical sciences. 19:22, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
You missed the joke being that "no further research is needed" was applied to the researcher - that is, that the researcher doesn't need to do any research - instead of on the field/topic. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:33, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Can someone make a category called "Research" or "Research Papers"? Other comics with this topic include: 2012: Thorough Analysis, 2025: Peer Review, 2215: Faculty:Student Ratio, 1594: Human Subjects and 1574: Trouble for Science. 00:59, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Done. Is easy. -- Hkmaly (talk) 01:08, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
I thought a similar one already existed, since there have been quite a few comics talking about scientific study papers. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 01:03, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Here is a list of a bunch of papers that could have done this (but for some it might not have been known at the time): https://mathoverflow.net/questions/347540/what-are-examples-of-collections-of-papers-which-close-a-field Fabian42 (talk) 02:16, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Regarding topics that might reach a conclusion: The first subset that comes to mind is religious matters (e.g. "God works in mysterious ways -- let's not think about this too much.") The second subset that comes to mind is game theory regarding games that have been solved. (e.g. there's not much left to be said about tic-tac-toe.)

Further research is needed to see why humans continue to play tic-tac-toe when it's so widely known how to avoid losing. And into how anyone ever wins. And why on earth Google has an online version, with 3 different difficulty levels. Seriously though, there is actual research into how to have the best chance of beating a player who isn't very good (meaning someone who is bad enough to lose occasionally), which involves not only game theory, but also psychology about what mistakes an opponent is most likely to make. Finally, there are newer, more complex, variants, such as playing on a 4x4 grid or in 3D, and new ones can always be developed so that the field is never closed. 00:08, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Okay, what about a game of Nim? any variant that doesn't change the game so far as to be unrecognizable can easily be solved with backwards recursion. 06:01, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
3 players. Fabian42 (talk) 15:05, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Further research needed is into why Wikipedia editors keep missing the sentence "When played as a misère game, Nim strategy is different only when the normal play move would leave only heaps of size one. In that case, the correct move is to leave an odd number of heaps of size one (in normal play, the correct move would be to leave an even number of such heaps)" and posting lengthy comments on the Wikipedia Nim talk page about the strategy (for normal play) resulting in losing in a misère game.

Leaving this explanation "incomplete" would be perfectly meta. Please don't ever remove that incomplete tag 16:46, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

I think it would have been even better to have the explanation say: "We believe this resolves all remaining questions on this comic. No further explanation is needed." and leave it at that. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 08:59, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

How about a subject where rather than further research not being needed to answer questions, further research is undesirable, as further investigating some matter could potentially trigger catastrophic results, such as allowing the invention of technology that would do great harm if available, ranging from being usable in crimes that can't be traced or stopped, or somehow destroying the world, or that further looking into some matter is likely to somehow drive the researcher insane?-- 06:42, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

You are only considering ideas that might run afoul of the ethics committee if it ran. Those are old hat. It is far more interesting and fruitful to point out that we have some examples of the diametrically opposite situation. e.g. the safety and efficiency of vaccines are so great that papers ought to end with "We should not wait for further research in order to recommend that vaccines be mandated." 19:27, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

If further research really isn't needed on the topic (although obviously papers get things wrong and results need to be reproduced as a check, so let's say this is that), then the next funding can go to someone else's research, and that is Good For Science. Robert Carnegie [email protected] 12:15, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm imagining a book titled "There are a finite number of primes", chapter 3 "Proof" reads "This page intentionally left blank" :-) --OliReading (talk) 18:04, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

there is a joke about cold fusion in there somewhere.--Artemis1101 (talk) 15:55, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

There's a very good paper published around a month before this comic which says something very close: "...we do not see any justification for such efforts, and we believe that researchers should focus their energy on other research directions." 23:31, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

Correction: just about exactly a month, funny enough! 23:32, 2 December 2020 (UTC)