Stop Fittling With That

Congratulations, my students, on your successful completion of the first half of Ontological Engineering.

When you return in two months, it will be time for each of you to choose the research project you’ll be carrying out for the next two years.  And with regard to that, I would like to encourage you to choose something other than the current obsession with faster-than-light devices.

While I can appreciate your enthusiasm, whether based on the honors and plaudits that await anyone who cracks that particular problem, or the unspeakably large bounty that the Imperial Navy have waiting for anyone who can provide them with a tactical fittler capable of pulling off that four-simultaneous-shots-with-one-ship maneuver – ever since it was shown off on Galaxy of Conquest, anyway – I should nevertheless like to remind you of a few things.

Firstly, that people have been banging on, yanking at, and poking any piece of physics that looked like it might have practical or even impractical fittling potential since before Imogen Andracanth’s team invented the wormhole; and except for the wormhole and the tangle channel, have produced absolutely no positive results whatsoever.

Secondly, that Exogenesis, Islien Yards and Stellar Express, between them, have poured more money into their Starleaper Initiative than the entire budget of this university, and have hired a great many talented graduates of this course.  You can therefore be fairly sure both that the competition is extremely stiff, and that if there were any low-hanging fruit to be plucked in this area, we would probably have heard about it already.

And thirdly, of course, there are a great many unsolved, and indeed, as yet uninvestigated research problems in other areas of ontotechnology, many of them leading to potentially exciting developments in fields as simple as remote sensing and drive efficiency to old speculative-fictional dreams such as dimensional transcendence, matter translocation, negentropy, and instant manufacturing free from all that tedious mucking about with nanomachines.

So go home, enjoy the blue and green season, and come back to me with some exciting proposals!  You won’t be penalized if you do insist on sticking with the fittle, but do check what’s been done in the past and what the Starleaper team have been trying recently, and put some fresh and interesting spin on it.

Class dismissed.

– address to the most recent OE class, Imperial University of Almeä