28 July 2013

More Changes On The Sonic Dataset

The Sonic Dataset

I have gone through the dataset for the Sonic Screwdriver [sonic] uses for, what I feel, is the final time. Or at least until after the article and poster is done and it's time for an update. It's been a long and difficult trek mainly as I needed to discard many outdated and illogical conclusions about how the sonic worked.

Sonic Misconceptions

The biggest misconception in every list I encountered was the functionality of the sonic. People saw the Doctor burn through a metal door and would state it was a cutting torch. They'd see the Doctor examine someone and would say it scanned that object. And the biggest misconception was watching the Doctor open a door. If you think about it, open door is not a function—it is the result of something the Doctor did with the sonic.

Next time you see the Doctor open a door you need to ask yourself, what type of door did he open. If it was a door in a medieval castle and the door was bolted on the outside, how would the sonic open that door. It would have to move the bolt. And what if the Doctor opened a door on a spaceship, one with powered servos to automatically open the door. There's no bolt to move. The sonic would have to affect something in the circuitry to allow the door to open.

So there are two open door scenarios each with completely different functionalities. What was needed was a redefinition of how the sonic actually did all those things. For the medieval door, the sonic altered its sonic waves into electromagnetic [emr] waves and magnetically moved the bolt. For the powered door it would be necessary to affect the electrical nature of the circuit by altering the sonic waves into electromagnetic waves and affect the electricity. Similar to the first example but working with magnetism in the first and electricity in the second.

The Scrubbing Of The Stories
Not able to find a comprehensive list I took to reviewing every story by scrubbing through all the footage. I didn't watch every episode all the way through but scanned for those particular movements that belied the Doctor using the sonic. And that is how I found many that other lists had missed.

The Sorting
After scrubbing through all the stories [more than once] it was time to begin the categorization. I tried many types mostly based on the type of science it was duplicating. Then it occurred to me that I needed to find if these sciences actually existed. Was it possible that the sonic could turn a screw.

The Search For Science
SO began the exhaustive search for evidence of the sciences that I needed to explain all those 792 uses. I was quite surprised. It turned into an easier task than I thought. And after a little work [in actuality, a lot of work] I had categorized all the sonic uses.

What's Next?
Now the work begins on creating the charts, graphs, and networks. There are stats for uses by Doctor, uses by writer, failure rates, the statistically worst sonic offenders [writers], statistically worst sonic offenders [Doctor], and many I haven't thought of yet. All of this will be compiled into a nifty amalgamation of a data visualization and infographic.

I'm also working on creating some of this material as on-line interactive web pages with the use of a language I'm learning, d3.js. Static images are nice but this type of data really needs to be worked with by the viewer. Besides, it's more fun that way...

So stay tuned, we are working very hard and hope to have some interesting charts soon...

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