Once upon a time a Beautiful Blonde batted her long eyelashes and said, “But Professor, how does the star-drive work?”
The Professor smiled and said, “Well, my dear, it is a simple matter of post-modern physics. The Pyre-E reactor emits adeledicnandar radiation. This transmodulates the morphogenetic field, which warps the space-time continuum…”
The Professor continued in this vein. The Blonde paid close attention, occasionally interjecting a question.
A Mechanic rolled his eyes. “Pomo Physics 101,” he thought. He knew all that stuff already; and he knew that the Blonde did, too. He also could tell that the Professor was trying to get into her pants, and that he would not succeed.
The Mechanic got up and said, “Excuse me.” He left the room, to go service the star-drive itself. It badly needed maintenance; the rectilinear reciprocator was askew, the turboencabulator was lesnerized, the orgone accumulator needed fresh stroon, the helbertian was underpolynomic, and worst of all the flux capacitor was de-retrinitized.
He stormed back to the Professor, who was expounding upon the use of unobtainium to generate a Jarnell intersplit in space-3. The Mechanic said, “Where do we have another flux capacitor? This one’s de-retrinitized!”
The Professor said, “In the positronics annex.”
The Blonde said, “What’s a flux capacitor?”
“It’s a kind of AC battery,” the Professor explained.
The Blonde said, “You mean… it stores an alternating current?”
The Professor said, “Yes, my dear, you see, the electroweak resonance of the aludium fozdex modules...”
The Mechanic left them, to go to the positronics annex, where he got a new flux capacitor. As he repaired the engine, the Mechanic cursed entropy and bureaucratic inefficiency. “They send us on a mission in a ship like this?! Scandalous! They might as well throw us straight into the Sun and be done with it!”
The Mechanic finished his work. The star-drive worked, sort of, probably. He returned to the Professor and the Blonde. The Professor was telling the Blonde:
“In this way the infinite-dimensional invariance group erodes the distinction between the observer and the observed; the pi of Euclid and the G of Newton, formerly thought to be constant and universal, are now perceived in their ineluctable historicity; and the putative observer becomes fatally decentered, disconnected from any epistemic link to a spacetime point that can no longer be defined by geometry alone.”
The Blonde said, “Oh, I see! Now it all makes perfect sense!”
The Professor said, “It’s called the Sokal Effect. I could explain it in further detail, this evening perhaps…”
The Blonde said, “No, I’ll be busy.”
Moral: Technobabble doesn’t count.