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pantodragon

What is science really about?

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Science is not a system to 'know everything'. Science is not a system to know the 'absolute truth'.

Science is a system of acquiring knowledge. As we acquire knowledge what we know changes and grows. It's really just that simple.

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I generally take what others tell me about themselves at face value, but keep in mind the other possibilities. As a result, if someone gives me medical advice because they claim to be a doctor, well, I will check with my own doctor.

Well, I hope your own doctor doesn’t go under the name of Frankenstein or Jekyll or Crippen………

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I'm curious to find out what area of physics you were successful in. And why you are not one now.

For my M.Phil. I worked in coherence optics, then went into industry to work on optical fibres (communications), then finally I went back to university to work in an engineering department on optical sensors. That final was a two year appointment, but I did not last the two years. By then I was utterly bored and totally disillusioned concerning the state of research in both industry and the academic world. I found the world of science to be a barren wasteland. It was so intensely competitive that any idealistic notions that science was about truth, about satisfying curiosity about the world etc, belonged to the world of fantasy. It was not about truth; it was about winning, and if you had a big prestigious organisation behind you, then your theory/process/product would prevail, and if you did not, then your theory/process/product would fail. It was a simple as that.

Also, the competitiveness meant that one was hampered by patents and copyright – I mean, the effort you have to put into making sure that anything you publish has not been published before is just so absurd. You scour the literature, which is vast, and mostly not worth the paper it was written on – publication is about filling out your CV and getting yourself known etc – and even then you can’t be sure you didn’t miss something – which happened to me: I got a nasty letter one time from a professor at UCL accusing me of stealing his ideas (I hadn’t, and an independent adjudicator found in my favour.) So, in spite of all the tedious scrutinizing of the literature, you can still get caught out. But it really does just make research SO TEDIOUS. Then I applied for a patent once, and it took something like 5 years to finalise it (by which time I was out of physics anyway) ....... that is just absurd and such a waste of time and resources and if your next move actually depended on getting the patent, well, you can imagine the frustration.

It took me a long time to realise just what a bad state the world of science was in. At first I thought it was just the university that I was in, and then I went into industry in the UK (the biggest industrial research centre in the country at that time), and I found things at least as bad there; and so maybe it was just research in the UK, but then I visited some big labs in the USA and Canada, such as the Naval Research Labs in Washington, and Bell Labs in Newark, and found that things were no better on the other side of the Atlantic. I could recognise the same kind of covering up going on over there as was happening at home – under guise of safeguarding their research from the prying eyes of competitors they were really covering up the fact that nothing was happening!

At the same time I decided I was not going to lie in any papers I submitted for publication, and, well, you can imagine what that did for my career!! It just wasn’t on. If I wanted to go on getting published, I would have to lie – I hadn’t actually lied before, but I was moving into an area where it was impossible not to if you were to make it seem like you were doing something interesting -- because everyone else was doing so!

Anyway, when I finally went back to the academic world as a sort of last ditch effort to find somewhere where I could do something worthwhile I finally took on board that the search was futile. There just IS nowhere one can do worthwhile research.

One final discovery was this: I KNEW I was not a good physicist, did not really have a satisfactory understanding of the subject, or experimental competence, and yet everywhere I went I was one of the best, and even when I met some of the real ‘stars’ in the field, it was obvious that they were really no better, and some possibly even worse, than me. That is when I realised that scientists are working WAY BEYOND their competence. They are playing with things they do not understand -- it was at this time that I realised that nuclear power was a bad idea!!!

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This little lot of comments serves no better purpose than to reveal the culture of this forum. I have just abandonded a forum on paganism because I found there a culture that had succumbed to paranoia and whose members were clearly psychologically unstable. Perhaps the subject of unexplained msyteries attracts the same kind of people, because I find here a culture which is pretty well identical to the pagan forum. I feel therefore that in your best interests I should leave this forum.

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So you've decided to call it a day because no one here is stupid enough to buy your "I have better insight than any of you" shpiel? How predictable.

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This little lot of comments serves no better purpose than to reveal the culture of this forum. I have just abandonded a forum on paganism because I found there a culture that had succumbed to paranoia and whose members were clearly psychologically unstable. Perhaps the subject of unexplained msyteries attracts the same kind of people, because I find here a culture which is pretty well identical to the pagan forum. I feel therefore that in your best interests I should leave this forum.

you wont be missed.

So you've decided to call it a day because no one here is stupid enough to buy your "I have better insight than any of you" shpiel? How predictable.

very predictable, and sad. time for her to peddle her stuff elsewhere i guess.

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So you've decided to call it a day because no one here is stupid enough to buy your "I have better insight than any of you" shpiel? How predictable.

Actually, bad news for some, but I have reconsidered and think, or perhaps it would be more correct to say "hope against hope", that there may be someone on this forum that is saveable. And for even one, it may be worth my while.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, bad news for some, but I have reconsidered and think, or perhaps it would be more correct to say "hope against hope", that there may be someone on this forum that is saveable. And for even one, it may be worth my while.

Strange, you sound more like some sort of fundamentalist Christian than a scientist.

Edited by ExpandMyMind
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you wont be missed.

.

Sigh. After less than a week away I have found myself so lonely for the charm, friendliness and goodwill that is SO much a characteristic of this forum, that I just had to come back!

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Strange, you sound more like some sort of fundamentalist Christian than a scientist.

Are you for real?

PS: I notice your name ExpandMyMind. A woprd of caution: when you expand a vacuum, it implodes.....

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Are you for real?

PS: I notice your name ExpandMyMind. A woprd of caution: when you expand a vacuum, it implodes.....

Lol, that was funny.

Seriously though, you're talking about 'saving' people from science (the devil). This is the way your posts read. You have put forth an opinion, but haven't backed it up with anything substantial. We're being told that we're wrong and your right <full stop> based on nothing more than your opinions.

Yeah, sure sounds similar to a religious fundamentalist.

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Those with ears to hear will hear. Who needs stinkin evidence.

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Sigh. After less than a week away I have found myself so lonely for the charm, friendliness and goodwill that is SO much a characteristic of this forum, that I just had to come back!

Well, find a friend (I mean big F) in REAL life, and all of your probs will be solved. Asking for friendliness and goodwill on the forums... thats naïve.

.

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Well, find a friend (I mean big F) in REAL life, and all of your probs will be solved. Asking for friendliness and goodwill on the forums... thats naïve.

.

I don't know; I think I've met friends here. Not such that I would borrow money from them, but still people I can tell things to that I don't say other places, and that is one of the things friends are for.

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I don't know; I think I've met friends here. Not such that I would borrow money from them, but still people I can tell things to that I don't say other places, and that is one of the things friends are for.

There are no friends on the net. Friends are only in real life. On the line we all can give fancy speeches, this that - bad, this that - good. In the end of the day it just remain words, hot air, nothing more...

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Oh I can see an argument coming. To bad since it's early morning here and I gotta go soon.

What is a friend? Some of the people who say they love me ("love" is a word much more freely used in Vietnam than in the states) do not and if the reward were great enough would betray. I still think of them as friends because I know no one is perfect and we have to take people as they are; the good and the bad together, and avoid trying to remake them.

As far as I'm concerned one cannot have too many friends, and one takes them where one finds them. I'm a bit of an invalid now so I'm dependant on people coming to visit me. I get lots of visitors, but they only stay a few moments and then my room is empty again. Not that I feel bad about it. All I gotta do is get on the phone and I could fill the room with people, but I still like thinking that some of the people around the world that I butt heads with are also friends.

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I think the important thing here is that a Friend will listen without Judging, unless a Criminal Activity is involved, then it is a False Friend. A friend is someone you may never meet, and will give you support and encouragement, a false friend will be in your face to get something. IMO

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Oh I can see an argument coming. To bad since it's early morning here and I gotta go soon.

What is a friend? Some of the people who say they love me ("love" is a word much more freely used in Vietnam than in the states) do not and if the reward were great enough would betray. I still think of them as friends because I know no one is perfect and we have to take people as they are; the good and the bad together, and avoid trying to remake them.

As far as I'm concerned one cannot have too many friends, and one takes them where one finds them. I'm a bit of an invalid now so I'm dependant on people coming to visit me. I get lots of visitors, but they only stay a few moments and then my room is empty again. Not that I feel bad about it. All I gotta do is get on the phone and I could fill the room with people, but I still like thinking that some of the people around the world that I butt heads with are also friends.

And how many friends are of those visitors?

I think the important thing here is that a Friend will listen without Judging, unless a Criminal Activity is involved, then it is a False Friend. A friend is someone you may never meet, and will give you support and encouragement, a false friend will be in your face to get something. IMO

Isn't that internet for? Will you be my friend, please (damn, can't find appropriate smiley for that)... Ah, found it - :sk

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And how many friends are of those visitors?

Isn't that internet for? Will you be my friend, please (damn, can't find appropriate smiley for that)... Ah, found it - :sk

When I say "in your face", I mean a physical presence.

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Posted (edited)

There are no friends on the net. Friends are only in real life.

If you dont belive in globalization and new technology.

But in a sense its true what you saying BUT...It could be a wonderful beging of real friendship.

Also I met some realy good friends here. Only difference with them and real friends is that I dont drink coffe with them from time to time, congrats b-day and come on BBQs.

With internet you can easily link with people who think on same level as you.

edit: couldnt resist.

Edited by the L

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Actually, bad news for some, but I have reconsidered and think, or perhaps it would be more correct to say "hope against hope", that there may be someone on this forum that is saveable.

Oh seriously, don't bother. Come here to argue, not to save. No one is interested in that.

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I guess he sees his situation as similar to entering Sodom and Gomorrah in the hopes of saving the city from God's wrath if he can find even one righteous soul. Somehow I don't see myself as a Sodomite.

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Threads like these make me shake my head at the poor reading comprehension skills churned out by the modern education system. It doesn't seem like half the responders even read the OP's post.

That being said, I never met anyone who was 100% invested in science for all interactions and knowledge about the world. I'm sure there are some high intellectuals who never have a relationship with anyone and do nothing but work and explore and theorize all day long, and they serve their purpose. The vast majority of people of people who find their answers to the world in science still fall in love, can tell when the person next to them is upset and loves to pet their dog.

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For my M.Phil. I worked in coherence optics, then went into industry to work on optical fibres (communications), then finally I went back to university to work in an engineering department on optical sensors. That final was a two year appointment, but I did not last the two years. By then I was utterly bored and totally disillusioned concerning the state of research in both industry and the academic world. I found the world of science to be a barren wasteland. It was so intensely competitive that any idealistic notions that science was about truth, about satisfying curiosity about the world etc, belonged to the world of fantasy. It was not about truth; it was about winning, and if you had a big prestigious organisation behind you, then your theory/process/product would prevail, and if you did not, then your theory/process/product would fail. It was a simple as that.

Also, the competitiveness meant that one was hampered by patents and copyright – I mean, the effort you have to put into making sure that anything you publish has not been published before is just so absurd. You scour the literature, which is vast, and mostly not worth the paper it was written on – publication is about filling out your CV and getting yourself known etc – and even then you can’t be sure you didn’t miss something – which happened to me: I got a nasty letter one time from a professor at UCL accusing me of stealing his ideas (I hadn’t, and an independent adjudicator found in my favour.) So, in spite of all the tedious scrutinizing of the literature, you can still get caught out. But it really does just make research SO TEDIOUS. Then I applied for a patent once, and it took something like 5 years to finalise it (by which time I was out of physics anyway) ....... that is just absurd and such a waste of time and resources and if your next move actually depended on getting the patent, well, you can imagine the frustration.

It took me a long time to realise just what a bad state the world of science was in. At first I thought it was just the university that I was in, and then I went into industry in the UK (the biggest industrial research centre in the country at that time), and I found things at least as bad there; and so maybe it was just research in the UK, but then I visited some big labs in the USA and Canada, such as the Naval Research Labs in Washington, and Bell Labs in Newark, and found that things were no better on the other side of the Atlantic. I could recognise the same kind of covering up going on over there as was happening at home – under guise of safeguarding their research from the prying eyes of competitors they were really covering up the fact that nothing was happening!

At the same time I decided I was not going to lie in any papers I submitted for publication, and, well, you can imagine what that did for my career!! It just wasn’t on. If I wanted to go on getting published, I would have to lie – I hadn’t actually lied before, but I was moving into an area where it was impossible not to if you were to make it seem like you were doing something interesting -- because everyone else was doing so!

Anyway, when I finally went back to the academic world as a sort of last ditch effort to find somewhere where I could do something worthwhile I finally took on board that the search was futile. There just IS nowhere one can do worthwhile research.

One final discovery was this: I KNEW I was not a good physicist, did not really have a satisfactory understanding of the subject, or experimental competence, and yet everywhere I went I was one of the best, and even when I met some of the real ‘stars’ in the field, it was obvious that they were really no better, and some possibly even worse, than me. That is when I realised that scientists are working WAY BEYOND their competence. They are playing with things they do not understand -- it was at this time that I realised that nuclear power was a bad idea!!!

This is a very unimpressive narative in which you sound like a spoiled child who could not get her own way in your chosen career so you not only gave up but decided to slander your colleagues. I hope beyond hope that someone can save you because you seem capable of learning.

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Simply... ones creativity and imagination too realize something.

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