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Does anybody else feel that their love of math and physics has isolated them?

  1. Oct 5, 2005 #1
    Somehow, I find it harder and harder to talk to people, because pure mathematics is really the only thing that interests me, and, uh, most people don't share that feeling.

    I find it hard to talk about other stuff...

    Anybody else feel the same way?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2005 #2
    You should look into things like the local chess club...there are people out there like you but you need to look in uncommon places to find them.
  4. Oct 5, 2005 #3
    Oh, certainly I can find people who share my interests, but it feels like I can barely talk at all to people who don't.
  5. Oct 5, 2005 #4
    well, become more well rounded then. do you actually even want to talk to those people? and if so, why?
  6. Oct 6, 2005 #5
    know you first, then pure mathematics.

    First there is you, then there is what you are interested in.

    You may 'pigeon-hole' yourself by allowing your attention towards "other" things (pure mathematics) to overstep you.

    by knowing you first, you will know what you have in common with all others.
    only then you could (joyously?) effectively communicate to all others about anything or nothing, including your knowledge of pure mathematics, whether they share your interest(s) or not.
  7. Oct 6, 2005 #6


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    I don't feel that way. I don't really talk to people about what i study anymore then what i like to listen to or watch on tv.
  8. Oct 6, 2005 #7


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    Yeah, I don't feel that way either, but maybe that's because I'm interested in a wide variety of topics outside of pure mathematics. I would imagine that anybody who has only one interest and doesn't want to talk about anything else is going to end up conversationally isolated from most people, regardless of what that one thing is.

    On the other hand, does it matter that much to you? You shouldn't feel like there is something wrong with you just because you have no interest in fitting in in most places. What's wrong with hanging out with other math geeks?
  9. Oct 6, 2005 #8


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    In all likelihood, it is those people whom you decided you cannot communicate with that will end up paying you to do your "esoteric" work. I recommend, starting today, that you learn how to make the incomprehensible both comprehensible and truly interesting to the "average" person as well as compelling. Let them know they are getting their money's worth! :)
  10. Oct 6, 2005 #9
    I think it's the other way around: people tend to think deeply into a subject because they feel isolated from others.
  11. Oct 6, 2005 #10
    Is your heightened mathophilia recent? People often get too caught up in one thing because they've become recently more excited about it for some reason. I've had that. New girlfriend, new band, emerging love of physics... Everything else gets deprioritised. It doesn't last, and it's no bad thing while it does.

    Of course, it could be you are sociopathic by nature, in which case - bad luck.
  12. Oct 6, 2005 #11
    Who said you needed to have common interests to talk to someone :uhh:?
  13. Oct 6, 2005 #12


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    I only relate to people within my major and interest. I find it hard to start a conversation otherwise. :sad:
  14. Oct 6, 2005 #13


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    I was like that all through high school and college. Fortunately I was in the ROTC and did a term on active duty in the service. That helped to socialize me and then I worked hard at dating and making friends in grad school. I never got super good at it but I was accceptible to others and sustained a happy marriage. It takes work and struggle to get over your shyness (let's not blame it all on math!) and socialize. just like gym, there's "No pain, no gain".
  15. Oct 6, 2005 #14
    I don't have a problem talking to people. I have a problem with shouting at them, but that's alcohol for you. I have however found myself on the outskirts of a set I just couldn't fit into, despite many common interests. It wasn't them; it wasn't me; it's just sometimes you're too different.

    But Deadwolfe's problem is that he can't fit into non-mathematic-focused social groups. This doesn't sound like a matter of shyness, but obssessiveness. If he'd said he's not confident talking about anything but maths, then that would be another issue. But by the sounds of it, Deadwolfe always has maths on the mind and has trouble dedicating his attention to anything else. Like I said, lots of people go through phases like that about something or other. If this is a long-term issue then that's not very healthy. If it is just a phase, then quite the opposite, I'd say. Although non-mathematicians may be divided on the attractiveness of such an obsession.
  16. Oct 6, 2005 #15
    You sound like you have no idea how much math is related to every day stuff. You know, I was thinking a few days ago why people came up with math...the only thing I could think of is that it started by people saying 3 apples instead of an apple, an apple, and an apple. Eh, anyways, knowing how math relates to everything will make pretty much everything interesting. You can find math in almost EVERYTHING. For example, I became very interested in poker for a while only because I saw every hand as a math problem. I bet you'll find a lot of people interested in poker...maybe you can teach them something once you figure out the math. Right now I'm interested in the stock market...a ton of math there. Mathematics is a fundamental building block for a lot of things, just use your mind to find that block and you'll find many things interesting.

    I know that solving equations is fun for some people (me included), but solving real world problems using the math you know is a lot more fun.
  17. Oct 6, 2005 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's because you don't know what it's like to get hooked on physics. :wink:
  18. Oct 6, 2005 #17
    Well, that could be true for long term friendships, but you should still attempt to talk to almost random people....
  19. Oct 6, 2005 #18
    Pengwuino... what DO you talk to people about?
  20. Oct 10, 2005 #19
    Well, I'm getting a touch obsessive, but it's not a new thing. I often get periods where I get obsessed with math.
  21. Oct 10, 2005 #20
    Personally I really hate small talk. I don't want to talk about the weather, I don't follow sports, I don't know anything about cars and very little about computers. These seem like the sort of things that your average joe or jane tend to talk about and I'm just not really that interested. When I start talking about books that I am reading or discussions about politics, science, and so forth most people seem to decide they would rather not talk about these things. So since I have no interest in what "normal" people talk about and they have no interest in the things that I talk about I have a bit of a problem socializing.
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