Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Have you ever embarassed yourself academically

  1. Jun 17, 2007 #1
    and made a complete ass out of yourself by posing questions that showed your ignorance? They lied when they said there are no dumb questions. That's only true when you're in high school and aren't expected to know much anyways, but near the graduate university level, there is such a thing as being idiotic. they call this "brain fart"?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2007 #2
    yea its called not thinking about the question before posing it.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2007 #3
    I once listened to a lecture in a summer school, and the lecturer was taking questions at the end. Someone raised their hand and began with

    "I know this is probably a stupid question, but...."

    after which the lecturer stopped him and said

    "Let me interrupt you there. There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people. Now, what's your question?"

    :)
     
  5. Jun 17, 2007 #4

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl:

    Sometimes people just refer to a really basic, simple question as a "stupid" question, and those are usually the ones that people are told are NOT stupid questions...if you don't know a basic term or definition, etc., then it's best to ask and clarify it so you understand what people are talking about. On the other hand, there really are some truly stupid questions...as ice pointed out, those are the ones that show absolutely no thought whatsoever was put into it before posing it. Yeah, "brain fart" is a good way of describing it, especially when you realize how stupid it is as it's already coming out of your mouth and too late to stop it.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2007 #5
    Yes, I've embarrassed myself in all sorts of creative ways. Academically was no exception.
     
  7. Jun 17, 2007 #6
    it's important to make mistakes cause we learn from that very mistakes so we don't have to be embarrassed
     
  8. Jun 17, 2007 #7
    there is no such thing as stupid question or people. its just the fear of being one.
    one of my friend once asked a very basic question that seemed stupid but then we discussed it all day.:surprised
     
  9. Jun 17, 2007 #8

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    "If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"

    Scott Adams
    US cartoonist (1957 - )
     
  10. Jun 17, 2007 #9
    stupid people don't ask questions, they just fake it.

    mind you, outside school people can be much less enthusiastic about their peers understanding things so questions can become annoying. teachers are payed to answer questions no matter how stupid they are so i don't really see how a person can lose face by asking a teacher anything.

    if a person doesn't try to think of the answer themselves before asking it, its just inconsiderate of the people around them then. i wouldn't consider it "stupid"
     
  11. Jun 17, 2007 #10
    I once asked my calc teacher if the product of all numbers from negative infinite to positive infinite would be positive or negative. He thought about it for around five minutes before realizing it would be zero. Sadly, I never thought about that...
     
  12. Jun 17, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was rather notorious in college for derailing lectures with questions. In the end I learned that most students and teachers appreciated this, but there were times when the entire class laughed only to learn that my question was entirely valid and the laughter was out of ignorance.
     
  13. Jun 17, 2007 #12
    yea thatz what i mean. sometimes what one considers stupid comes out to be a valid point
     
  14. Jun 17, 2007 #13

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The idea that the entire surface of the planet is made of giant plates that move was once considered ludicrous. But, nonetheless, someone once asked the question: Is it possible?
     
  15. Jun 17, 2007 #14
    A teacher once wrote something along the lines of A ~B on the blackboard. A girl put her hand up and asked "What does that squiggle mean?". She proved quite definately that stupid questions do in fact exist!
     
  16. Jun 17, 2007 #15
    This is not a stupid question. The tilde could mean "A but not B" or "A is approximately B" or "A is equivalent to B" or a variety of other meanings. Asking which one is wiser than assuming that your interpretation is the same as the teacher's.
     
  17. Jun 17, 2007 #16
    Yeah, how is that a stupid question? Even within a very small area of study the tilde can easily mean several things.
     
  18. Jun 17, 2007 #17
    Sometimes people need to hear the obvious, so here goes: It's only embarrassing if your embarrassed by it.
     
  19. Jun 17, 2007 #18
    From my limited experience, there ARE stupid questions.

    Those that are posed just for the sake of asking questions to only LOOK interested in something. Most of the time, everyone knows the answer so no one benefits. It can get very painful hearing those questions being asked sometimes.
     
  20. Jun 17, 2007 #19

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    And there are the times when the person asking the question truly isn't getting it or rather refuses to get it and the more the answer is explained, the more argumentative they get. Finally the entire audience is ready to lynch the jerk.
     
  21. Jun 18, 2007 #20

    mathwonk

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    2015 Award

    everyone makes mistakes. being embarassed about it means you have forgotten you make mistakes.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Have you ever embarassed yourself academically
Loading...