How many physics friends do you have?

  • Thread starter zeromodz
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  • #1
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I have come to realize that I don't have anyone to share my interest in physics with. I always want to vent my opinions about physics, but I always feel like I am teaching the person that I am always talking to because they are not specialized in physics. Do you ever feel like you are talking to a 3rd grader when it comes to physics discussions? I just really want to have an intellectual discussion with someone who know equal or more in physics than me.
 

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  • #2
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Why do you assume people know physics?

Other than that, I do not share the same experience. If people know little to nothing on the sciences, I introduce more intuitive concepts within the conversation, that is, if they know little to nothing on the subject. Otherwise, I attend club meetings for the more intellectual discussion driven to 'said' field, etc...

To answer the other question, no, I do not feel I am speaking to a "3rd grader" rather, a person who is not well versed in the subject.
 
  • #3
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Why do you assume people know physics?

Other than that, I do not share the same experience. If people know little to nothing on the sciences, I introduce more intuitive concepts within the conversation, that is, if they know little to nothing on the subject. Otherwise, I attend club meetings for the more intellectual discussion driven to 'said' field, etc...

To answer the other question, no, I do not feel I am speaking to a "3rd grader" rather, a person who is not well versed in the subject.
I don't nor imply that I assume normal people know advanced physics. However, everyone should have an intuitive understanding of basic fundamental concepts of physics. Also, when I said "I feel like I am talking to a 3rd grader". I meant a 3rd grader knowledge of physics, if you didn't have the intuition to figure that out. No offense.
 
  • #4
Pengwuino
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Think of it this way. You probably have a third grader knowledge of many things as well. Think of any major in college and if someone were to talk to you about stuff barely beyond the first couple of courses, you'd probably be a bit clueless. It's simply not your subject, why would you care to know much about it?

To put it in less harsh terms, what is "basic" to you, is probably not basic to other people and what other people consider "basic" to them in their fields is probably not basic to you.
 
  • #5
Drakkith
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Zeromodz, i feel the exact same way alot of the time. Whenever i try to talk about science to someone, they either dont understand what im talking about, and/or simply tell me that "It's only a theory" or some other nonsense. Extremely annoying.
 
  • #6
Zeromodz, i feel the exact same way alot of the time. Whenever i try to talk about science to someone, they either dont understand what im talking about, and/or simply tell me that "It's only a theory" or some other nonsense. Extremely annoying.
That's a good theory.:-)
 
  • #7
Drakkith
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Think of it this way. You probably have a third grader knowledge of many things as well. Think of any major in college and if someone were to talk to you about stuff barely beyond the first couple of courses, you'd probably be a bit clueless. It's simply not your subject, why would you care to know much about it?

To put it in less harsh terms, what is "basic" to you, is probably not basic to other people and what other people consider "basic" to them in their fields is probably not basic to you.
This is very interesting actually! The Dunning-Kruger effect says precisely that!
Wikipedia for further reading on the subject I would have thought would change our world for ever ages ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect" [Broken]
 
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  • #9
FlexGunship
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I have come to realize that I don't have anyone to share my interest in physics with. I always want to vent my opinions about physics, but I always feel like I am teaching the person that I am always talking to because they are not specialized in physics. Do you ever feel like you are talking to a 3rd grader when it comes to physics discussions? I just really want to have an intellectual discussion with someone who know equal or more in physics than me.
Sometimes when I read posts on this site, I feel like they were written by a member using 3rd grade grammar. You're operating by intellectual absolutism. People become knowledgeable about different things. Instead of commanding a conversation and diverting it towards physics topics, try learning what the other person has to offer.

If knowledge were a virus, I wouldn't exactly lose sleep over being patient-zero.
 
  • #10
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If knowledge were a virus, I can safely say there's a lot of people where I live with damn good immune systems!
 
  • #12
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That one's gone right over my head flex.
 
  • #13
FlexGunship
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That one's gone right over my head flex.
Ah, if it that's not sarcasm, then I'll explain. Well, I'll explain regardless, but disregard this post if you're being sarcastic.

The Downing Effect is the cognitive bias that causes folks with low intelligence to estimate their intelligence as being unreasonably high; as a corollary, they seem to rate other individuals with significantly higher intelligence as having much lower intelligence than they really have.

You made a comment to the effect that you were evaluating others intelligences are being substantially lower than your own. I posted a link to the Downing Effect on Wikipedia as a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal.

It wasn't meant to be serious; just a bit of psychology humor.

EDIT: edited for clarity
 
  • #14
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Interesting read. It seems as a male that I will have to compensate in the future by estimating my IQ 5 points higher than I already do :tongue:.

To the OP, I've had the same problem to the extent that people I talk to sometimes aren't interested by what I'm saying. Well, that's life.

Fortunately, at college I've found a circle of people who are just as interested as I am in math (and physics and CS). (Actually, many of them are also perhaps too interested in Starcraft, to my dismay, and talk about that too much in my opinion.) The point is, you'll likely meet people with whom you can talk about your interests at the level you want.

Even if not, there are other outlets, like PF.
 
  • #15
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It wasn't meant to be serious; just a bit of psychology humor.
Nope, I did need clarification.

But for the record, I don't consider myself to be very intelligent. I'm a remarkably average student (with grades to back that up). However, until you've been to a welsh valley I suppose you can't really understand my virus comment.
 
  • #16
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I don't nor imply that I assume normal people know advanced physics. However, everyone should have an intuitive understanding of basic fundamental concepts of physics. Also, when I said "I feel like I am talking to a 3rd grader". I meant a 3rd grader knowledge of physics, if you didn't have the intuition to figure that out. No offense.
Third graders have a "fundamental grasp" on some of the concepts within physics. You say, "I feel as though I am speaking to a 3rd grader with little knowledge in physics," then turn around and say, "the people I speak with have zero knowledge on the fundamental concepts", that came about from, "however, everyone should have...." Third graders have a grasp on certain core concepts of physics, i.e. electricity, magnets, gravity, energy, force and work, etc... Therefore, a fundamental core is set for them; however, your logic does not make sense to me. You are in one stance saying the people you are speaking with have the knowledge of a third grader and in another stance saying they do not have that same knowledge.

The reason why I alluded to the point made (point of, assumptions) within the previous post is that you say you are "specialized" in physics and want to vent; however, you unknowingly talk to people as if they are students of physics or equally specialized. Of course, if you knew them, you would know before if they were "equally specialized" or had more knowledge in the subject, which led me to the point made within my first post.

People having a basic grasp on the fundamentals, yes, however, people having an intuitive grasp on concepts above their fundamental grasp even if it relates to whatever they learned before? It is dependent on the person and level of understanding.
 
  • #17
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The only physicist I know is my nephew and he is in Japan now. I carry a book with me at all times and if it is QFT, as it often is, it draws the question: What is it about? I go into a canned spiel about how large amounts of sand behave like water, but small amounts behave like rocks. Most people can stay with me that far and I can keep going for quite a while with some. Others just roll their eyes and say I must be some kind of Einstein. I don't get any hostility though. Rarely, I get questions that indicate they didn't understand or have vague ideas that are too indistinct to call them crackpot ideas, but that's what they are.
 
  • #18
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Sometimes when I read posts on this site, I feel like they were written by a member using 3rd grade grammar. You're operating by intellectual absolutism. People become knowledgeable about different things. Instead of commanding a conversation and diverting it towards physics topics, try learning what the other person has to offer.

If knowledge were a virus, I wouldn't exactly lose sleep over being patient-zero.
This error is a result of my effort to post on this forum. It has nothing to do with my intelligence or knowledge. It has to do with me being to lazy to recheck my work.
 
  • #19
Pythagorean
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About 80% of my friends are physics graduates/students. My girlfriend has a degree in biology. A lot of my childhood friends are still partying it up. Not my thing anymore.
 
  • #20
Drakkith
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This error is a result of my effort to post on this forum. It has nothing to do with my intelligence or knowledge. It has to do with me being to lazy to recheck my work.
I don't know about anyone else, but I have a substantially difficult time getting my thoughts out of my head and communicating them, whether its through speaking or writing. I don't know if it's some sort of speech impediment or whatnot, but its very annoying. I forget words all the time, even though i know exactly what I'm trying to say in my head.

For example, I could go up to my roomate and think "Hey, let's go to the store."
But when I go to say it, it comes out like "Hey, lets go to the uhh...the uhmm...the place...where you buy things...uhmm...store!". Even though in my head i know exactly what I want to do.

As far as I can tell, it happens to me way more often than it should. I used to raid in World of Warcraft all the time, and on Ventrilo I'd try to yell something like "Get out of the fire!", but what would come out would be "Get away...uhh...stuff....fire...out of it". I've had to compensate and stick to simple things like "Fire!" or "Whirlwind!" alot of the time. And even then it still happens.
 
  • #21
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Drakkith, I suggest you go see a neurologist. Maybe it's nothing, but then again, that's not normal. Occasionally, yes, it happens to everybody. But it sounds like it's happening a lot more than I would think normal.

Maybe there's really nothing wrong, and I'm not a neurologist, but that can be a symptom of a few things... I won't speculate, but I will suggest you see a neurologist or something like that. Better safe than sorry.
 
  • #22
Drakkith
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Drakkith, I suggest you go see a neurologist. Maybe it's nothing, but then again, that's not normal. Occasionally, yes, it happens to everybody. But it sounds like it's happening a lot more than I would think normal.

Maybe there's really nothing wrong, and I'm not a neurologist, but that can be a symptom of a few things... I won't speculate, but I will suggest you see a neurologist or something like that. Better safe than sorry.
Already did, got told they couldn't find anything wrong. Guess I'm just "different" lol.
 
  • #23
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Already did, got told they couldn't find anything wrong. Guess I'm just "different" lol.
That's a relief! Well, no use worrying about it then, I guess.
 
  • #24
Drakkith
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That's a relief! Well, no use worrying about it then, I guess.
Lol, I've gotten over worrying about it. Just have to live with it now, which is the hard part lol.
 
  • #25
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This error is a result of my effort to post on this forum. It has nothing to do with my intelligence or knowledge. It has to do with me being to lazy to recheck my work.
It has something to do with your knowledge if you keep making the same mistakes...
 

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