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How much free time do you guys get?

  1. May 2, 2017 #1
    Just thought I'd ask out of curiosity seeing as most people here on the forums seem to be highly involved in their fields. Yet I see people with photos of cartoon/videogame characters as their avatars.

    Maybe I am exaggerating but I just have to ask where do they get the time to become familiar enough with the latest and greatest fictional characters to be using their photos, lol. I thought they were too busy with their studies or their fields.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2017 #2

    russ_watters

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    Almost nobody on the planet has exactly zero down-time. That would drive you insane.

    Human maintenance requires about 8 hours a night of sleep, 2 hours of eating and 1 hour of hygeine. That's 77 hours of maintenance a week, leaving 91 hours for everything else. A "normal" work week is 40 hours and 80 hours would be punishingly brutal. That leaves a person even with a punishingly brutal work schedule 11 hours a week for personal time.
     
  4. May 2, 2017 #3
    Even so, aren't most people on such forums so interested in their fields that even the majority of their personal time is spent in that and they enjoy it?
     
  5. May 2, 2017 #4

    russ_watters

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    No. Are you that one-track minded that you have only/exactly one interest? Why would you thin anyone else would be?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  6. May 2, 2017 #5
    Sorry. I just don't know how experts operate. I've been given this view from people around me while growing up, that to excel in a generally difficult field, to get to the top and stay there, one has to give up all else in their life other than what is necessary and presumably this would only be possible if they enjoyed it only, more than anything else.
     
  7. May 2, 2017 #6
    Very odd.
     
  8. May 2, 2017 #7
    What do you mean?
     
  9. May 2, 2017 #8

    russ_watters

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    Experts are very similar to people. If you pass one on the street, you probably wouldn't recognize him/her as such.
     
  10. May 2, 2017 #9
    Except the ones on TV.
     
  11. May 2, 2017 #10
    I'm really not having a pop at you, but come on... it takes a fairly warped sense of reality to make this statement in earnest. Experts get fed up. Experts moan about their boss. Experts get annoyed with their job and watch TV. They even go down the pub from time to time.

    edit: Btw... experts also get burned out as well. So as much as you are full of zeal remember you work to live, not live to work.
     
  12. May 2, 2017 #11
    Well now you know what you were lucky enough to not have beaten into your head and what kind of worldview those who do have.
     
  13. May 2, 2017 #12
    Pushing ones-self a bit is good, constantly pushing too far is a recipe for disaster.
     
  14. May 2, 2017 #13
    I wouldn't say it is a warped sense of reality; that is a bit extreme. The OP grew up being told that experts spend every living moment involved in their field, so it is easy to see how they would think that. They probably haven't had a lot of experience interacting with the experts they are talking about.

    Russ said it well: experts are human like everyone else.
     
  15. May 2, 2017 #14
    Maybe... mildly distorted then. It's really not healthy to believe that such a level of 'working' is even remotely normal.
     
  16. May 2, 2017 #15
    Well the near deification society at large does, as well as their appearance in pop culture/on TV making a celebrity out of them for doing a certain job, doesn't really help. "A physicist! You must be working so hard to uncover the secrets of the universe!" Point is, the hero worshipping of experts makes it seem like they literally overcome insurmountable odds every other second and one obviously has to be very diligent/vigilant to do so.
     
  17. May 2, 2017 #16
    I don't know about physicists, but there is certainly a meme out there that some people in some professions are required to eat, sleep, and otherwise completely inhabit their jobs to the exclusion of any personal life. In particular I'm thinking of lower level lawyers who get jobs with massive law firms, and medical interns.
     
  18. May 2, 2017 #17
    I've heard things about residency/interns and medical rotations in terms of large hours worked. There isn't much regulation in terms of hours as far as I know for this. It is also highly dependent on the field you work in. I believe current regulation is 80 hour work weeks and one cannot work a 24-hour shift (both apply to residents - don't know about those currently in school). So when it comes to hours worked in the medical field, there does seem to be truth among those memes.

    Sometimes you will hear about extreme cases such as this:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/full/477020a.html

    You also hear about people such as Paul Erdos, but they tend to be the exception, not the norm.
     
  19. May 2, 2017 #18

    Tom.G

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    from: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/science-jokes-p2.847743/page-4

    An economist, an engineer and a physicist are talking about women. The issue is what is better - to have a wife or to have a mistress?
    - economist: It's better to have a mistress. It's cheaper and it leaves you more freedom.
    - engineer: No, it's better to have a wife. It makes your life more stable.
    - physicist: No, the best is to have both. You tell the mistress that you are with your wife, and tell the wife that you are with your mistress, so you have the whole day to be alone and do physics.
     
  20. May 2, 2017 #19
    I'm just replying here because nothing else is interesting right now.
    Free time?
    Yes time should be free, that's my opinion..
     
  21. May 2, 2017 #20

    russ_watters

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    I'm not seeing that at all. Can you point to a specific example? I see a counterexample; one of the top 10 TV shows for the past few years is The Big Bang Theory, which portrays physicists and engineers (men in particular) as socially inept jackasses.
     
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