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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.
     
  22. May 3, 2017 #21
    Neil deGrasse Tyson? Stephen Hawking? Everybody knows of Einstein and speaks of him regardless of whether they have any actual knowledge of him and his works. I get that in the case of Stephen Hawking as well that being able to do his field work is probably the most important to him. There's still NDT to speak of and something about him rubs me wrong. He is an accomplished astrophysicist but it's odd that he appears so much on TV, talk shows and makes so many tweets.
     
  23. May 3, 2017 #22

    russ_watters

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    Ok, so they are famous -- but you said "near deification". Does famous = deified to you? Clearly, you don't deify them -- what makes you think society does? Its kinda starting to sound to me like you have prejudices against scientists that you are reacting to, which are warping your sense of what scientists are and how society views them.
     
  24. May 3, 2017 #23
    My opinion is based on what I've seen. Same for yours. If you are in a similar field or know someone like that, more power to you.

    Though famous, in general, does mean deification. Have you seen how many illiterate or maybe even literate people go psychotic if something bad happens to their favorite celebrity? Not for scientists since I haven't seen anything like that for any of them.

    Anyway, that's more of a non-sequitur. I don't deify them but I've been given a certain expectation of them that most people around me with no knowledge of them, if I go by what you said, seem to abide by. I personally haven't had the opportunity to speak with an eminent scientist and in the absence of that I go by what the others said. Maybe a few of them did know and I just didn't confirm the veracity of their claims. Either way, seeing a different reality is surprising enough that I have to question it. Is that so wrong? Or do I bear prejudices unknown to me for questioning a possible misconception?
     
  25. May 3, 2017 #24
    What on earth are you on about?

    Also, why are you getting sniffy about scientists doing stuff on TV to the masses? Surely they are performing an absolutely vital service by engaging the public and popularising science.
     
  26. May 3, 2017 #25
    I asked you a question. You said it's false. I told you why I think what I thought earlier. You start drawing up conclusions with negative connotations about me. How am I supposed to take that? In response, I clarified and told you what I didn't like.

    And again you are the one telling me that I am getting sniffy. I'm just giving you my thoughts that a scientist spending more time within media is probably spending less time in the lab. I probably should have said earlier that the perception surrounding NDT and how it relates to scientists feels wrong.
     
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