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Human response to science

  1. Oct 5, 2007 #1

    wolram

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    Is, selfish, if it does not give some immediate or short term advantage no one gives it a thought, how many of the total population of Earth give a single thought to some grand unification theory?
     
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  3. Oct 5, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Human response to anything is selfish.
    The usual reply to this is to point out the practical benefits of eg. new developments in maths but why do you have to justify it!
    There is no practical benefit in musicians or poets why does there have to be for maths?
     
  4. Oct 5, 2007 #3

    wolram

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    Just a step forward in understanding some as yet mysterious aspect of the universe.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2007 #4
    Because it costs a lot of money (re: physics)? Because (unlike most arts) very few people appreciate it? You're probably going to point out cases where we spend more & accomplish less, but that isn't justification for this case.

    Truth is I don't know where I stand on this. I read an article some time ago that argued research into terawatt level physics isn't going to be applicable anytime soon. So why do it now when it costs so much? I feel like I have to agree; any argument for such research smacks of religiosity.

    But the fact that I find them compelling just makes me human, right? I take solace in the fact that my opinion on this doesn't matter at all.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2007 #5

    wolram

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    Thrice, your opinion should matter along with every human beings on this planet.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2007 #6
    Not according to this article, no :tongue:
     
  8. Oct 5, 2007 #7
    Most people (at least here in my country) doesn't understand what is science, the have a mental picture of a bunch of people with test tubes, they think that looking at the world in a scientific manner is a "Cold" and "No-Feelings" way to do it. They prefer to trust in the horoscope.
     
  9. Oct 5, 2007 #8

    SpaceTiger

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    Depends on what you mean by practical, I guess, but I find music to be great for relaxing, motivating myself, or just letting loose. Just for example, I think the Beatles have done more for my life than any single modern convenience (with the possible exception of the computer).

    Similarly, some people derive great pleasure from working with mathematical equations. Perhaps before we address the practicality of science and math, we should ask what we mean by "practical".
     
  10. Oct 5, 2007 #9

    wolram

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    Practical means a way to advance, in my mind, music and the arts are just a distraction from the realities, although i admit that rock is almost as good as, (whats out there).
     
  11. Oct 5, 2007 #10

    SpaceTiger

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    Here we're left asking what it is we're trying to advance. People are often referring to technological development when they talk about "advancing", but then technology is generally a means to an end. Which end are we most interested in? Convenience? Overall knowledge? Defense?
     
  12. Oct 5, 2007 #11

    wolram

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    Overall knowledge, i have no care for the advancment of i pods, personal entertainment,
    luxury items, us humans should not give a heck about them, we should only think about what is (out there).
     
  13. Oct 5, 2007 #12
    I think about that everyday---
     
  14. Oct 5, 2007 #13

    SpaceTiger

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    Then, for you, science is maximally practical. What is the progress of science but an increase in our collective knowledge?
     
  15. Oct 5, 2007 #14

    wolram

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    That is the point, we are not collecting enough, and people are deabting what we have to death, we need more infomation.
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  16. Oct 5, 2007 #15
    What's the quetion?
     
  17. Oct 5, 2007 #16
    There is definitely a practical benefit to music and poetry; entertainment. They inspire an emotional response in people. Sometimes they are even thought provoking, but the emotional response alone is enough for people to enjoy them.

    There doesn't have to be a practical use for math, but I would hope that people who study it at least find it entertaining in the same sense that others might find music or poetry entertaining.

    It's your turn?
     
  18. Oct 8, 2007 #17

    wolram

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    Why we seem to be stuck in a technological but not fundamental advance, why we spend billions on rubbish when we could spend it on exploration.

    It may be our peak time to explore, there is the money, but will there be 50yrs down the road?
     
  19. Oct 8, 2007 #18

    SpaceTiger

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    I often wonder if the hermit-like academic who spends hours perfecting the details of an obscure theory is really happy, or just indulging an unhealthy obsession...

    ...not that I have any personal experience with this. *cough*

    Maybe we need a support group, like Theorists Anonymous.
     
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