You're right, my mistake.-Job- said:I think you misunderstood. I was saying that IMO it's all right for people to start physics with popular literature as long as they take it farther and go past the stage of speculation.
PF is very fact-driven. Given the medium, I think it was inevitable that it would turn out this way. For an academic, being right is like the ultimate status symbol, so many posts turn into a banter about the details of a particular point. This is not so good if you're looking to be inspired, but it's an excellent place to go if you're looking for the hard facts. I suspect this type of competition is exactly what makes the scientific method so successful in the first place.Ivan Seeking said:In fact, although driven as much by practical concerns as anything else, I think PF has gone too far in this respect. I believe that there has always been a role for math-free, dreamy inspiration, for young, soon to be scientists. In fact I have wondered what the result of this will be; that is, the social and intellectual impact that the internet now has on the world of science.
I think PF fills a niche that can be useful to professionals and amateurs alike, but it would be unfortunate if we actually discouraged many of the dreamier folks. I suppose that's why we have moderators like yourself to keep people in line.