Here's my battle plan: 1: Learn (the principles) of verified models for fundamental physics. QFT, GR, Standard Model, etc. 2: Try to think of what I don't know and what I'd like to experimentally test. I think I'd prefer to get a regular job and research physics in my free time, rather than be forced to listen to unverified ideas, which I believe can limit creativity. EDIT: Of course I'm open to criticism and other ideas in 'concrete' areas. I just think string theory could influence me like someone giving a 'hint' for a math problem, I find it hard not to think of the hint. I'm looking at Perimeter institute for Quantum information theory, but it is early days. I'm sure there are people in similar situations, so I'd like to hear what you guys do. - I don't believe I'm a crank, in case it comes off that way. Doing two BScs one in mathematical physics other in pure math + care about experiment and scientific method (more than ZFC).