This forum is great for the learner. What's in it for the mentors?

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I was wondering why "learned" people who have degrees in physics, mathematics, and other fields of science take the time to answer stranger's questions on the internet? This is a straightforward question. Do the mentors truly enjoy answering questions on the forum?
 
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  • #2
ZapperZ
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I was wondering why "learned" people who have degrees in physics, mathematics, and other fields of science take the time to answer stranger's questions on the internet? This is a straightforward question. Do the mentors truly enjoy answering questions on the forum?
No. We get cupcakes from the owner of this forum each time we respond to a question.

Where's my cupcake, @Greg Bernhardt ?

Zz.
 
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  • #3
phyzguy
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I was wondering why "learned" people who have degrees in physics, mathematics, and other fields of science take the time to answer stranger's questions on the internet? This is a straightforward question. Do the mentors truly enjoy answering questions on the forum?
Yes, I really do enjoy answering questions (most of the time). Once you have put in the effort to learn a subject, it is pleasant to be able to impart your learning to others. And I find it especially enjoyable to see the "light go on", when you see someone grasp a difficult concept for the first time. What I don't enjoy is people who have wrong ideas and stubbornly cling to them when people who know better try to help them learn. I typically bow out of those threads as soon as I can.

And then of course, there are the cupcakes...
 
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  • #4
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I think that on the whole and individually the members of PF are devoted to the truth.
 
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In addition to what has been mentioned: It often comes with new ways to see some topic, new approaches to solve problems and so on, overall it helps understanding the material better.

Oh, and cupcakes.
 
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  • #6
DrClaude
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In addition to what has been mentioned: It often comes with new ways to see some topic, new approaches to solve problems and so on, overall it helps understanding the material better.
I will also add that it helps me as a teacher. Seeing where misconceptions are frequent and practicing the skill of steering someone towards understanding is very useful.

Oh, and cupcakes.
With lots of frosting :biggrin:🧁
 
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  • #7
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The (cup)cake is a lie!
 
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  • #8
ZapperZ
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The (cup)cake is a lie!
You're just sore because Greg stopped giving you one after you licked the frosting off the whole box of cupcakes.

Zz.
 
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  • #9
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You're just sore because Greg stopped giving you one after you licked the frosting off the whole box of cupcakes.

Zz.
I threw the box into the street I was so mad, never again.... never again :biggrin:
 
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  • #10
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I was wondering why "learned" people who have degrees in physics, mathematics, and other fields of science take the time to answer stranger's questions on the internet? This is a straightforward question. Do the mentors truly enjoy answering questions on the forum?
I like the global aspect of it (see my signature). We are so different all the time and everybody seems to think his culture and beliefs are better than all the others. However, as soon as we talk about science, all these differences are totally irrelevant. Even heated debates are conducted to finally find this one truth behind the formulas.

And who does not like cupcakes?
 
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  • #12
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Just as long as they are not dry
No, problem. I have taken your cup when you weren't looking.
s-l400.jpg


There is a coffee farmer in Columbia who knows me by name. Dipping solves the problem.
 
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  • #13
Ibix
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I enjoy teaching. I also learn a lot here. And I enjoy talking about physics, which I don't get to do much in real life since I'm not a professional physicist these days.

I can't eat cupcakes - egg allergy.
 
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  • #14
jtbell
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No. We get cupcakes from the owner of this forum each time we respond to a question.
If we answer enough questions we get invited to the annual retreat on Bora Bora.

(Oops, I forgot we weren't supposed to talk about that... :eek:)
 
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  • #15
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What about the money from big science to perpetuate their hold on all the sheeple and suppress the Trvth about free energy, FTL, aliens, the flat earth and the fact that Hitler is alive and well and running a dry cleaner in Des Moines?
 
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  • #16
ZapperZ
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What about the money from big science to perpetuate their hold on all the sheeple and suppress the Trvth about free energy, FTL, aliens, the flat earth and the fact that Hitler is alive and well and running a dry cleaner in Des Moines?
They are all in the PsychicForums.

And there will be no cupcakes for you.

Zz.
 
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  • #17
Janus
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Yes, I really do enjoy answering questions (most of the time). Once you have put in the effort to learn a subject, it is pleasant to be able to impart your learning to others. And I find it especially enjoyable to see the "light go on", when you see someone grasp a difficult concept for the first time. What I don't enjoy is people who have wrong ideas and stubbornly cling to them when people who know better try to help them learn. I typically bow out of those threads as soon as I can.
Ditto. Nothing feels better when you see that light go on, and nothing is more frustrating when. dispite your best efforts, they stubbornly prefer to remain in the dark.
And then of course, there are the cupcakes...
Wait, you guys get cupcakes now? Back in my days as a mentor we only got day-old bran muffins. ?:)
 
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  • #18
phinds
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I think that on the whole and individually the members of PF are devoted to the truth.
Plus there's the pay. Every time a mentor's post count goes up by 1000 their salary is increased by 10%.

Of course, since they start from a base of zero, it isn't actually all that much help.
 
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  • #20
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Back in my days as a mentor we only got day-old bran muffins.
Better for you.
 
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  • #21
Drakkith
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I was wondering why "learned" people who have degrees in physics, mathematics, and other fields of science take the time to answer stranger's questions on the internet? This is a straightforward question. Do the mentors truly enjoy answering questions on the forum?
Of course we do. Just like how I enjoy sharing my telescope with others, and discussing my other hobbies and interests with others.

What about the money from big science to perpetuate their hold on all the sheeple and suppress the Trvth about free energy, FTL, aliens, the flat earth and the fact that Hitler is alive and well and running a dry cleaner in Des Moines?
That can't be true. Everyone knows there are no dry cleaners in Des Moines.
 
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  • #22
Tom.G
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...we only got day-old bran muffins. ?:)
Be grateful, I smell err hear that they work better than the fresh ones. :rolleyes:
 
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  • #23
DaveE
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Humans like to help other humans, it's in the DNA, I think. This is a pretty low cost way of giving back.

I also think that if you have put a lot of effort into learning a particular discipline (perhaps you think you have some expertise) then you want other people to also value that discipline. You don't want it to be ignored, unstudied, etc. You want to be a expert in something other people care about. This naturally translates into teaching the discipline to others, if for no other reason than to convince yourself that you didn't waste all of the effort you put in.

I also think there is some sympathy for the learners that are travelling the same path you took many years ago. There is some bond created by having to solve the same problems. Most questions are good ones, that I may have asked when I was learning. Or that I need to ask now, depending on my familiarity with the subject.

edit: Plus one thing you can be sure of is that the people who respond want to, for whatever reason. There is nothing easier than skipping over a thread because you don't care.
 
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  • #24
Janus
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Be grateful, I smell err hear that they work better than the fresh ones. :rolleyes:
Yeah, but that was more counterproductive than anything else, as you spent so much of your time standing in line for the Mentor's restroom. :nb)
 
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  • #25
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The (cup)cake is a lie!
What - you get a whole sponge cake? I just knew Staff Emeritus got extra perks - now it's proven.

Seriously if you hang around a while you will find we generally do not appeal to authority here, but, while well aware of the literature, often we explain it in our own way. Explaining things to others is one of the best ways to ensure understanding. It also helps in keeping your thinking straight.

Thanks
Bill
 
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