Where are all the nerds?

  • #101
Steppn


So we can see that in current day women also make important contributions to science.
Was the ratio in ancient times higher?
I don't know the specifics on that, it would be difficult to imagine a greater time, number and opportunity than right now for female participation into science.

Also remember often achievements in science are 'team' efforts, there have been considerable female science input to teams, 'behind the scenes'..

Lise Meitner (7 or 17 November 1878 – 27 October 1968) was an Austrian-born, later Swedish, physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics.[1] Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, an achievement for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize. Meitner is often mentioned as one of the most glaring examples of women's scientific achievement overlooked by the Nobel committee.[2][3][4] A 1997 Physics Today study concluded that Meitner's omission was "a rare instance in which personal negative opinions apparently led to the exclusion of a deserving scientist" from the Nobel.[5] Element 109, Meitnerium, is named in her honor.
The point is about having your passion for science and following through, or if I want to breed/train bulls and horses, or just happy to work with kids, which actually can be very rewarding....society does not have the numbers on the ground of science types, so generally speaking there are lack of bums in labs. I will find the best estimated figures of science type people in populations to show you an idea how rare the science bird (meaning male and female) are. Those with the predisposition to science, (male and females-starting from kids) need our understanding and support, encouragement.
 
  • #102
Steppn


I understand your point Dan, I'm of the belief encouragement should be for both female and male children to be able to follow their science passion, well, any kid following their passion for that matter, but especially the sciences.

It's not easy being a nerd fullstop without even bringing gender into it.
 
  • #103
106
1


Those with the predisposition to science, (male and females-starting from kids) need our understanding and support, encouragement.
They need that indeed. But what they do not need is to push them in careers against their wills. Even if you have a guy or a girl who has the ability to solve math like no others, should they choose for example to make a career in sports and focus on basketball, football , track and field or whatever, we do not have to force them in a career which may be unsatisfactory for them.

Too often excellent skill to do something is confused with a willingness to do that thing.
 
  • #104
Steppn


...and agreed on that.
 
  • #105
Steppn


For my fellow females, (and any interested males) here, I am in the midst of some research of women's contribution the sciences/humanity, came across these (relatively old) quotes, attitudes and history are interesting:

"The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man's attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman." -
Darwin (1871)

"Identical education of the sexes is a crime before God and humanity, that physiology protests against and that experience weeps over." - Clarke (1873)

"Deficiency in reproductive power . . . can be reasonable attributed to the overtaxing of (women's) brains." - Spencer (1867)

"The 'woman's rights movement' is an attempt to rear, by the process of 'un-natural selection', a race of monstrosities - hostile alike to men, to normal women, to human society, and to the future development of our race." - Bagehut (1879)
Here is the site link I am utilising at the moment, these quotes are from it:

http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/women.html [Broken]
 
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  • #106
Steppn


Christine Ladd-Franklin's letter of protest at being banned from science meeting/discussions:

http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/christineladd.html [Broken]

When in her mid-sixties and twenty years his senior, Ladd-Franklin began writing to E.B. Titchener concerning his insistence on banning women from the meetings of the Experimentalists. Her response was, of course, outrage at his exclusion of women. She wrote in 1912, "I am particularly anxious to bring my views up, once in a while, for hand-to-hand discussion before experts, and just now I have especially a paper that I should like very much to read before your meeting of experimental psychologists. I hope you will not say nay!" In response to his argument that women could not tolerate such masculine activities as smoking, she wrote, "Have your smokers separated if you like (tho I for one always smoke when I am in fashionable society), but a scientific meeting is a public affair, and it is not open to you to leave out a class of fellow workers without extreme discourtesy" (Scarborough & Furumoto, 1987, p. 125).

Smoking! My oh my.
 
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  • #107
106
1


Here is the site link I am utilising at the moment, these quotes are from it:

Darwin is dead and buried, and his bones are long shattered to dust. Why do you bother with what a man said 140 years ago? What possible relevance can have that for you, apart from shattering your self confidence ?

The society have moved on since then. Move on as well. Live in the present.
 
  • #108
Steppn


Darwin is dead and buried, and his bones are long shattered to dust. Why do you bother with what a man said 140 years ago? What possible relevance can have that for you, apart from shattering your self confidence ?

The society have moved on since then. Move on as well. Live in the present.
I'm very much in the present Dan, and perhaps planning the future, but also:

those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Where are you Dan? What brings this on? It has every relevance for some research and writings I am undertaking at the moment, and my self confidence is just fine, thankyou for asking. :-)

I get the impression you are a tad sensitive to my posts? Enlighten me if you are having a problem? It's all fun in discussions here, my end anyway.

And on the contrary, I find Darwin a fascinating scientist, despite some of his beliefs about women, there is a lot to learn from Darwin, the past...

Lest we forget:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
 
  • #109
106
1


Where are you Dan? What brings this on? It has every relevance for some research and writings I am undertaking at the moment, and my self confidence is just fine, thankyou for asking. :-)
You say "I am in the midst of some research of women's contribution the sciences/humanity". Fair enough. But I say then, why not focus on **the women** ? Say, on someone like Emmy Noether. You have there all, genius, triumph, sadness , and both justice and injustice. That would be a great piece. Focusing on man (at least you managed to find 4 quotes coming from men) in a research which is supposed to outline women is IMO
just a waste of resources.

I dont think that you do anyone any favors (man or women) by focusing on men in a research which is supposed to outline to women contribution to science. Outline the triumph of women in science, not the history of the hegemony of man in science. Least if you don't research that :P

I get the impression you are a tad sensitive to my posts? Enlighten me if you are having a problem? It's all fun in discussions here, my end anyway.
I just don't agree with some parts of your posts.


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
Overused cheap cliches. After 140 years from an event it's time to move on. At least my opinion.
 
  • #110
Steppn


Okay, thanks for your candidness, I'll take the opportunity to clarify a little.

My work is as (w)holistic as it comes, it is from country/cultural/time/era settings, family background, biography details, the challenges they have faced, their qualities of leadership, what they do when the going gets tough, 'everything'..'sexism' and 'misogny' has been very much a a part of our history, neither you or I can remove that for them, it's a much of their life, their surroundings as the wars and atom bombs, it has contributed to shaping the people they are.

My posts the quotes were in reference to the question from a poster about 'was there possibly greater female representation then' (along those lines), it was tougher, the females in science had it much tougher.
That cannot be dressed up as warm and fuzzy, nor shoved under the carpet of life...
I have completed my work on Emmy btw, and many, many others.

Just so you know, it is work on the genius, the temperament, the triumphs, the conditions and resistance ...the 'whole' of the picture Dan, but the thing is I could well be writing a book on women's studies, so what? now misogny and sexism through the times is a part of our history, and still now for that matter, you come across as attempting to control or influence my work, remember Dan, 'the only behaviour we can control is our own'-you are saying 'in my opinion' but you are coming across as 'vagina police'-look back over what you have contended/written:

genius, triumph, sadness , and both justice and injustice. That would be a great piece. Focusing on man (at least you managed to find 4 quotes coming from men) in a research which is supposed to outline women is IMO
just a waste of resources.
You have basically cherry picked something I've posted and reacted without knowing what I am researching, just making assumptions, and your theme has been to contend that misogny and sexism is/are things of the past, yet we should ignore history. And from that 'I assume' the lessons of history.

I am not into vilifying males Dan if that is the underlying fear, concern you have, but when I do research and write it is about the whole of the person's era, as comprehensive as I can get it, and to quote Oliver Cromwell, (oops a bit more from history..'joke'):

"Warts and all".

I'm not interested in window dressing biographies. For me that is incomplete science.

Okay, over to you.
 
  • #111
106
1


Okay, thanks for your candidness
You are welcome.


Just so you know, it is work on the genius, the temperament, the triumphs, the conditions and resistance ...the 'whole' of the picture Dan, but the thing is I could well be writing a book on women's studies, so what?
Exactly, so what ? No relevance.

now misogny and sexism through the times is a part of our history, and still now for that matter, you come across as attempting to control or influence my work, remember Dan, 'the only behaviour we can control is our own'
This is false IMO. It is reasonably easy to control the behavior of others, making them do things you want, or convincing them to do things they would rather don't. You just need proper leverage. Not too mention that our behavior is already strongly modulated by social forces. Conformity, obedience, compliance will always rear their ugly head and control what one believes is "free will".

you are saying 'in my opinion' but you are coming across as 'vagina police'-look back over what you have contended/written:
Your are genuinely funny. You made me smile. I would probably enjoy to have a drink with you and listen to you.


You have basically cherry picked something I've posted and reacted without knowing what I am researching, just making assumptions, and your theme has been to contend that misogny and sexism is/are things of the past, yet we should ignore history. And from that 'I assume' the lessons of history.
In this particular post, I just took your statement that you perform "some research of women's contribution the sciences/humanity" for granted. I had no reason to doubt this is the subject of the research, since it was stated by you. And then you went on posting 4 quotes coming from men, and interestingly enough, not a single word about a women which made a major contribution in science in that post. You made an interesting choice. Now, if I'm a kind of "vagina police" officer , how does that post makes you come across ? Like a penis-police enforcer? Welcome to the force, Step :P

And about misogyny / sexism, I didn't claim that it;s gone. Some members of both sexes treat the others like crap. But I do beleive that the feminist movement has reached it's goals, and today you enjoy enjoy the same rights as men do.

I am not into vilifying males Dan if that is the underlying fear, concern you have, but when I do research and write it is about the whole of the person's era,
Actually, a book which vilify man would be interesting one to read.

"Warts and all".
Ah, Cromwell. A kingslayer.

The commonest charge against Cromwell is hypocrisy - and the commonest basis for that is defective chronology.
W.C Abbott

I'm not interested in window dressing biographies. For me that is incomplete science.
Biographies are not science. They always carry a dose of the subjectivity coming from the author. A good writer can frame facts in very interesting ways. You and I, we both know this.

Okay, over to you.
Back to you Step.
 
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  • #112
Steppn


Good.

Meet you anyplace that serves barecove radlers, coronas or pure blondes. Unless you think you may have something comparable, than we can chat about Cromwell :-)

Thanks for your input and feedback, just got some penis enforcing to do. (Work). I will be back to post my stats on best guess temperaments, would be interested to have your feedback on that too.

Catchya later.
 
  • #113
4
0


Deep down inside, I'm a total nerd. But I'm so cool on the outside, that you would never know it. :rofl:
 
  • #114
2
0


Haha...

At my uni, the only two engineering departments that have nerds as you described are aerospace and electrical / computer. (I'm Aerospace, and i'm definitely a nerd! :D)

Our mechanical engineers are mostly the opposite of what you described as a nerd. Their curriculum isn't very tough either, compared to AerE and ECpE.

I think that the level of difficulty in your department's curriculum is directly proportional to the amount of nerds in the department :D

On a side note, in order to show you just how nerdy I am:

Last week, I was writing a program to analyze an airplane during steady level flight and steady climb in fortran. I was using the awesome SSH interface, PuTTY, so that I could connect to my department's linux server, and program from the comfort of my futon. For three hours, I laid with my head cocked all the way to the left, with a wireless keyboard sprawled out across my waist.

When I sat up, I felt a sharp pain in my neck. Later that evening, I could not move my neck at all. When I visited the chiropractor, he said that I had twisted one of my neck vertebrae out of place.

I sustained an injury that occurs commonly in contact sports, such as football, from programming! Bloody programming!
 
  • #115
27
0


... You visited a chiropractor? =/
 
  • #116
2
0


... You visited a chiropractor? =/
yessir, it was either that or go to a hospital and be prescribed muscle relaxers... I like to keep my mind normal lol
 
  • #117
24
0


I don't get to meet enough nerds, seriously. Where are the Sheldons, the Urkels, or the nerdy people in physicsforums IRL?
Take a computer science class, ask the department if you can get a tutor. Then ask your computer science tutor if he (most likely to be the case) knows where and LAN parties are. Problem solved.
 
  • #118
jhae2.718
Gold Member
1,161
20


Or go to the local aerospace department. You might have trouble getting us aeros away from Minecraft, though. :biggrin:

The above post reminds me I missed the local IEEE chapter's LAN party. :(
 
  • #119
Ryumast3r


I am most definitely a nerd. I play computer games, love to manipulate them just to see how the physics engines and AI's in them work. I love discovering new things about our world and universe.

I am pursuing Mechanical Engineering to make money, yes, but the reason I got into M.E. was because I love tearing things apart and seeing how they "tick."

The problem with looking for "Sheldon" or "Urkel" is that they are too abnormal and have odd behavior that sets them apart, on top of their intelligence. I think that looking for someone like that would be tough, but it's not hard to find someone who loves science and discovery.
 
  • #120
6
0


...
Well, this is the exact thing I asked myself when I was enrolled in Physics.
I actually went there from IT Engineering because I wanted to be among less 'mainstream' people. I was actually disappointed, because yes, I've met some nice people, but in fact they still weren't 'nerd' in my standards.

I was expecting to be among people who pursued knowledge even in the freetime and to be able to discuss about pretty much everything scientific. I was expecting to be among people who had some strong ideals and who was thinking about science in a pretty much 'obsessive' way.

I was disappointed, so (there were other unexpected problems, btw) I returned to Information Engineering. I'm not attending classes anymore: I feel pretty much 'alone' when I am at the University, as people there pass a lot of time doing nothing and slacking off at the bar. I didn't find people minded like me yet, still too much in the 'normal' range.



- Enjoy using fancy words
- Creative and inventive spirit
- Not be a part of men's "chicks, beers and cars" culture
Those are pretty much a given because (at least in my opinion) nerds usually hate to conform to mainstream and I do too.
On the other hand, while I recognize myself as a nerd, I admit I like chicks, beers and cars too. Those three things just aren't my obsession.

Not being obsessed with trends, dressing, grooming, fancy cars and compulsive flirting is not necessarily a good thing: Nerds are rare, but they also reproduce at a slower rate than mainstream :D If there is something genetic, then it appears like the natural selection does not favour nerds at all (less nerd = more reproduction chances, imho).

- Play computer games (not mandatory)
Used to be addicted to Eve Online and to first person shooters too. I just loved the social interactions and had lots of laughs :D I was so damn addicted I used to pull nonstop all-nighters and to have midnight coffees. It went this way for at least one year and that made me fail the Information Engineering first year totally (I dropped all classes) and at the time I am writing this I am fully de-intoxicated (quit cold-turkey by deleting games and accounts). I still have lots of nice memories about some social interactions I've had online and in fact I always had my endorphines at full blast during those days, but I still regret having wasted so much time and still think about how good would I have been at maths and science now if I had spent on them as much time as I did with my gaming skills.

Homewer, don't think I am some kind of social inept guy: My addiction actually started after enduring a really painful break with my ex-girlfriend (4 beautiful years spent together).

- Have at least 1 weird hobby
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Open_Infrastructure_for_Network_Computing" [Broken] is my main hobby. Very shortly, it consists in donating the computational power of your pc to science projects which can benefit from massively parallel simulations AND the computations are so big that one single supercomputer isn't simply enough.

It may not sound so weird as hobby, but I'm pretty sure I am the only one doing this in my whole city and I've spent a lot of money in hardware just to maximize my contribution.


- To be big on physics/math/engineering, and have ambitions in the realm of science
This is the most painful point. I am still not 'good' in math and physics by my standards because I spent so much time in pointless things and suffered depression for at least a year more.

This is what I am working at by the way. I slowly detached from the pointless portion of my social life and I am now pretty much a loner with very few acquaintances wich are pretty much as nerd as me, but I am not regretting it and everyday I wake up I think 'why didn't I do that before'.

- Not to be too old for me, or too young (I'm 24)
I'm 22, I'm italian. The tought of dating some random (even if cute and smart) girl on the net wich lives very far away from me didn't even cross my mind, but I just wanted to point you out that there is hope :D

I am pretty sure there are tons of people like me, coming with different stories and experiences and this tought really make me happy, but due to their rarity, meeting deep-in-soul nerds isn't always an easy challenge.
 
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  • #121


Femme Physics did you forget to say you expet him to:
- speaks terible English ? because else that will desqualify me directly .
Howover I think the world is plentyb of peoples of this kind. The regular is that one who has no intention to make a difference,he wants making money, having a car, living for some decades and then dying. It is what the majority has been doing for years ( with all respect,just like othor living communities). Only few decide othor goals those may sem (nerds) but they are the one's who make a difference. Me, I am one of the very regular ones
 

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