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Who is this Jess Brewer?

  1. Aug 10, 2015 #1
    Hi, I'm a retired (since 2011) Physics prof from the University of British Columbia. I originally set out to get a PhD in Physics to increase my credibility as a science fiction writer, but I discovered a field* that was so cool it was like being a character in my own SF novel. In short, I got carried away and neglected to write fiction for the requisite 10,000 hours until recently. It turns out that writing fiction is not all that easy. (Who knew?) But I'm working on it.

    * "What field was that?" you may ask. Muon Spin Rotation/Relaxation/Resonance (µSR) -- see http://musr.ca/intro/ppt/musr.html if you're interested.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2015 #2
    Welcome to PF Jess! Great to have you!
  4. Aug 10, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Aug 10, 2015 #4
    Thanks, but I've always been recalcitrant about taking good advice from experts. This has led to occasional examples of the creative power of ignorance, which I cherish almost enough to compensate for all the dumb mistakes to which it also led. (Besides, although I love Card's ideas, I don't aspire to write like him.)

    Unrelated Problem: on all the threads I have visited since signing up (except this one, obviously) I get a "You lack the privilege of Replying on this thread," or something to that effect -- including the thread I Replied to yesterday when I first discovered Physics Forums. ????
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Aug 10, 2015 #5
    First thing that comes to mind is that maybe you are viewing old threads that have been closed?
  7. Aug 10, 2015 #6
    Yep, that's what happened. <mutter><grumble>I'm disappointed that DaleSpam felt 2 years was too long a run for a Forum on Muon Catalyzed Fusion -- a topic that has been lingering at the cutting edge of physics for over half a century. This policy positions PF closer to Twitter than to Phys Rev, and bodes ill for serious science discussions here. </grumble></mutter>
  8. Aug 10, 2015 #7
    I can reopen it if you have something to contribute. In any case, you are welcome to start a new thread on the topic. Usually with old threads, the participating members have moved on.
  9. Aug 10, 2015 #8
    No, there's no point in making a big issue of one particular expired thread; that would be like pushing on the short end of a long lever. It's not just PF, it's the whole Internet -- any problem not resolved within a short (and getting shorter) time dissolves into the sea of ennui. Perhaps there is a good reason for old-fashioned journals after all. I favor a sort of arXiv with open peer review -- see http://opeer.org/Physics -- but for didactics or easy Q&A this site might be useful. (PF strikes me as sort of halfway between http://researchgate.net and http://quora.com [Broken] :-)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Aug 10, 2015 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    To me, the biggest problem associated with reactivating old threads by posting to them ("necroposting", we call it) is this: even though you may be fully aware that it's an old thread, when it pops back up to the top of the thread list, a lot of other people will see it as a new thread, not paying attention to the actual dates on the posts. They post responses or questions to the old posts, expecting the authors to respond in turn, not realizing that they're long gone.

    (further discussion along these lines probably belongs better in the Feedback and Announcements forum...)
  11. Aug 10, 2015 #10
    I just spent the better part of an hour searching for an appropriate thread in Feedback & Announcements, and finally gave up. I might eventually open an entire new thread devoted to this topic, but I probably won't. Perhaps this is not the place for me; I find the process of hunting through random threads for something relevant about as useful as an alphabetical list of image links.
  12. Aug 10, 2015 #11


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    Staff: Mentor

    Here if people want to discuss something they usually start a new thread, this is preferable to searching for and posting to an older thread. There is no need to hunt for an old thread. :smile:
  13. Aug 10, 2015 #12


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Welcome to PF Jess Brewer.
    It can be difficult finding things on the site sometimes but I usually find that an ordinary google search that's limited to PF works pretty well for finding what you're looking for. For example, by entering (with quotes)
    "Muon Catalyzed Fusion" site:physicsforums.com
    you get back a little over 60 hits with that phrase.
  14. Aug 10, 2015 #13
    That's the problem with the standard Forum architecture, IMNSHO. People open Fora & Threads for idiosyncratic and esoteric purposes; a few people may respond; and then the threads go dead, but they hang around like lipofuscin molecules in cells, cluttering up the works and providing the haystack in which the needle is hidden. It might help if there were an effective way to merge and edit and prune, but that would be an overwhelming task for you folks. I'm sorry to be so pessimistic, but I don't see an easy fix.
  15. Aug 10, 2015 #14
    Hmmm, I hadn't thought of that. Should work fairly well with other Forum sites too!
  16. Aug 10, 2015 #15
    PF is a dynamic community. Threads are usually primarily useful to the participants of that discussion. You either have a question or something to share or want to participate in an active discussion. PF is not designed to be an archive for Q&A or wiki.
  17. Aug 10, 2015 #16
    There is a Google tab in search results for this.
  18. Aug 10, 2015 #17


    Staff: Mentor

    Don't be recalcitrant at least checkout the Saves the Cat. The books are really different animals from your typical write a screenplay books. They even get into how totally different movies are actually alike.
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