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October 11, 2005

Comments

Phil

I know what you mean with the alter ego thing. I am also very shy, but on these blogs I rarely feel intimidated(although I am so timid that even commenting on these blogs leaves me somewhat distressed at times).

Greg S

No its deinately understandable to be quite talkative on the net and yet be shy in life. In a sense you'd probably be more confident on the net because theres no personal presence pressure or influence on you at the time and as far as meeting randoms goes - well you can always easily cut off contact if it gets weird.

Anywho great blog - peace

citrine

From your blogs I'd imagined you to be a very gregarious, extroverted person. To survive (and thrive!!) in very competitive Physics programs, I imagined you to have a commanding, confident and very un-shy presence. I *am* surprised!

m.visaya

unfortunately this doesn't preclude the possibility of a capt. insano, if one were to lend justice to the picture depicted above. fortunately, it isn't a theoretical question if they have frost-free refrigerators on the planet of the apes. na, na,... (zsi-764)

Hayek

Offtopic, but here it is anyway...

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.

He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

JimK

Are you Irish? (Kavanagh-Co Kilkenny-2nd gen).

I am proud of humans who try to see all the way. 2.5x10\11 galaxies:5.0x10\12 stars:1.4x10\10 yrs:6.0x10\9 people.

Vosh

Some people are like that. I've been told I'm someone else in writing. Well, I don't feel so bad since I found out that Maureen Dowd, a clever political columnist, is the same way. She described herself as having a personality that only "unfurls itself" in type. I've seen her on David Letterman and you can tell that, while smart enough to carry on a witty conversation, she's not exactly comfortable in that situation. Another favorite journalist, Naomi Klein (a human being who serves as a reason space aliens don't kick the earth into the sun for being too stupid to live) also claims to "hate crowds".

I have an hypothesis (do you find that the word theory gets way over used to mean "I have a hunch" when a theory is a vast collection of facts, not a hunch) that kids who have a certain presence of mind can't get into sync with school life the same way average kids can. I don't know how many times I've heard the same story from people or parents of people who were "gifted" or just smarter than the average bear and hated school. As a consequence of all this we grow up with this, erm, unfinished sense of self... If you think about it; an experiment where you have a child spend all of its childhood being told what to think and when to think it seems like it would have profound, albeit subtle, psychological effects. Bertrand Russel called the American experiment with mass schooling the most radical social experiment of the 20th century next to the Russian revolution.

I dunno, what do you think?

Caolionn

I would agree that people, when not in the presence of others, feel a lot less inhibited, be it a blog, a column, a radio show, etc. It is more like it goes out into the ether rather than to other people, so the consequences no longer feel the same.

As for your hypothesis, Vosh, I am not totally following the thesis. What are children with "a certain presence of mind"? And "an unfinished sense of self"? Is the issue whether schooling/upbringing squashed a child's individual nature?

JimK: My ancestors hail from County Cork.

Hayek: I just heard this joke last week and it is a cocktail party keeper.

citrine: Once I get past the uncomfortable awkward stage, I am as opinionated and loud as any other scientist. Although, it took me a little while to learn that skill-set, I now hold my own in that regard.

Vosh

I am no longer sure what I meant by "certain presence of mind".

I suppose you could call it "individual nature". The thesis is that being raised by school results in incomplete adults. After school time, and school work at home, and eating and sleeping there is, oh, about 10 minutes left for the actual self, for natural growth and learning. Growing and learning is pre-empted by school work, not enhanced or caused by it. Schooling itself is not based on a scientific theory of learning. The only thing you really learn in school is how to obey orders.

Since I found this diary reading about Nova's "Einstein's Bid Idea" I'll include a link here to what Albert had to say about schooling (coerced instruction).

http://learninfreedom.org/Nobel_hates_school.html

Caolionn

That is why people created montessori schools, but, unfortunately, a family needs to pay for such a path to a child's independence. I am not sure if the programs even work.

Vosh

Even more interestingly, there are the Sudbury schools

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_Valley_School

which operate on the same tenets as "unschooling". I only found out recently there are more than just two in the world!

They cost, I think it said 5600 dollars a year; I actually don't know what public school costs... - which is probably why so many merely unschool at home, as 'twere. Curiously enough, homeschoolers famously resist the idea of vouchers because it can mean homeschooling with strings attached. The numbers of homeschoolers increase every year and just as there are those who can be loose and human about the idea there are certainly those who will be hotly indignant and resentful (we are talking about human beings) about it and want to legislate the movement to death.

Do they work? That's an interesting question. It's a question asked under the schooling paradigm. It begs the question, "work to do what?"

Philip Dawes

Hi Caolionn,

I came across your site by accident. (Nothing is accidental in reality.)
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/toda-oconnell.html

Perhaps you have not done the research about Albert Einstein and his equation E = mc2. It was plagiarised! Google it. You will find the real truth about the supposed greatest scientist of the 20th century. He was noth more than a fraudster!!!

The greatest scientist of the 20th century was, in my humble estimation, Nikola Tesla, who was a genius on a par with Leonardo da Vinci.

Do the research.

I wish you great success in your chosen career.

Kind regards,
Philip Dawes,
England

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