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Thread: Have Any of you had a Moment Like this?

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    Default Have Any of you had a Moment Like this?

    I am very good at computer science. I pulled straight A's throughout my university courses in CS and got decent grades in even the hardest courses in the program. I remember watching the movie 'Back to the Future' and really identifying with the scientist in the movie because of it - I saw myself as an eccentric scientist because of my schooling and my grades, and my idiosyncratic side. However, when I started studying introductory physics, and I couldn't get even the most basic gist of it, all predilections that I am like him went out the window - along with several other people, as I would say he was physicist first ahead of any other type of scientist. Has anyone else had a moment like this with the theory?
    Last edited by jason_m; 05-07-2021 at 06:03 PM.

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    In high school, I did good in biology, and felt really good with it, but with chemistry, I got bad grades, and hated it. It might have been the teaching style/methods. Very linear. Maybe I was kind of going through a rough patch also, got bad grades in all classes at the time, not really the teachers's fault.
    What good is a book that does not even transport us beyond all books?

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    I'll give you another example: I don't actually feel that way about Richard Feynman because of my difficulties with physics. Because he was probably a physicist first, he might have had real problems with me because of it - but what does it matter, as I have never met him and he is long gone anyways? However, I see Richard Feynman as a clever man first, and a scientist second, so as long as I can do something clever, it doesn't affect my view of him. However, there are so many physicists that I had read about and studied, that it all went out the window, when I could do computer science, but I couldn't even do basic physics... Do you see what I mean?

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    @jason_m Could you say what about physics was difficult? Was it the material, the teacher, the teaching style, were you affected by other things when you took physics etc?
    What good is a book that does not even transport us beyond all books?

    ~Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ave View Post
    @jason_m Could you say what about physics was difficult? Was it the material, the teacher, the teaching style, were you affected by other things when you took physics etc?
    It was the material. The concepts were simple, but I just couldn't 'get' them. Almost like they were easy, but I would overthink the ideas. You see?

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    I think so.
    What good is a book that does not even transport us beyond all books?

    ~Nietzsche

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    Also, in studying the ideas, they were easy, but then in working with the problems, a more difficult type of problem would absolutely stump me. If it was something socionics to me, it was like I saw the functions as ego functions, but they were more like id functions when I actually got into it - certain things about the material were too easy, others too hard, and not the right type of balance... The basic concepts about 'leverage,' 'force,' 'mass,' etc. too basic, too elementary. Stuff like quantum mechanics was too hard. The sad part is that I spent a lot of time and money studying all these physicists and their popular science books that I felt that I wasted my time... I literally spent years studying popular physics and biographies of famous physicists, and I couldn't do real physics...

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    Yes, I think there is a skill that's something like learning to think in new paradigms flexibly that you have to work at. Your natural thinking style will lend itself to some thing well and other things poorly, and it's kind of a hard process to learn how to defeat this (because you have to start with nothing from square 1, try to walk, fall down, slowly learn to walk then run years later). Eventually, there are mental shortcuts you can take to do this a little bit better, but they come from the experience of having failed numerous times.

    You may be able to shortcut this by being ruthless with which sources ot knowledge you pick. Go to the library/internet and start picking out physics books or topics until you find one that explains it at the level you need to hear it at. Reject books/websites quickly until you find something as close to ideal as you can find. Don't assume the author wrote it perfectly for the way you think.

    Another thing you can do is kind of the opposite: find the most onerous, stupid thing you can find about the subject (or any controversial subject) and then suspend disbelief and read. Oftentimes your mental resistance to something will be an unconscious rejection of the implications of understanding it. Then go and read whatever youre trying to learn. You'll be more well-adapted to grasp whatever slightly off-angle thing you read. A 10-mile run the week after a marathon doesn't seem so bad

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    See profile picture. The one from Enola Holmes pains me as uncharacteristically motivated in an incredibly stupid way. Basically, he goes back and forth between work and his lodgings, and then sometimes chats with the most inhospitable people on earth. He himself never was pegged as so inhospitable, but a recluse, nonetheless. Latter lore would add that he's some kind of agent, but it's not cannon. I wish to write memoirs from his point of view, that'd be very interesting, as he's the smarter Holmes. I imagine he could play a prank on Holmes with a little bit of help.

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    A programming relates to TN, similarly to math and physics.
    Possible reasons: 1) worse study program and teachers, 2) lesser of personal interest to the subject to do the needed efforts, 3) external distractions.

    There are no objective problems to study basic course in anything. Those are made for average people. Even common level of most jobs is such - people work "so-so", get money for a meal and live such until death without much use from them.

    Also
    In case of having F type, you should be more liable to external factors in T regions. This may be expressed as lesser stable results.
    and
    "Mad scientist" is good character for movies, but not for real work which needs a cooperation with other people and hence to follow social norms. Also good results mostly need high efforts and hence good selfcontrol, what also helps to follow social norms. Eccentric ones may produce more original ideas, but it's rare when those ideas are not trash or such people are able to lead those ideas to a useful state. Almost all useful work anywhere is done by boring way and by common people.
    Last edited by Sol; 05-09-2021 at 12:46 PM.
    Types examples: video bloggers, actors

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    Meh I don't know what to say- I think you might be jumping to conclusions too much. You might have had a bad teacher ((there is no bad student- only bad teacher in sappy Mr. Miyagi voice)) - a good teacher should be empathetic and make sure ur following along okay instead of just ranting in space narcissistically. (they usually just like to rant in Narc Space) Did you even really have the emotional desire to learn the material or was it presented in a way that was too boring etc. There is just so many variables to me why you did poorly rather then you just didn't get it. Also that was just a dumb Hollywood movie clearly- I wouldn't really base any judgments about real science on something like that lol. Hollywood is there to evoke adolesentile emotions in our brain not really provoke any deep intellectual understanding about something.

    School is incredibly dry and Te and sucks away all the Fe fun out of innocently pretending to be Christopher Lloyd in your pajamas. I mean I've always wanted to be a writer- but I don't let school destroy the fun of the craft. When people try to Te-ize some of my goals or ambitions I know they are just trying to help but sometimes it feels like just darkly raining boulders down on the entire thing.

    If you want to know though- you are not really like him in the movie tbh. I don't know you that well- but you always come off a lot more zen and chill then that guy lol. I think it's cute/endearing that you saw yourself as that though lol.

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    Undergraduate physics is harder than undergraduate computer science. Source: I've done both.

    Some psychologists theorize major differences in cognitive styles, so there's also that consideration. Relevant to this, some advanced topics within computer science are highly abstract and form a subset of pure mathematics, whereas physics more-or-less leverages applied mathematics.

    Personally, I'm disappointed that I never learned very much mathematical analysis. I wanted to learn how to derive the Dirac Delta function; instead, we were only taught how to use it.
    Last edited by xerx; 05-14-2021 at 09:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Undergraduate physics is harder than undergraduate computer science. Source: I've done both.

    Some psychologists allege major differences in cognitive styles, so there's also that consideration. Relevant to this, some advanced topics within computer science are highly abstract and form a subset of pure mathematics, whereas physics more-or-less leverages applied mathematics.

    Personally, I'm disappointed that I never learned much mathematical analysis. I wanted to learn how to derive the Dirac Delta function; instead, we were only taught how to use it.
    I don’t think that the Dirac Delta function can be derived. I think it was postulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    I don’t think that the Dirac Delta function can be derived. I think it was postulated.
    Are you sure?? Can't you define δ using the theory of distributions? FWIW, I was using the word "derive" fairly loosely.

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    I learnt university physics better than high school physics because I could handle calculus much better. That said, even when I did well in physics I probably didn't do physics - I just applied calculus on the axiomatic physical system which some of us experience here on earth and I learnt it by looking at formulas and not from the environment - weird. Yet this heavy calculus stuff became boring in long term.

    Despite of this I found physical chemistry easy. Chemistry was just like kindergarten stuff based on challenge in studies but I liked it.

    Then in math I grasped the basic analysis (although I found it bit boring and I was sloppy) which was my first course pretty much on the fly and thought few steps forwards in lectures which reminded me sometimes when I wanted to one up math teachers in school. It is too rigid for me. I still like it but the rigor makes me smh.

    I tried to do some CS stuff. I just hated the repetition and verbosity of java so I just left it. It is not hard in theory but if I have to do the boilerplate stuff day after day I just want to hang myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Are you sure?? Can't you define δ using the theory of distributions? FWIW, I was using the word "derive" fairly loosely.
    I think it can be defined using the theory of distributions, but it is made-up. The Delta function is not real, so in a sense, you could give it any properties that you think might be useful.

    I got tired of the mathematical masturbation that I saw in advanced Physics. I was much more interested in what was actually happening in the physical universe.
    Yes, Dirac’s mathematical models predicted anti-particles, but that IMO was just luck. There are lots of solutions to equations which are not physical.

    I want to know what mechanism determines the probability of a photon reflecting from a partially reflective surface. Not the equation that describes it, but rather the mechanism which causes it.

    I want to know what the hell is going on, and the more I learned about quantum mechanics, the more I got the impression that our brains are not capable of understanding the building blocks of the universe.

    I’m not saying that the universe is incomprehensible. I’m saying that human brains have a subset of the capabilities required to understand the universe because brains evolved to propagate life forms, not to comprehend the universe.
    I think that it is entirely possible that we could build a machine which would understand the universe, but I don’t think it could share its comprehension with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    I think it can be defined using the theory of distributions, but it is made-up. The Delta function is not real, so in a sense, you could give it any properties that you think might be useful.
    I think we were talking about different things, then.

    I got tired of the mathematical masturbation that I saw in advanced Physics. I was much more interested in what was actually happening in the physical universe.
    Yes, Dirac’s mathematical models predicted anti-particles, but that IMO was just luck. There are lots of solutions to equations which are not physical.

    I want to know what mechanism determines the probability of a photon reflecting from a partially reflective surface. Not the equation that describes it, but rather the mechanism which causes it.

    I want to know what the hell is going on, and the more I learned about quantum mechanics, the more I got the impression that our brains are not capable of understanding the building blocks of the universe.

    I’m not saying that the universe is incomprehensible. I’m saying that human brains have a subset of the capabilities required to understand the universe because brains evolved to propagate life forms, not to comprehend the universe.
    I think that it is entirely possible that we could build a machine which would understand the universe, but I don’t think it could share its comprehension with us.
    Yeah, QM was constructed ad hoc, by trial and error, to justify experimental observations. In spite of the fact that we don't know what it is, it is the most accurate theory of nature that we have. Is there a deep, epistemic truth here about the narrow reach of the human intellect? You decide.

    From the preface for Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, because why not:

    Every competent physicist can "do" quantum mechanics, but the stories we tell ourselves about what we are doing are as varied as the tales of Scheherazade, and almost as implausible.

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    I realized what was going wrong during those years:

    I have very high levels of fluid intelligence, but not as much in the crystallized intelligence department. This means that for fact-based, memory-based, culture-saturated reasoning tasks, I do not perform very well. I get reasonable scores on tests of quantitative crystallized intelligence, but not enough for what is demanded by both physics and economics and my university - which I found incredibly high. I am very good at computer science and textbook economics, because both subjects try to limit prior knowledge as much as possible, thereby requiring a lot of fluid intelligence. Physics also depends a lot on fact-based, memory-based reasoning, which I am not very good at.

    I was even disappointed with certain IQ test scores, not meeting specified cutoffs, etc.: I'd do reasonably well, but the test would have a low ceiling, especially for fluid intelligence, thereby 'truncating' my score. Even philosophy - with people in my life insisting that I am verbally skilled because of my philosophy degree - it just seems like a big verbal fluid IQ test to me, and that explains why I'm good at it.

    If you're not familiar, here is the difference between fluid and crystallized intelligence: https://www.verywellmind.com/fluid-i...igence-2795004.
    Last edited by jason_m; 06-09-2021 at 09:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jason_m View Post
    I have very high levels of fluid intelligence, but not as much in the crystallized intelligence department. This means that for fact-based, memory-based, culture-saturated reasoning tasks, I do not perform very well. I get reasonable scores on tests of quantitative crystallized intelligence, but not enough for what is demanded by both physics and economics and my university - which I found incredibly high. I am very good at computer science and textbook economics, because both subjects try to limit prior knowledge as much as possible, thereby requiring a lot of fluid intelligence. Physics also depends a lot on fact-based, memory-based reasoning, which I am not very good at.
    There is also a thing called passive and active memory. I tend to be much better in passive than active recall. Present me a fact and I will recall it but when you ask me a fact my mind is disorganized. The related context actives it. I think that I have great deal cognitive disorganization (linked to schizotypy) which makes combining things very easy (let it be right or erroneous).
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx
    Yeah, QM was constructed ad hoc, by trial and error, to justify experimental observations. In spite of the fact that we don't know what it is, it is the most accurate theory of nature that we have. Is there a deep, epistemic truth here about the narrow reach of the human intellect? You decide.
    The problem with quantum mechanics is that physicists don't have their senses to use to check whether their experiments are right. They therefore don't really know what they are supposed to be observing. When one is looking at something like the trajectory of a ball, they know how it is supposed to move, so they can tell if their equations are correct. No one can really observe the quantum world, so no one has any feel for what it's supposed to be like. Because of this, the theory is just formed to fit the data, and there aren't really any principles to it. (Not a physics major by any means here, but I can freely say this...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jason_m View Post
    No one can really observe the quantum world, so no one has any feel for what it's supposed to be like.
    And it may well be our most accurate theory of nature precisely because our primitive human minds don't quite relate to it. Let that possibility sink in!
    Last edited by xerx; 06-09-2021 at 10:47 PM. Reason: (:

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