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Author Topic: attn: overly educated nerds  (Read 7109 times)

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Offline JoelTopic starter

attn: overly educated nerds
« on: April 01, 2015, 12:45:54 PM »
I have a sneaking suspicion there are academics lurking on this site.  Who are you and what do you do!  Can we like get together and nerd out please?

Also, if anyone has questions about biology/botany/ecology/agriculture/statistics/booze related matters I would be happy (!!) to help.  I love puzzles.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 03:32:35 PM »
I never went formally to school but does reading serious books from the library ,about 60 a year, counts? Religion, philosophy, science, politics, economics and so forth?

Offline JoelTopic starter

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 03:57:31 PM »
pshhhh this isn't an interview.  it's not a tree house club with a sign saying "jocks not allowed!".

what interests you?  what are you reading?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 05:39:11 PM »
Right now am bedridden so had to use my own modest library so am reading The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle, I own all his works got in fact an entire working library of the Western canon the library here sold them out for a dime each so said I would take ALL the books. All the great well ,male, minds of the West. I added other writers of course my collection is eclectic.

Offline Caehlim

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 05:51:46 PM »
Hi. I'm a geek of all trades, I'm studying at the moment working on getting both an arts and a science degree because I simply can't make my mind up. I want to study everything. My majors are in Geology and Creative Writing, though I keep going a bit wild with my electives and honestly my study plans are a complete disaster because I can't focus my attention on any one field. I worry whether I'm going to be able to piece together a degree out of this all eventually.

The subjects that I geek out most completely over are (in no particular order) Astronomy, History, Religions/Mythology, Geology (of course) and Psychology. I like to know where we've come from, both from a cultural and a physical perspective. Why things are the way they are and why people do the things they do just fascinate me endlessly.

Though I've never really found a subject I couldn't geek out about. Learning is awesome.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 08:26:17 PM »
Public libraries are awesome, and internet library archives to.

Offline Oniya

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 09:02:43 PM »
I am a compulsive reader and StoreHouse Of Useless Trivia.  Hi.

I also plan to teach myself how to mod Minecraft over the summer.  (When I don't have to watch the little Oni's homework habits like a hawk.)

Offline Kythia

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 01:57:32 AM »
I'm studying for a PhD in Theology/Religious Studies, although I don't think I'm overly educated or a nerd.

Offline Lilias

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 08:46:54 AM »
Hi! *waves* I'm the resident compulsive linguist. I'm at least confident in five (5) of them languages, have dabbled in eight (8) more, and am practically incapable of turning down a chance to study more.

Reading. I can quit any day... just don't want to. ;D

Offline Inkidu

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 11:40:04 AM »
Hi, I'm an avid world creator, my attention to detail and world generation being considered, "Intimidating..." and, "Downright scary." I'm am also quite the logophile and bibliophile. While I have an English degree, my storehouse of knowledge is whatever I need it to be, whether it's looking up steam engines, Medieval architecture, or conceptual physics, if it'll help me write something fun to read I'll research it on some level.

Offline JoelTopic starter

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 02:38:58 PM »



WELCOMEEEEEEEE!!!!


Here's a game we can play.  Why not share things you find interesting here?  And we can play a bit of nerdy 'Hot or Not' (impactful or non impactful). 

Rules
Share something with a group that is either a short article or excerpt from literature or a piece of art or whatever.  If it's long-form please write a summary (abstract) to keep everyone on the same page about what it is about.  Participants have a free for all.  You are welcome to say Hot or Impactful, visa versa, or nothing at all. 



Seeing as we are mostly a bunch of words smiths, or philosophy buffs, psychology nerds and rhetoricians... let me throw this into the fray for your reading pleasure.

"How 'You Do You' Perfectly Captures Our Narcissistic Culture"

It's an opinion piece about our self made excuses to culpability.  If anything it's fun to read.



@Caehlim - omgzille.  I also did science and art.  It sucks as you know.  I did a major in plant biology a minor in forestry and a major in fine arts too.  I still can't decide what I enjoy more... I wonder if geology informs how you engage in the soft sciences/writing e.g. psychology.  I know that I apply my analytical brain into how I make art and write.  Though biology is a very multi-variate science so the crossover in thinking isn't particularly difficult.

Offline Caehlim

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 09:27:06 PM »
@Caehlim - omgzille.  I also did science and art.  It sucks as you know.  I did a major in plant biology a minor in forestry and a major in fine arts too.  I still can't decide what I enjoy more... I wonder if geology informs how you engage in the soft sciences/writing e.g. psychology.  I know that I apply my analytical brain into how I make art and write.  Though biology is a very multi-variate science so the crossover in thinking isn't particularly difficult.

Before they retired my father was a lecturer in psychology and my mother was a lab-assistant in microbiology so I've had a fair degree of exposure to a variety of the sciences at one point or another.

Honestly I use my creative faculties to understand the sciences just as much as I use my analytical faculties to create art. When we were studying the formation of the solar system in Astronomy, I drew a comic showing the process and I think by imagining it visually it helped me to understand what was going on just as much as the numbers or harder data. Imagination is a powerful tool in science. As much as our education system doesn't encourage simultaneous art/science studies, I personally think it's a very powerful combination.

Quote
Seeing as we are mostly a bunch of words smiths, or philosophy buffs, psychology nerds and rhetoricians... let me throw this into the fray for your reading pleasure.

"How 'You Do You' Perfectly Captures Our Narcissistic Culture"

It's an opinion piece about our self made excuses to culpability.  If anything it's fun to read.

Oooh, thankyou for sharing. I really intensely dislike it which is strangely more exciting than sharing something that I enjoy. It's the kind of pointless writing which says nothing but implies some vague animosity towards the younger generation  that the mostly older readers of the New York Times can relate to. It acknowledges the instantly obvious objection of "That's just what a new version of 'just be yourself'", then despite having destroyed its entire argument continues on for several pages.

During its length it makes mockery of the 'insouciance of millenials', paraphrasing the classic sentiments that have existed since the dawn of time that the next generation doesn't respect its elders like we did. He's not the first to say this, personally I think one of the best opinion pieces of this kind was written on the brothel walls in pompeii around two thousand years ago by an unknown author. “Our youth now love luxury, They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannise their teachers.”

Offline Oniya

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 12:24:36 AM »
He's not the first to say this, personally I think one of the best opinion pieces of this kind was written on the brothel walls in pompeii around two thousand years ago by an unknown author. “Our youth now love luxury, They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannise their teachers.”

Actually, the farthest they've been able to reliably trace that is to a former mayor of Amsterdam, Gijsbert van Hall, who 'said he'd seen the lines by Socrates in a Dutch book whose title he could not recall.'

Offline Caehlim

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2015, 01:20:11 AM »
Actually, the farthest they've been able to reliably trace that is to a former mayor of Amsterdam, Gijsbert van Hall, who 'said he'd seen the lines by Socrates in a Dutch book whose title he could not recall.'

My apologies, I misidentified the source. (Edit: Well supposedly...) It's a somewhat inaccurate paraphrasing of lines satirically attributed to Socrates, in the play "Clouds" by Aristophanes. original source.

I got a bit confused after seeing it in this article mostly talking about graffiti in Pompeii.

Edit: I'm not overly convinced by this explanation after further review.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 01:23:38 AM by Caehlim »

Offline Oniya

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2015, 12:10:01 PM »
Edit: I'm not overly convinced by this explanation after further review.

That's why I threw in the word 'reliably'  ;)

Although it is somewhat amusing that there is actually graffiti in the pyramids, dating back to the construction. ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/who-built-the-pyramids.html )

Offline Inkidu

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2015, 08:12:53 PM »
Speaking of graffito, there's some evidence to support that Vikings left a few pieces of graffiti on the Hagia Sophia. Those anti-intellectual so and sos.

(My source was a Who Wants to be a Millionaire question, so don't ask me for some link)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 04:03:12 AM »
Speaking of misattributed (bogus?) quotes by ancient men, this one is steadily getting linked to Petronius Arbiter, master of palace pleasures at the court of the emperor Nero. Petronius was a perceptive man and did leave behind some intriguing writings, especially the novel Satyricon - if you want to know what the people who lived in Pompeii were really like, how they thought, dined, partied and talked, that one is likely the best tip - but the following quote is no part of his work:

"We trained hard - but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”

"We trained hard" sounds like a kinda un-Roman turn of phrase. There are a couple of different theories of where that quote originated, one of them being that it came from some Brit engineers or project managers sent to Germany after WW2 to help out with the rebuilding of the country.  ;)

/Louise, cunning linguist (speaks/writes/reads half a dozen languages with more or less fluency, wants to learn Russian and Latin, and has dabbled a bit in studies of general language theory, comparative syntax etc) - also with some studies of ancient history in her handbag

Speaking of graffito, there's some evidence to support that Vikings left a few pieces of graffiti on the Hagia Sophia. Those anti-intellectual so and sos.

(My source was a Who Wants to be a Millionaire question, so don't ask me for some link)

Been there, done that, seen it. Yep, I saw a few of those scrawls by my "homies" in the Hagia Sophia. There are also authentic runic inscriptions from Greenland, and at least one found in Russia. Many of the early local princes and dukes in Russia were of Viking stock - Swedes, mostly.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 08:48:11 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Lilias

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2015, 08:25:47 AM »
The Varangian Guard was a big thing in the Eastern Roman Empire, once upon a time. :-)

For anyone interested in fiction portraying Vikings accurately (as much as that is possible), Tim Severin's eponymous trilogy is highly recommended.

Offline Hemingway

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2015, 10:15:26 AM »
I'm doing a Master of Science in climate change.

It's awful. On the one hand, millions of people don't believe the thing I'm studying is real. On the other, most of what we know about climate change can be summed up as "we don't know enough". I'm doing notes for an upcoming exam right now, and most of the papers I'm writing down the conclusions of include some variation on "a better understanding is necessary". It turns out climate change is really, really, really complicated.

Offline JoelTopic starter

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2015, 12:25:47 PM »
I'm doing a Master of Science in climate change.

It's awful. On the one hand, millions of people don't believe the thing I'm studying is real. On the other, most of what we know about climate change can be summed up as "we don't know enough". I'm doing notes for an upcoming exam right now, and most of the papers I'm writing down the conclusions of include some variation on "a better understanding is necessary". It turns out climate change is really, really, really complicated.

-- from what I gather, the temperature models are pretty good, but the precipitation models just aren't working yet?

Offline Hemingway

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2015, 02:32:22 PM »
-- from what I gather, the temperature models are pretty good, but the precipitation models just aren't working yet?

There's so much climate models fail to capture accurately, unfortunately. We don't even know how temperatures will change. The IPCC talk about 2.5 degrees celsius for a doubling of CO2 ( with feedbacks ), but there's a lot of uncertainty there, even. We don't even know if the net feedback of changes in cloud cover will be positive or negative ( low, thick clouds tend to enhance warming; high, thin ones tend to dampen it ).

And it only gets more complex from there, when you have to include changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation, changes in vegetation, and so on.

I like my field, don't get me wrong. It's just discouraging knowing how little we know - and how important it is that we learn more. Climate scientists are often accused of being alarmist, but a lot of IPCC estimates are on the conservative side if anything.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2015, 06:46:52 PM »
I'm doing a Master of Science in climate change.

It's awful. On the one hand, millions of people don't believe the thing I'm studying is real. On the other, most of what we know about climate change can be summed up as "we don't know enough". I'm doing notes for an upcoming exam right now, and most of the papers I'm writing down the conclusions of include some variation on "a better understanding is necessary". It turns out climate change is really, really, really complicated.
Welcome to the feeling of  having a degree in English. :P

I'm apparently the moron (though moron is the polite word I chose) of the world of academia. :(

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2015, 04:20:32 AM »
"My efforts to become clear about what is meant by numbers have resulted in failure. We are only too easily misled by language and in this particular case the way we are misled is little short of disastrous."

-diary note by the logician and mathematician Gottlob Frege, at the age of seventy-five, in 1924. The thinking Sisyphus.


Offline Wajin

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2015, 06:47:14 AM »
Studying Law at the moment and I have a degree in musical sciences. On top of that I read a lot of physics related stuff, a lot of research journals and physics textbooks from our university bookshop.

Offline JoelTopic starter

Re: attn: overly educated nerds
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2015, 03:29:07 PM »
"My efforts to become clear about what is meant by numbers have resulted in failure. We are only too easily misled by language and in this particular case the way we are misled is little short of disastrous."

-diary note by the logician and mathematician Gottlob Frege, at the age of seventy-five, in 1924. The thinking Sisyphus.

sometimes I do wonder (as a freaking scientist)...

"Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he." -- Ecclesiastes 6:10
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 12:20:03 AM by Joel »