Well this is intriguing

Discussion in 'Science' started by garyd, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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  2. Gatewood

    Gatewood Well-Known Member

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    She probably has a point but I rather think that the problem will be self correcting down the road as ever more physicists are produced and they become more mutually competitive for limited financial resources and even equipment. This current back slapping gentlemen's club environment that they have developed is bound to collapse eventually and then progress will be made once more.
     
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  3. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    That of course assume we have not gone as far as we can go with current technology and instruments.
     
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  4. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think she's a tad too cynical in railing against the inertia of academia and its vested interests, but has a point.
    (false analogies notwithstanding).

    I think she's also rather pissed that all that time and effort invested by all "beyond the standard model" theoretical physicists have been proven wrong by the experimental physicists. To get to where she is, she invested the best years of her academic life pursuing such "nonsense". Amazing how dispositive evidence can radically alter one's perspective. But I guess that's science for ya.
     
  5. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Well probably more like human nature people hate being ignored and at the very least she believes she is being ignored and she may well have a point.
     
  6. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Oh, I think she has a point, its just taken to the absurd and riddled with false equivalence/analogy.

    But theoretical physics wouldn't be theoretical physics without a) taking the path that the math exposes and b) putting forward wild arsed hypothesis and attempting to prove them. Lots of ridiculous nonsense and dead ends but also some real pearls that contribute to our understanding of the universe. E=mc2.
     
  7. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Science is always consider slow until it becomes fast....that is the nature of discovery and progress. Any one scientist may feel impatient or upset but science as a concept is gonna do what it does....if you don't like it, go bake some cookies instead.
     
  8. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Absurdist nonsense. Sciece does nothin
     
  9. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member

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    Okay.....then how exactly did you just type that?
     
  10. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Typo city....
    And two thirds of the the post disappeared. When my phone died as I was sending it. Hell apparently I hit send as I was putting my phone back in my pocket as my phone died Windows phones you gotta love em.

    Let me see if I can reproduce the remainder from memory. Scientists, however, do. And one of those things they do, along with the rest of humanity, is build these wonderful boxes. Most of the great scientific advances in the history of man kind have happened because some dude or dudette managed to crawl, jump, or get thrown out of whatever box was currently in vogue and find a different perspective through which to look at the problem. It seems to me that the current state of physics is a box in which we believed all the answers could be found, unfortunately we've taken that box as far as it can go at our current stage of technology and come up way short of everything and now we need to find a direction in which to exit that box and take another look at the problem from a different perspective,
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  11. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    The costs of the scientific processes today are nearly unaffordable. The private sector can only do so much research based on government subsidies/grants, etc. Public sector research is riddled with politics. As science projects become more and more complex, the technology to do research does not yet exist or is too costly to create. The general public is ignorant about the role of science which translates to lower funding. Although there is a brotherly culture with scientists, it seems scientists are scattered in very small groups, around the world, many working on the same projects, yet not working together. Lastly, all of this takes lots of time...
     
  12. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    lol...good one...
     
  13. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    you wouldn't want them all working together otherwise the hypothesis process wouldn't work and we'd have stagnation...never would've left our caves if that was the case
     
  14. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    I don't care how they work but fact is how they work today in splintered groups many controlled by politics, etc. lowers the overall efficiency of scientific research and drives up the costs and places enormous costs on a single nation or business which forces them to prioritize projects. In the private sector I understand the need for privacy since they're all hoping to find the cure for cancer and make a trillion$...
     
  15. Battle3

    Battle3 Well-Known Member

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    She is correct.

    Physics seems to have gone down a dead end. There are a lot of placeholders in physics, things that are invented not because they are real but because they allow physicists to fill in a gap and continue down that particular road. She mentions dark matter as one example of a placeholder, there is no such thing as dark matter, its just a convenient mathematical assumption that allows scientists to bypass that particular hurdle and continue down that road. String theory is another. And as she mentions, the math between all these placeholders does not agree. Some or all of these placeholders are wrong, which means the years spent developing ideas that are based on unproven placeholders are wasted years.

    She also mentions the reliance on computers. Engineers and scientists coming out if universities these days are too dependent upon calculators and computers. In meetings when a problem is being discussed, I see older engineers do the math in their heads, while younger ones pull out smart phones and laptops.

    In the past, you had to memorize multiplication tables, logarithms, trig function values, square roots, approximation methods. Yes its drudgery at first, but in the end a person gains not only a mind adept with numbers but an intuitive feel for numbers and numerical relationships. You get insight.

    To generalize, the older generation in its zeal knowingly went down cul de sacs, the new generation are intellectually weak. Its a bad situation.
     
  16. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Progress in physics is like moving a brick wall a few feet at a time to see what's behind it. No going around it. But each time we move the wall it becomes more difficult to move and the action of moving it becomes harder with the movement going less distance.

    That's why it's hard, we are kicking up against the physical limits of the Universe.

    Or, to explain it in another way, physicists create theories that need testing, but we might not yet have the equipment and funding available to test it out yet. And so their time hasn't come yet.
     
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  17. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Intellectually weak? Gee I guess the rate of discovery, invention and innovation have fallen off the cliff lately with all those dumb scientists occupying space and making dumber predictions that when tested fail. ITs almost like scientific processes were designed to test hypotheses and reject the "dead enders".

    As for reliance on computers, in most disciplines we have far exceeded our natural senses to explore and measure and define the macro and micro worlds.

    Computers and other high tech scientific equipment EXTENDS our intellectual prowess by expanding our natural abilities. Not to mention the enormous amount of intellectual prowess required to build the various tools required.

    Its a great situation with the sum of human knowledge doubling almost annually. That is exponential growth. Unfortunately knowledge does not automatically equate to wisdom and understanding.
     
  18. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    However tools are stupid they'll believe any damn crap you tell them. Some years back it was discovered that an intell chip had a mistake encoded that has pi wrong at the 25th or further out decimal point. note for most calculations this is inconsequential but the bigger the numbers you are dealing with the more of a problem it becomes.
     
  19. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Interesting analogy. But maybe it's harder and harder to move the wall because we are pushing in the wrong direction?
     
  20. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Oh well then. Your computer crashed. Stupid computer.
     
  21. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    You familiar at all with the term gigo?
     
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  22. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, intimately.

    It seems you haven't considered the fact that humans invented computers to EXTEND our natural abilities and provide exponential expansion of our natural capabilities. They EMPOWER our intellects to explore and discover and learn.
     
  23. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    No computers like every other machine invented by man were created to make things easier. They are, properly programed, great time savers. However, if you allow them to do too much you don't learn and they can stunt your own intellectual growth.
     
  24. Battle3

    Battle3 Well-Known Member

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    Thats not the point of the OP article, or my post. The point is that there are so many failed hypotheses and so few successful.

    And even the successful ones don't last because some are based on those unproven placeholders such as dark matter. People get stuck, they cant make progress, rather than solving the problem, they create something that fills the immediate gap and then press on. Things work for a while, it looks like there is "progress", then it falls apart.

    Definitely agree.

    Computers are a tool, and a great one. But they are also a crutch. Older scientists tell me they saw the problem in the 1970s when calculators were allowed in high school math and physics and in college courses, many students started turning to calculators rather than memorizing multiplication tables etc. And students started simply plugging in numbers to equations rather than thinking about the problem and the equation. When programmable calculators and calculators with the special modules started showing up, students began using the modules instead of really learning the material - at that point many universities banned calculators briefly, but that did not last long.

    We see a lot of trial and error rather than thinking. Younger scientists and engineers - who are smart - simulate a problem and then run it on the computer to find the best answer. Older ones sit down with paper and work it out, then go to the computer to verify theory results or to narrow the problem. The younger ones get a great answer, but its a numerical answer not a general solution. The older ones take a lot longer but get a general answer and have great understanding of the problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  25. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Definitely agree.

    Computers are a tool, and a great one. But they are also a crutch. Older scientists tell me they saw the problem in the 1970s when calculators were allowed in high school math and physics and in college courses, many students started turning to calculators rather than memorizing multiplication tables etc. And students started simply plugging in numbers to equations rather than thinking about the problem and the equation. When programmable calculators and calculators with the special modules started showing up, students began using the modules instead of really learning the material - at that point many universities banned calculators briefly, but that did not last long. [/quote]

    Yes, students are aided in learning by the computational functions of "computers". OTOH, they are also aided in learning by its other functions like video, communication, data access etc. etc. which enhances understanding, particularly conceptualization which creates understanding.

    OTOH, I do agree that many students in a required physics class will "simply plugs in numbers" but they aren't the ones that can become professional physicists.


    Yep, trail and error is an accepted scientific methodology, but I disagree with your assessment.
    You seem to be saying that all that manual drudgery is a requirement for a deeper understanding of the problem/solution set. As for formulating a more "general" answer, I would suggest that the iterative process required in computation modelling facilitates generalization as patterns can be more readily identified. (A matter of minutes versus days/months of manual computation).
     

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