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  1. #11
    it's tea time! Walking Tourist's Avatar
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    Why don't you just revive those movie making dreams and make a horror movie, featuring some psycho guy on a grounds maintenance crew who goes mad with a weed whacker and starts whacking people instead of weeds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post

    with all of my misfortunes from dreaming big, i figured it's best that i simply try to settle by making a difference in the lives of others. so maybe i'll become a mass-murderer.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

  2. #12
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I was going to change the world.
    Thoughts?
    Good thread idea

    I had a pretty similar experience growing up and through school. I can't remember how old I was when I first thought "I'm going to change the world" - but it was pretty young. 6 or 7, maybe.

    My thing was to be an engineer, and then an astronaut. Space exploration was my destiny (just as well I didn't go that route... budget deficits and all). But that was still nominally the plan when I finished high school and went to college - started off majoring in engineering, as I'd planned. Even if I knew at that point I'd probably never be an astronaut (the physical requirements would have eaten me alive), I still wanted to build/design etc.

    After my first semester in college (and a really lousy professor in an engineering class), I decided that I was really sort of tired of that. So I changed my major to biology, with a thought of going into either marine biology or genetics. So I did the pre-med/graduate school track, and decided my senior year that I'd probably be better served sticking to Genetics. I'd planned on gene therapy studies - curing the world.

    The reality of academic research was sort of a downer... it wasn't excitement and solving problems. It was about huge hours, low pay, micro-thin specialization, and bringing in grant dollars. I did well in graduate school at start, and wound up working in a cancer research lab. Finished up my M.A. requirements in two years (normal), and worked in the lab to try and find a project that would enable me to complete a Ph.D. I tried, and failed to get good lab results for 5 more years - it's sort of embarrassing to admit it, but I was in graduate school longer than any of my friends who *did* finish. I'd become very disillusioned and given up on the idea of doing science long-term two-three years before I left... I just wanted to finish the degree. When the last project died, I decided that it wasn't worth it to start over again in a field I didn't care for anymore, and left school without the Ph.D.

    Took a job in IT. Nine years later, I'm still there - and I will never change the world doing it. There are parts of it that I enjoy, but I'm a cog. My life is more about covering various asses and catering to the whims of clients than anything substantive. I know exactly what you mean when you say that your vision of changing the world has dimmed and not really had anything else take its place. I do still dream of doing "big things", but they're more along the lines of writing a book, or living somewhere exotic (read: escape!).

    It's strange... for years I said that the best thing I'd ever done for myself was to get out of science and into IT/programming. Probably still true - yet now I wish I'd either done it much sooner (college) or made another choice. I got into it late enough, without enough background, to ever really have much opportunity for any sort of cutting edge or world-changing effect. If I could go back in time 20 years and do things differently, would I? Yes.

    Good grief, that sounded depressing . It's not like I missed out on things that I really wanted professionally - more like I saw them for what they were instead of what I wanted them to be, and they lost their appeal. I think that's just part of getting older, but I miss the hope, sometimes.
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  3. #13
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Imho.. What you need to do is figure out HOW you wanted to change the world.

    People want to bring the world joy, they become comedians.. People who want to bring the world excitement become stunt devils, actors.. HOW did you ever intend to change the world? Did you want to invent new things to make people's lives easier? Did you want to improve on the things people already love?

    I don't see what's stopping you from your spare time being used on that ambition.. "change the world" is vague. not enough detail to be of use. You didn't have anything to reach for, so of course you're going to get disappointed and fall short. There was no shape. It's like trying to pick up water from a table top with your hands. Where's the vessel that turns that abstract thought into something concrete? I know you thought it was your work. but when you discovered it wasn't going to be.. why didn't that vessel change? why didn't you pour the water into a bowl instead of just dumping it out of the cup onto the table?

    I don't think I ever desired to change the world. It'd sure be nice.. but I'm fine not being a major cog in the machine of humanity.

    I suppose.. if you don't desire to change the world anymore. What do you desire? a Ph.D is only delaying the inevitable if you don't know exactly what you want?
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    The reality of academic research was sort of a downer... it wasn't excitement and solving problems. It was about huge hours, low pay, micro-thin specialization, and bringing in grant dollars. I did well in graduate school at start, and wound up working in a cancer research lab. Finished up my M.A. requirements in two years (normal), and worked in the lab to try and find a project that would enable me to complete a Ph.D. I tried, and failed to get good lab results for 5 more years - it's sort of embarrassing to admit it, but I was in graduate school longer than any of my friends who *did* finish. I'd become very disillusioned and given up on the idea of doing science long-term two-three years before I left... I just wanted to finish the degree. When the last project died, I decided that it wasn't worth it to start over again in a field I didn't care for anymore, and left school without the Ph.D.
    La La La, I Have *NO* idea what your talking about here...
    I think you have me slightly beat, I spent 6.5 years in grad school with just a masters to show for it. Many of my colleagues at ym second grad school seemed to get there PhD's in 5 years. Not to sound whiny, but I felt like many of them were nowhere near as motivated as I was, they just kinda bent over and took it more??? Or they just didn't care, or they saw it as a road to money/income down the road, or they didn't feel a need for it to be "meaningful".



    Took a job in IT. Nine years later, I'm still there - and I will never change the world doing it. There are parts of it that I enjoy, but I'm a cog. My life is more about covering various asses and catering to the whims of clients than anything substantive. I know exactly what you mean when you say that your vision of changing the world has dimmed and not really had anything else take its place. I do still dream of doing "big things", but they're more along the lines of writing a book, or living somewhere exotic (read: escape!).
    People/companies pay you for what THEY need, which may or may not be [and probably isn't] necessarily what YOU want. I think its all about doing what you can workwise and that what you want in your sparetime.

    It's strange... for years I said that the best thing I'd ever done for myself was to get out of science and into IT/programming. Probably still true - yet now I wish I'd either done it much sooner (college) or made another choice. I got into it late enough, without enough background, to ever really have much opportunity for any sort of cutting edge or world-changing effect. If I could go back in time 20 years and do things differently, would I? Yes.
    I've said before, I feel like quitting was the best thing I've ever done, and had I known earleir I would have left MUCH earlier....


    Good grief, that sounded depressing . It's not like I missed out on things that I really wanted professionally - more like I saw them for what they were instead of what I wanted them to be, and they lost their appeal. I think that's just part of getting older, but I miss the hope, sometimes.
    I've spent a lot of time trying to come to grips with this for me, and to let it go and move on. I 150% relate to "seeing things for what they were as opposed to what I wanted them to be."

    Life goes on, we live and learn, hopefully we grow. "At the end of the day" you do what you can with what you have and it is what it is.

  5. #15
    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Many of my colleagues at ym second grad school seemed to get there PhD's in 5 years. Not to sound whiny, but I felt like many of them were nowhere near as motivated as I was, they just kinda bent over and took it more??? Or they just didn't care, or they saw it as a road to money/income down the road, or they didn't feel a need for it to be "meaningful".
    i was so serious about college that i dropped out.
    i do know what you mean, it seems like some of the people who really struggle through college are having trouble because they are looking so much harder for a meaningful experience.


    but as far as wanting to change the world, that's something i have felt more and more as i get older. i didn't really want to change the world as a kid, or especially as a teenager. haha, it's now, in my early thirties, that i am starting to have these impassioned conversations about changing the world.
    i think i have become a lot more idealistic and empathetic in recent years.

    i am wondering, it seems like a few of you have described college and especially graduate school as lessening your desire to change the world. is that accurate? i have known people who went through graduate school, and it does seem like they became less enthused in some ways.

    so does education kill your spirit?
    that is kind of a half-joke...
    but i bring it up because i was not very well educated, and i am more enthused about life and change than when i was a kid.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
    i was so serious about college that i dropped out.
    i do know what you mean, it seems like some of the people who really struggle through college are having trouble because they are looking so much harder for a meaningful experience.


    but as far as wanting to change the world, that's something i have felt more and more as i get older. i didn't really want to change the world as a kid, or especially as a teenager. haha, it's now, in my early thirties, that i am starting to have these impassioned conversations about changing the world.
    i think i have become a lot more idealistic and empathetic in recent years.

    i am wondering, it seems like a few of you have described college and especially graduate school as lessening your desire to change the world. is that accurate? i have known people who went through graduate school, and it does seem like they became less enthused in some ways.

    so does education kill your spirit?
    that is kind of a half-joke...
    but i bring it up because i was not very well educated, and i am more enthused about life and change than when i was a kid.
    grad school was a very intense and compressed experience. Physics [what I studied in grad school is INTJ hell IMO, I'll bet ~75% of people [grad students, profs] were INTJ's. ENTJ's, and INTP's probably fill out much of the rest.

  7. #17
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    No lowly engineer with only a B.Sc. and 5 years experience was ever going to get a shot at a product idea. Even if there was a shot, the lowly engineer would be left to fend for himself in all the areas he was not good at:recruitment, marketing, other technical areas, etc. The innovation was left only to the business types...and they are not known for innovation.
    If your field is software, you could consider joining a startup where there is less hierarchy and so your ideas could be heard. Through startup, as you know, are risky. Or you could get an MBA...

    Too bad, it doesn't look like any other companies have the generous Google 20% project time.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
    i am wondering, it seems like a few of you have described college and especially graduate school as lessening your desire to change the world. is that accurate? i have known people who went through graduate school, and it does seem like they became less enthused in some ways.

    so does education kill your spirit?
    that is kind of a half-joke...
    but i bring it up because i was not very well educated, and i am more enthused about life and change than when i was a kid.
    I am a little worried about this myself. The first time through, I did OK. I say I am committed to 6.5 years for grad school plus 3.5 years to finish my next undergrad. I'll be 40 by the time I'm all done and ready to re-enter the work-force as a scientist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    grad school was a very intense and compressed experience. Physics [what I studied in grad school is INTJ hell IMO, I'll bet ~75% of people [grad students, profs] were INTJ's. ENTJ's, and INTP's probably fill out much of the rest.
    I think this is a fair assessment. Mostly xxTJ types in engineering grad school. A lot of ISTJs and INTJs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozz View Post
    If your field is software, you could consider joining a startup where there is less hierarchy and so your ideas could be heard. Through startup, as you know, are risky. Or you could get an MBA...

    Too bad, it doesn't look like any other companies have the generous Google 20% project time.
    I do some software, but I am electrical/computer engineer. When I think of products, I think of the HW/SW combination. Hopefully, after I finish my physics undergrad the scope of ideas that I can come up with will include something ground breaking.

    Generally speaking, whatever cool stuff people come up with these days will be simulated and designed on a computer and controlled by electronics. So I am not entirely abandoning my current background, just enhancing it.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I do some software, but I am electrical/computer engineer. When I think of products, I think of the HW/SW combination. Hopefully, after I finish my physics undergrad the scope of ideas that I can come up with will include something ground breaking.

    Generally speaking, whatever cool stuff people come up with these days will be simulated and designed on a computer and controlled by electronics. So I am not entirely abandoning my current background, just enhancing it.
    Forgive my language, but WTF are you doing a physics undergrad???????

    You've already got like how many bachelors and, masters degrees again, remind.
    I ASSURE you people get a BS in one field, and go into a different field at the grad level. My first year as a TA our boss was a MechE->physics PhD for example. DON'T REDO AN UNDERGRAD DEGREE. You gotta pay for it. Its probably a waste of time. Most science/engineering programs will pay you [TA, RA] to go to them. Why an undergrad degree? WTF physics???

  10. #20
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    I change the world on what seems like a constant basis. I simply walk out my door, think of something and the world has changed accordingly. Meaningful, yes. But not in anyway something I care much about. I mean, if the world is simply a place where your thoughts or dreams become manifest, what's the point? To me what this means is that we really are alone here, and I mean alone, creating, by virtue of our thoughts. What's the fucking point. You can make anything and everything you want, but... IT'S NOT REAL!

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