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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Not to me either, unless you have dreams I don't know about (which is quite possible). But I've always had a sense what you want from life is a career that fulfills you and doesn't feel like soul-death, and a marriage with a partner with whom you are comfortable and happy. That's not grandiose IMO, it's completely reasonable and appropriate to go for those things.
    I think you characterized my dreams quite well, but perhaps some more details could indicate how realistic they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by AllAboutSoul View Post
    This is exactly what I think, too, fwiw.
    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    ygolo, you always come across as well thought out and reasonable.
    Thanks guys. But I am wondering if people may be missing some components of what I hope to do.

    I have to say that I am a career-focused person. I'm not interested in climbing the corporate ladder nor (intrinsically) interested in making loads of money as an entrepreneur. When it comes down to career, I just want to feel that my accumulation of knowledge and skills have been useful to society to full effect.

    When it comes to my SO... I want to share life with a woman who I admire, find comforting, has similar sense of humor as me, and mutually understand and support. I think this is by itself a very reasonable thing.

    However, I suppose I can drift into the boundary with fantasy at times.

    For Career:
    I will admit to being rather ambitious about the problems I think about when I study math and physics...the millennium problems, the problems of thermodynamics, cosmology, etc. are all problems I know to be out of my depth.

    Also, the career decision I have made has its own set of unrealistic components.

    The reality is that only a fraction of the people who want to study High Energy Physics actually make it into the field, and they tend to be extremely bright and capable at mathematics and physics.

    Besides this, the compensation (monetarily speaking) is not going to be good (downright terrible when compared to what I have now).

    As one final blow, I will likely be 40 by the time I even finish school.

    For finding a companion:
    I've never fantasized for more than a few seconds about being with a celebrity (it's an automatic response with almost any reasonably attractive woman, so it's nothing special)

    But the main thing that a woman would have to put up with is my ambition in career...not in the stereotypical manner(I don't think)

    Given the facts I stated about my career choice...I see it as similar to someone in their 30's deciding that they want to make music and their rock-band their career, and quiting a rather lucrative job to pursue it...with not much professional evaluation of the capabilities needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I realize this is a prevalent view, but if you really look at that statement, it make no sense. You can dream you can fly, be a genius, benchpress 300 lbs, or be seven feet tall, but reality has a way of being quite persistent. The problem with "dreaming the impossible" is that you will in fact be disappointed and have a couple of options for dealing with that: 1. make-believe you did succeed, 2. be honest and set more realistic goals. People do often have more potential than they explore and demonstrate and it is good to inspire people to reach further, however, just because we might not find our outer boundaries does not mean these boundaries do not exist.
    The problem however is in assuming something is impossible when it is not or vice versa. You have illustrated the problem of assuming something possible when it is not, but the other way is just as bad, if not worse.

    Who would have thought a couple of bicycle shop mechanics would conduct the first manned flight?

    Who would have thought a patent clerk who couldn't find an academic post once he graduated would do some of the most important physics of the twentieth century?

    Who would have thought a mediocre student, failed farmer, and loony alchemist would be the same person responsible for what many consider to be the pinnacle of scientific achievement?

    Who would have thought the boy who "would amount to nothing" by his fathers own estimation, would create what would stand to be an amazing feat of observational science?

    I believe we all owe it both to ourselves and to society to not just be "warm bodies" at a work place.

    Some believe that if these "exceptional" people didn't do what they did, someone else would have. Perhaps not in the same form, but in some way. This is especially a prevalent view-point among managers. I call it the "warm-body myth"--the belief that just any old person can be found to do a particular thing.

    Try hiring a circuit design manager (just any old circuit design manager who is capable) in less than a year and see how wrong the warm-body myth is. When it comes to people who do the exceptional things, this is even more the case. The truth is there just weren't other candidates around to do what these people did. A circuit design manager just needs to have experience as a manager and in estimating and removing roadblocks faced by a particular circuit design methodology...a somewhat rarefied skill, but not terribly so.

    All evidence so far refutes the warm-body myth. Simonton did a study of "multiples" in science (multiple people "discovering" or "inventing" the same thing at the "same" time). He found that in all cases there was correspondence/sharing/stealing (advanced copies of papers, patent documents, etc). Real multiples just don't happen, not even when it comes to "mundane" science and technology. It is instead a large accumulation and communication of small ideas, but with each idea uniquely important in the chain of ideas.

    It's an example of dynamical chaos. There is extreme sensitivity to initial (and other) conditions.

    Which means, if you want to be the person who makes a key discovery, who need to be at the right place at the right time, with the proper background knowledge and proper mindset to make these discoveries.

    Not surprisingly, those who make the key discoveries are also the ones who make the most discoveries (whether or not they are "key" or not) and also the same ones that have a larger knowledge base for their "combinatory play."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    totally.
    I knew it. Did I just prove you correct?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #32
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Which means, if you want to be the person who makes a key discovery, who need to be at the right place at the right time, with the proper background knowledge and proper mindset to make these discoveries.
    My mom used to give me magazines with all the "rich people" (during the dot com) interviewed in full glory. She encouraged me to take that path, start my own company, blah blah. I tried explaining that her sample only covers success, and that I don't value the success as much as she does. She didn't understand what I meant.

    So, I took a magazine that had a lotto winner on the cover, and read an "article" to her - about how he bought it, picked the numbers. I based it on my dad, who always buys lottery tickets. I asked her what she thought about it - and she said that is was nonsense (obviously making the connection to my dad and never winning, a complaint for her).

    Then I pointed to the magazine cover and said - well, he won, why shouldn't I be doing the same thing?

    The conversation ended when I said that while I may have better odds starting my own company, the ticket costs a lot more than the lotto ticket does.

    There always has to be the winners; but seeing it from only that side can be dangerous. What you need to find is what you want to do. Forget reasonable, forget everything else. Trying to be grandiose and solve all of life's problems... well... it carries a really really high ticket cost. Maybe you'll be a winner and solve a great problem... but hopefully that's not what will bring you happiness, because there is dice rolling involved.

    I say all this as I struggle with the same thing. I look at what I could do, which exceeds my will and desire to achieve it. But I've had to take so many different tests and had so many discussions with people, and even though I'm not sure I'm able to change, the one lesson I took away was to focus on what I am doing and only what I am doing.

    Look too far ahead and it'll only devalue what you are doing, are accomplishing. Living in a bubble where you focus on the problem - that matters. Perspective, like the heroes of old? I don't think they help. Maybe some people, but almost all of them just had a passion for what they were doing. They didn't care about others, didn't need to explain that others had done it. I suspect I'm too deep into my own acknowledgement needs to really be able to do that the same way anymore... but I'm gonna try.

    [This rambling brought to you by High Hopes(c) for my own future.]

  3. #33
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post

    I knew it. Did I just prove you correct?
    i'm never serious...don't mind me. i just read the thread title. it made me laugh...grandiose never bothered me much though...it's kinda funny.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  4. #34
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I still don't think you're grandiose. Mainly because, although your career ambitions are high, they're combined with a pretty realistic outlook.

    I would worry if you seemed completely confident that you could know everything about your chosen field and would definitely someday make a key discovery. Instead, it seems like you are confident that you can set the conditions (educate yourself and think in the right ways) to be ripe for such a discovery, should one materialize in the ether at the right time and place. (Apologies for the metaphysical language there, I know you're not really talking about anything metaphysical but it was the only way I could think of to describe it.)
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    My mom used to give me magazines with all the "rich people" (during the dot com) interviewed in full glory. She encouraged me to take that path, start my own company, blah blah. I tried explaining that her sample only covers success, and that I don't value the success as much as she does. She didn't understand what I meant.

    So, I took a magazine that had a lotto winner on the cover, and read an "article" to her - about how he bought it, picked the numbers. I based it on my dad, who always buys lottery tickets. I asked her what she thought about it - and she said that is was nonsense (obviously making the connection to my dad and never winning, a complaint for her).

    Then I pointed to the magazine cover and said - well, he won, why shouldn't I be doing the same thing?

    The conversation ended when I said that while I may have better odds starting my own company, the ticket costs a lot more than the lotto ticket does.

    There always has to be the winners; but seeing it from only that side can be dangerous. What you need to find is what you want to do. Forget reasonable, forget everything else. Trying to be grandiose and solve all of life's problems... well... it carries a really really high ticket cost. Maybe you'll be a winner and solve a great problem... but hopefully that's not what will bring you happiness, because there is dice rolling involved.

    I say all this as I struggle with the same thing. I look at what I could do, which exceeds my will and desire to achieve it. But I've had to take so many different tests and had so many discussions with people, and even though I'm not sure I'm able to change, the one lesson I took away was to focus on what I am doing and only what I am doing.

    Look too far ahead and it'll only devalue what you are doing, are accomplishing. Living in a bubble where you focus on the problem - that matters. Perspective, like the heroes of old? I don't think they help. Maybe some people, but almost all of them just had a passion for what they were doing. They didn't care about others, didn't need to explain that others had done it. I suspect I'm too deep into my own acknowledgement needs to really be able to do that the same way anymore... but I'm gonna try.

    [This rambling brought to you by High Hopes(c) for my own future.]
    So much to respond to....the lotto thing is funny, but I think it's a bit stilted too.

    I realize I have my own biased sample, but the people I know who started their own businesses are on average only slightly better off than those who still continue working for someone else.

    Many are "consultants," and take it no further than that. They are essentially doing the same work, but being able to bill an hourly or per-unit rate for more complex work than standard contractors....usually work the company wants their own salaried employees to do. More and more people are learning to take the role of "consultant," in my line of work and have learned to make it profitable.

    But I have generally lost interest in the entrepreneurial path.

    There are certain problems/concerns/questions that have fascinated me since I was really young. If I had made slightly different decisions in college, I may have exclusively pursued these fascinations and at this point be qualified to address some of them.

    However, now I have a bunch of things I am curious about, but little skill to address the curiosity directly (other than going to school).

    If I could get paid to just satisfy my curiosity for 8-10 hrs, 5-6 days a week, that would be my ideal job. But no labeled profession allows that range of flexibility.

    So I chose the things I am most curious about, and that, quite frankly, is the essential theoretical physicists' question: "how does it ALL work?"

    Focusing on that question, at least from my current survey of Physics, and my current conception of that question, is the domain of High Energy (Particle/Nuclear) Theoretical Physicists.

    I hope to join their ranks. It is not an "impossible" goal because others have done it. But it may be quite a stretch for someone my age. I know I have to be willing to get paid peanuts, and probably toil away in obscurity for the remainder of my life. But I am hoping that my curiosity will sustain me through this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    i'm never serious...don't mind me. i just read the thread title. it made me laugh...grandiose never bothered me much though...it's kinda funny.
    I know. There is usually a little bit of veiled humor in what I say too. It may not always be evident, but its there. It keeps me (mostly) sane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I still don't think you're grandiose. Mainly because, although your career ambitions are high, they're combined with a pretty realistic outlook.

    I would worry if you seemed completely confident that you could know everything about your chosen field and would definitely someday make a key discovery. Instead, it seems like you are confident that you can set the conditions (educate yourself and think in the right ways) to be ripe for such a discovery, should one materialize in the ether at the right time and place. (Apologies for the metaphysical language there, I know you're not really talking about anything metaphysical but it was the only way I could think of to describe it.)
    Yeah, I want to work in a particular field, not necessarily become "great" at it. But even that is a large time commitment. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a stupid decision.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #36
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    You're not grandiose enough. Your threads are always something with substance, as in they can certainly lead somewhere. Imo, we don't give you enough assistance.


    i'm just gonna go ahead and pretend i didn't see this thread
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  7. #37
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Couldn't help but notice this thread even if it's dead.

    Grandiosity in non-medicated bipolar patients usually results in a delusional sense of importance in one's actions in relation to actual implications in reality.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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