My Struggle.

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

IceShade
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My Struggle.

Postby IceShade » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:15 pm

Hello everyone.

I've been presented with a challenging scenario. Due to the inept faculty here at my exceedingly disappointing college, I am now scheduled to take the Physics GREs on November 7th. I learned of this... today. This gives me roughly five weeks to study for the GREs. Where would you recommend I start looking at material on this forum? I know I've got an incredible task ahead of me and if anyone has some general pointers for me I would greatly appreciate it.

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:58 pm

I won't argue that your school is inept/disappointing, but how does your PGRE date have anything to do with them? If you were thinking about going to physics grad school it's your responsibility to find out when the test dates are and register, along with everything else that's required of you. This should have happened like last summer if not sooner.

Anyways, look in the physics GRE forums, there are threads with preparation advice and materials. Your best resources are the 4 practice exams and solutions website which you will find stickied there. Do as many practice problems as you can, and good luck.

IceShade
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby IceShade » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:17 pm

Thanks. Yeah I knew I had to take them but the professors here told me I wouldn't have to take them until spring because registrations for grad schools were not due until summer. After speaking with a rep from CMU I learned that the deadline for their registration is in January, along with a lot of other schools.

blackcat007
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby blackcat007 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:11 pm

IceShade wrote:Hello everyone.

I've been presented with a challenging scenario. Due to the inept faculty here at my exceedingly disappointing college, I am now scheduled to take the Physics GREs on November 7th. I learned of this... today. This gives me roughly five weeks to study for the GREs. Where would you recommend I start looking at material on this forum? I know I've got an incredible task ahead of me and if anyone has some general pointers for me I would greatly appreciate it.


to add to something already said by grae.. if you are from physics background, it won't take long.. and in 5 weeks you can easily prepare well..

best wishes

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:37 pm

IceShade wrote:Thanks. Yeah I knew I had to take them but the professors here told me I wouldn't have to take them until spring because registrations for grad schools were not due until summer. After speaking with a rep from CMU I learned that the deadline for their registration is in January, along with a lot of other schools.


If you need a score > 800 then the five-week program may not work ... I warn you, but you don't have any other alternative ... .

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:40 pm

blackcat007 wrote:
IceShade wrote:Hello everyone.

I've been presented with a challenging scenario. Due to the inept faculty here at my exceedingly disappointing college, I am now scheduled to take the Physics GREs on November 7th. I learned of this... today. This gives me roughly five weeks to study for the GREs. Where would you recommend I start looking at material on this forum? I know I've got an incredible task ahead of me and if anyone has some general pointers for me I would greatly appreciate it.


to add to something already said by grae.. if you are from physics background, it won't take long.. and in 5 weeks you can easily prepare well..
I don't think that she said that ... as opposed ... she admonished him/her for not starting earlier ... .

best wishes


I doubt if sb can be well prepared (i refer to the range above 800) for the test in 5 weeks even if they read 20 hours per day. The stuff is so much that ... the final result is dubious ... . Besides, "last minute" cramming may be helpful only if you have read before ... if you didn't ... then it will simply cause confusion, stress and other negative effects. I don't know if there are exceptions to the rule ... there may be ... but I mention the logical side ...

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:49 pm

You guys always seem to forget that the best and smartest students get >900 on their first practice test attempt without studying. I think all you can say is to take a practice test to see where you are, then figure you can increase 100 or so points pretty quickly if you work hard starting in the 600-750 range by studying the practice tests, a more significant increase will take more effort and it's not linear.

IceShade, take your education into your own hands. No one else will do a better job of looking out for your interests than you. Most grad schools have highly limited spring admission and do >90% of their admission in the fall term, for which applications are typically due between mid December and mid January, with some as early as November or as late as February.

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:34 pm

grae313 wrote:You guys always seem to forget that the best and smartest students get >900 on their first practice test attempt without studying.



... and how much time do they spend for reaching the 990 limit in the test? I doubt if PGRE test requires exceptional mental abilities ... so the term "best" applies but as for the term "smartest" I have my objections ... .

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:27 pm

Sorry I was just being careless with my words. The people who get 990 on their practice tests their first time aren't necessarily the best or the smartest. I was just reacting to the fact that I keep reading over and over you guys telling people how they have no chance, without really knowing their abilities. You're telling this guy he can't get >800 with 5 weeks of preparation, I think that's a bit ridiculous. If he's coming from a physics background he could very well get 850 on the first try without studying. You can't make an absolute statement like that without knowing more.

cooper
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:42 pm

grae313 wrote:Sorry I was just being careless with my words. The people who get 990 on their practice tests their first time aren't necessarily the best or the smartest. I was just reacting to the fact that I keep reading over and over you guys telling people how they have no chance, without really knowing their abilities. You're telling this guy he can't get >800 with 5 weeks of preparation, I think that's a bit ridiculous. If he's coming from a physics background he could very well get 850 on the first try without studying. You can't make an absolute statement like that without knowing more.


It seems your qualifying your remark a bit Jessica, which actually makes me a bit relieved :D . What you said before about some people getting high scores without studying seemed strange. It actually freaked me out a bit :shock:. (And I mean freaked out to the extent I was when you told me you scored 75 seconds on expert minesweeper, or that others scored even better than that. I can't even see how that is theoretically possible, and neither can anyone else I talk to. Oh well, I think what I need to do is take the advice you sort of gave me once. I shouldn't spend time worrying if someone else can do something, or even many things, much better than I can. I should just be happy with myself as I am.) You have to have a lot of formulas memorized cold before walking into the exam. How can you do that without at least some studying? But with your last reply I am thinking maybe you meant that some people have a background that caused them to pretty much have those formulas memorized (Maybe you were even thinking of yourself. I think I read once where you said you were a physics tutor when you were in college. That could lead to having many formulas already memorized.)


By the way, you're being careless again :P :lol: physics_auth clearly said that five weeks MAY not be enough time, he was never being absolute.

I hope I haven't stepped over a line with you by pointing out your mistake 8) you are clearly some kind of a moderator of this website, and you do have a bit of a temper :x and can be a bit impatient. So maybe you are thinking about banning me at this point? :lol: So, should I be worried? :oops: (that last icon was the best I can do, they don't have one for being afraid).

Edit: By the way. So that Darth Coopa character you made for me was from Mario Brothers? I didn't know that. I thought it was so cute that I showed it to some people (I even kept it as the picture on my desktop for a while). A couple of people told me where you got it from. I actually thought there was really a silly sith turtle on some web site somewhere.

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:35 am

grae313 wrote:Sorry I was just being careless with my words. The people who get 990 on their practice tests their first time aren't necessarily the best or the smartest. I was just reacting to the fact that I keep reading over and over you guys telling people how they have no chance, without really knowing their abilities. You're telling this guy he can't get >800 with 5 weeks of preparation, I think that's a bit ridiculous. If he's coming from a physics background he could very well get 850 on the first try without studying. You can't make an absolute statement like that without knowing more.


I completely agree ... but I tried to aver what is commonly met in practice ... of course anyone's performance depends on their own abilities ...

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:20 pm

cooper wrote:It seems your qualifying your remark a bit Jessica, which actually makes me a bit relieved :D . What you said before about some people getting high scores without studying seemed strange. It actually freaked me out a bit :shock:. (And I mean freaked out to the extent I was when you told me you scored 75 seconds on expert minesweeper, or that others scored even better than that. I can't even see how that is theoretically possible, and neither can anyone else I talk to.
there are videos of people getting scores in the 40's of seconds or less on expert online. 70's is not that difficult. It's just pattern recognition. And you spelled "you're" wrong ;)

cooper wrote: Oh well, I think what I need to do is take the advice you sort of gave me once. I shouldn't spend time worrying if someone else can do something, or even many things, much better than I can. I should just be happy with myself as I am.) You have to have a lot of formulas memorized cold before walking into the exam.
Not true. Are you talking about formulas like F = dP/dt, L = Iw? There are some extremely basic things than any physics major just knows cold. My boyfriend took the exam without studying to see where he was, he didn't have an formulas memorized or anything and he got an 870. Quizivex got in the high 900's his first try without studying. Some people are just very smart and know basic physics really well.

cooper wrote:By the way, you're being careless again :P :lol: physics_auth clearly said that five weeks MAY not be enough time, he was never being absolute.

I hope I haven't stepped over a line with you by pointing out your mistake 8) you are clearly some kind of a moderator of this website, and you do have a bit of a temper :x and can be a bit impatient. So maybe you are thinking about banning me at this point? :lol: So, should I be worried? :oops: (that last icon was the best I can do, they don't have one for being afraid).
You're acting retarded. I don't give a flying *** what you say to me and the only accounts I've ever banned are from people spamming viagra adds.

cooper wrote:Edit: By the way. So that Darth Coopa character you made for me was from Mario Brothers?
Coopa is a character on mario bros, I drew on this picture in paint:
Image

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:07 am

grae313 wrote:Not true. Are you talking about formulas like F = dP/dt, L = Iw? There are some extremely basic things than any physics major just knows cold. My boyfriend took the exam without studying to see where he was, he didn't have an formulas memorized or anything and he got an 870. Quizivex got in the high 900's his first try without studying. Some people are just very smart and know basic physics really well.


Well you probably have in mind that your boyfriend and quizivex are representative of all PGRE test candidates ... it is your belief. And the way you present the situation e.g. ... without studying... ...didn't have any formulas memorized or anything... does not sound logical enough. What do you mean that these people were smart enough to invent these formulas and laws or that their memory storage is unlimited? (They may have been general physics tutors for many years ... who knows?) This is what it sounds to some people ... ! Last but not least, PGRE is not an IQ test but a standardized test which means that the more well prepared sb is the higher they might score in the final test.

cooper
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:17 pm

grae313 wrote: there are videos of people getting scores in the 40's of seconds or less on expert online. 70's is not that difficult. It's just pattern recognition. And you spelled "you're" wrong ;)

I saw the video on youtube. Wow! I don't think I can come close to doing that, or even your 70 something seconds score. On the other hand maybe if I figure out the pattern that you mentioned I can do it. Although, I suspect I probably can't do anything as well as you can. I still think the secret to your success in everything is that you're really a Jedi Knight. And by the way, using the force to get good marks on the GRE is not fair :x . I spelled "you're" wrong to give you something to complain about (or at least that's the story I am going with :x ).
grae313 wrote:Not true. Are you talking about formulas like F = dP/dt, L = Iw? There are some extremely basic things than any physics major just knows cold. My boyfriend took the exam without studying to see where he was, he didn't have an formulas memorized or anything and he got an 870. Quizivex got in the high 900's his first try without studying. Some people are just very smart and know basic physics really well.

For example, on test 0177, problem 51, it requires you to remember malus's law I = Imax*cos^2theta. You have to memorize many formulas like that one, or have a photographic memory (or at least it seems that way to me).
grae313 wrote:Coopa is a character on mario bros, I drew on this picture in paint:
Image

Unfortunately your picture didn't come out, but it's okay, I found the character you used from the video game Mario Brothers.
Last edited by cooper on Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:36 am, edited 11 times in total.

kroner
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby kroner » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:09 pm

You don't need to remember a formula for that, just remember how polarized light behaves. When it goes through a filter, the amplitude gets projected onto the direction of the filter. I think a lot of the formulas are like that. You can get very far in many cases with just a conceptual understanding.

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:09 pm

Also, anyone who has been through a physics degree "knows" that formula. There's a difference to "knowing" things and "memorizing" things. If you understand how light and filters work, it is as basic as 2+2.

I'm not trying to brag, I'm really not that good at physics and a 750 on the PGRE is barely above average, I'm just trying to clear up some misconceptions here.

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:11 pm

physics_auth wrote:Well you probably have in mind that your boyfriend and quizivex are representative of all PGRE test candidates ... it is your belief.


Now I'm pissed. Where the *** would you get this idea? This is the most retarded thing I've read on this board in a while and there are a lot of retarded things on this board.

This started when you told some kid that you doubted he could get >800 if he studied 20 hours a day for 5 weeks. I said, hold on a second, you don't know that for sure, SOME students can do very well without putting in *any* study time.

schwiss
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby schwiss » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:48 pm

grae313 wrote:
physics_auth wrote:Well you probably have in mind that your boyfriend and quizivex are representative of all PGRE test candidates ... it is your belief.

This is the most retarded thing I've read on this board in a while and there are a lot of retarded things on this board.


This is an awesome quote. Have strength, grae.

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:29 pm

grae313 wrote:The people who get 990 on their practice tests their first time ...


I feel sorry for not knowing any such super-kid! :shock:
And I answer according to how reasonable things you write ... of course you can present this as "retarded" ... but all this is more of an offence rather than a serious argument! Remember that I expressed a personal doubt; I didn't take some firm position on the matter!!

You claimed that you try to clear misconceptions. From my point of view, it is also a misconception to say to sb -whose background is probably unknown to you- that they can pass with flying colors -hit the 990 limit or sth- only on the grounds that there are candidates that can accomplish this. This is probably known to him/her ... . And on the other hand, if the person at issue is such a student (the one you have in mind and describe here or there) then what is the meaning for asking his/her chances? A person who gets a 990 or sth in their 1st trial does not usually act like that!

And I don't understand your stance about memorization and knowledge. You know sth because you read it somewhere, understood it and finally memorized it. When you know how a polarizer works, you know it because you read its function somewhere, understood it and memorized the essentials about this issue. Knowledge -amongst other factors- is predicated on memorization (of previous knowledge).
Last edited by physics_auth on Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kroner
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby kroner » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:37 pm

Any knowledge that one has is information in their memory, but the term "memorization" does not refer to any information stored in memory, only to a specific subset. In particular when someone has thorough understanding of a topic, it's not said that that understanding is memorized. Memorization refers to committing a fact or figure to memory without particular regard for its context or an understanding of the underlying explanation.

So to return to the polarization of light example, I consider myself to have a good understanding of how light behaves through a filter, in terms of how the electric field will behave and in terms of what happens when the spin of a photon is measured. When I approach solving a problem on this topic, I don't try to recall the string of symbols "I = Imax*cos^2theta" although I could reconstruct that if I needed to for some reason. On the other hand, my electrodynamics is not as good as it probably should be, and so in preparation for the test I memorized the formula for the power radiated by an accelerating charged particle P = q^2*a^2/(6pi*epsilon*c^3). I don't know off hand where that value comes from. I take it on faith that plugging stuff in will get me the answer I need. That's the difference I'm talking about.

But anyway, the point is that the material on the PGRE is a subset of what people are supposed to be learning over the course of their undergraduate studies. It's not material they just invented for the test (besides positronium :) ). So if you have a very good grasp of the topics already you might be able to do very well without any specific test preparation. Studying specifically for the test is then more about filling in the cracks.

cooper
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:46 am

kroner wrote:You don't need to remember a formula for that, just remember how polarized light behaves. When it goes through a filter, the amplitude gets projected onto the direction of the filter. I think a lot of the formulas are like that. You can get very far in many cases with just a conceptual understanding.


Interesting. You might be right. I haven't done too much studying (Particularly since I kind of decided I probably woudn't go to grad school after all. But now I am not sure what I am going to do, and I am seriously thinking of studying for the test and taking it just in case I later decide to go.), but what studying I did was typically taking test 0177 while reading the pertinent sections of each question in my University Physics textbook (in other words, I took an open book test). Maybe I could have figured out the answers conceptually, and didn't have to look up formulas.

cooper
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:57 am

grae313 wrote:Also, anyone who has been through a physics degree "knows" that formula. There's a difference to "knowing" things and "memorizing" things. If you understand how light and filters work, it is as basic as 2+2.

I'm not trying to brag, I'm really not that good at physics and a 750 on the PGRE is barely above average, I'm just trying to clear up some misconceptions here.


Again, you might be right. By the way, however, believe it or not, I never came across that formula before :lol: . The explanation is simple, my advanced physics courses were mechanics, thermodynamics, Quantum Mechanics I, II, Electronics, Electrodynamics I (am I leaving anything out? I am too tired to really think now.). I never had a course in Optics. As for Introductory Physics II, where that would have been taught, I never took that course, believe it or not.

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:35 am

kroner wrote:So to return to the polarization of light example, I consider myself to have a good understanding of how light behaves through a filter, in terms of how the electric field will behave and in terms of what happens when the spin of a photon is measured. When I approach solving a problem on this topic, I don't try to recall the string of symbols "I = Imax*cos^2theta" although I could reconstruct that if I needed to for some reason. On the other hand, my electrodynamics is not as good as it probably should be, and so in preparation for the test I memorized the formula for the power radiated by an accelerating charged particle P = q^2*a^2/(6pi*epsilon*c^3). I don't know off hand where that value comes from. I take it on faith that plugging stuff in will get me the answer I need. That's the difference I'm talking about.


@Kroner you have right about the usage of the term "memorization", it may have been employed erroneously. However, what I want to state is nicely conveyed by you! And the technique of deriving formulas when in the real test MAY not work for all test takers ... . It is simpler if you remember them or when you study to call them to mind. If you remember them -for any reason- then of course you can achieve a high score even in your first trial. If you don't remember them (this does not necessarily mean that you don't understand them!) then you study in order to bring them to mind. And finally, I believe that some test takers have a good grasp of physics topics but because of the large amount of information gained from all undergraduate courses... it seems reasonable that some things are forgotten. As a result, you work again simply to recall them (not to grasp them). Did you see my point? [Finally, the function of the polarizer is such easy that almost anybody who heard about this topic can handle it in the test ... but this is only a special case. There are other topics also that cannot be handled in the same way ... and in this case memorization maybe more useful rather than derivation ... And to tell you the truth ... I strongly doubt if there is anybody who can derive the exact formula about the power radiated by a moving (non-relativistic, according to what you mention in your answer) charge in the time alloted for each PGRE question - maybe with the exception of the super-kids I mention in a previous answer of mine :lol: ]

However, the person who started this post didn't ask sth about the without-study-case (as opposed to that they say that they have a huge task ahead of them ... ). For this reason I tried to provide a more moderate answer instead of invoking examples about students who didn't need preparation at all and all that stuff ... .

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:03 pm

physics_auth wrote:From my point of view, it is also a misconception to say to sb -whose background is probably unknown to you- that they can pass with flying colors -hit the 990 limit or sth- only on the grounds that there are candidates that can accomplish this.


No, I never said that. Try reading again, this time more carefully. I never EVER made a SINGLE comment on the author's abilities. I have no idea what the author's abilities are, and this is my entire point. He MIGHT never be able to get over 800, he MIGHT get 990 on his first practice test. Neither you or I can say because we don't know the guy, and that was all I was saying. You said you doubted he could get over 800 with five weeks of studying, I said, hold on a second, you don't know that. He might be really *** smart. CHRIST.

physics_auth wrote:And I don't understand your stance about memorization and knowledge. You know sth because you read it somewhere, understood it and finally memorized it. When you know how a polarizer works, you know it because you read its function somewhere, understood it and memorized the essentials about this issue. Knowledge -amongst other factors- is predicated on memorization (of previous knowledge).


In one sense, the sense you are referring to, pretty much all knowledge is memorization. I won't argue that. The flavor of the two words that I'm trying to distinguish is between two types of learning, one where you use flashcards and memorize a bunch of equations, one where you understand something well enough that the equation just seems natural, like common sense. Technically in both cases you have memorized something, but that's not what I'm getting at here.

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grae313
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:11 pm

physics_auth wrote:However, the person who started this post didn't ask sth about the without-study-case (as opposed to that they say that they have a huge task ahead of them ... ). For this reason I tried to provide a more moderate answer instead of invoking examples about students who didn't need preparation at all and all that stuff ... .


By the way, I wrote my above post before reading Kroner's post, and he did a much better job of explaining what I meant by "knowledge" and "memorization".

As for the text you quoted here, I hope you are just being facetious because I never advised the guy as if he were one of these students. For the tenth time, just read what I wrote. All I said was that it was wrong of you to tell the guy he probably couldn't get over 800 if he studied for 5 weeks 20 hours a day. You don't know him, and that was just a ridiculous thing for you to say.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:45 am

grae313 wrote:
physics_auth wrote:However, the person who started this post didn't ask sth about the without-study-case (as opposed to that they say that they have a huge task ahead of them ... ). For this reason I tried to provide a more moderate answer instead of invoking examples about students who didn't need preparation at all and all that stuff ... .


By the way, I wrote my above post before reading Kroner's post, and he did a much better job of explaining what I meant by "knowledge" and "memorization". I don't waste my time to elaborate on an issue that was broached by you ... it wasn't my intention to talk about that!

As for the text you quoted here, I hope you are just being facetious because I never advised the guy as if he were one of these students. For the tenth time, just read what I wrote. All I said was that it was wrong of you to tell the guy he probably couldn't get over 800 if he studied for 5 weeks 20 hours a day. You don't know him,
I don't know him but from his message I can understand some things. He or she is probably not that kind of student that can go to the test and ace it the way you mentioned in your previous answers. At least, this is the impression that his or her message leaves on me. I cannot definitely conclude from his/her answer if he/she is ready to ace the test with a five-week studying, ok? The answer is (D) according to the GRE General test in maths :lol: And in my very first answer I saved some space to exceptions (i.e. students who can ace the test with vanishing preparation, though they may be a very small percentage ... )
and that was just a ridiculous thing for you to say.


However, explain to us why somebody who has a different perspective from you is "retarded" and "ridiculous"? :x My opinion is this, either you like it or not, ok? You can have your own opinion and I don' t care about it! Ok? And instead of using offensive language (I came accross some very insulting answers in this forum ... and I abhor this tone ... but I am ready to employ it when necessary!) , use a more elegant one (along with serious arguments - to say ...ohoo it is ridiculous means exactly nothing, this is not at all a serious argument ok? Go "tomorrow" to a physics conference and say only ... ohoo this perspective is ridiculous ... and you will see how your opponents will respond to you!), otherwise, I will start answering in the same tone! Personal opinion is a personal opinion, and as such it may seem right to you but wrong to me and vice versa! Now, it is high time I quited this "asinine" dispute (you don't know me and I don't you ... and if the whole issue is a problem of communication then it cannot be solved here and of course do not expect me to thank you about your good words ... ).

N.B.: And 20 hours is not that achievable (it would be ideal though). Even though there may be students who work so many hours ... I haven't personally met this "case" yet. Not to say that if sb works 20 hours a day for around 5 weeks then all this could (I say could!) enervate them till the test day ... .

N.B.: Please don't use arguments like ...> I didn't say that and that stuff< ... you don't need to say sth explicitly ... some things can be deduced or implied from what one writes or says! And if you think that some people (me also) deduce wrong things from what you write or post, then, it is your responsibility to be even more perspicuous or specific - not because we the others are less smart to conceive what you say or imply but because the interpersonal communication has variations from nation to nation, from culture to culture and (why not) from age to age. I hope this last statement of mine is clear enough ... .

excel
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby excel » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:19 pm

physics_auth, do you think that an opinion formed illogically is something that others need respect? The opinion may be illogical because it does not take into account a necessary piece of information or for some other reason. For example, if some people tell you that they dont believe in evolution (forget evidence, who cares about evidence) or that the earth is flat, would you say that is a ridiculous opinion or not?

I am not saying that your opinion is illogical or not in this case and I dont want to even get into the details and miscommunications of this particular thread, but am specifically referring to your last post, and I am curious as to what you think on this matter. Thanks.

physics_auth
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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:21 pm

excel wrote:physics_auth, do you think that an opinion formed illogically is something that others need respect? The opinion may be illogical because it does not take into account a necessary piece of information or for some other reason. For example, if some people tell you that they dont believe in evolution (forget evidence, who cares about evidence) or that the earth is flat, would you say that is a ridiculous opinion or not?

I am not saying that your opinion is illogical or not in this case and I dont want to even get into the details and miscommunications of this particular thread, but am specifically referring to your last post, and I am curious as to what you think on this matter. Thanks.


As for the way you pose the matter ... (I especially refer to the 1st paragraph of your post) I do NOT disagree with you. However, here, there are some differences:
(1) The person who disagrees with me was rude enough to insult me twice ... without giving any serious reason for that behavior. Is this a healthy way of rebutting what somebody else believes? I don't think so ... especially for us who are physicists!
(2) A personal opinion is not like knowledge. Knowledge is sth that is accepted by all (or at least by a very very large group of people). Does this mean that sb who disbelieves a part of the existent knowledge is ridiculous or sth? Of course no, provided that they can use subtle arguments to support the position that is different from the "established" one. However, a personal opinion does not need to be accepted by many other people. There will be some people who will agree with the personal opinion and the rest of them who will disapprove it. In the case at issue, this person has every right to consider my opinion ridiculous ... and this is what i think for their opinion. That's all.
(3) I almost always avoid giving firm answers. Since the information given are not enough to jump to a safe conclusion, I stated my opinion in a probabilistic way (to avoid omitting some special cases or exceptions). I think that I tried to refer to a more commonly met situation ... i.e. that people need more than 5 weeks in order to achieve a decent score in the PGRE exams. And my "opponent" disclaimed this opinion giving examples about students who need almost zero preparation -> for me this sounds as an exception. I had in mind this exception too, when I stated my personal opinion but I didn't want to focus on such details.
(4) When a statement does not take into account some facts then it is not always illogical, it can be considered insufficient or incomplete ... but it can otherwise agree with intellect to some degree. In the case at issue, a part of my statement was isolated and derided ... as if there were intellect pundits in this forum (who pose the norms about what is logical and illogical) ... .
(5) I believe that every personal opinion should be respected by others, even if for some people it sounds illogical or ridiculous. I believe that such a stance conforms absolutely with democracy. Democracy allows each and every people to have their own angle but it is not at all democratic to try to impose your opinion to other people by disclaiming their own opinions or any other means.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:38 pm

Deleted message
Last edited by physics_auth on Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:31 pm

physics_auth is right, he (or maybe physics_auth is a she) has been very courteous, but grae has been continuously rude. Just compare what they said to each other:

physics_auth: "Well you probably have in mind that your boyfriend and quizivex are representative of all PGRE test candidates ... it is your belief."

To which grae responded: "This is the most retarded thing I've read on this board in a while and there are a lot of retarded things on this board."

He is being perfectly civil, but grae is being rude. I can't believe everyone is defending her. I know she is a moderator on this website, but she does make a lot of demeaning remarks to people. I know a lot of the people that post in here have been irritating, asking questions that have been clearly answered, etc, but I deal with difficult people all the time and still manage to be civil. I am sure she never called one of her students at Cornell an idiot, even if that person asked a needless question.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby grae313 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:32 pm

I was rude long before I was a moderator and I'll be rude long after. It's the *** internet, get over it. Plus, it's hilarious.

I'll be the first person to apologize when I'm wrong or offer a hand to help others when I can, and I talk *** rampantly. That's just me. I was nice until physics_auth started acting ridiculous.

I didn't even bother reading physics_auth's reply because this communication gap is just silly and not even worth discussing. Have at it, gentleman, I'm out.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:43 am

grae313 wrote:I was rude long before I was a moderator and I'll be rude long after. It's the *** internet, get over it. Plus, it's hilarious.

I'll be the first person to apologize when I'm wrong or offer a hand to help others when I can, and I talk *** rampantly. That's just me. I was nice until physics_auth started acting ridiculous.

I didn't even bother reading physics_auth's reply because this communication gap is just silly and not even worth discussing. Have at it, gentleman, I'm out.


This is ok ... . But as for me, since I get easily irritable when I encounter such a behavior, I simply avoid contact with such persons ... even if they are considered (by others) intellect pundits or are students at top universities ... I don't give a damn about it ... or completely ignore what they say or write for my being ... .

N.B.1: "To say that you are the first person to apologize ... when you are wrong ..." could imply that you don't allow other people to judge the rightness or wrongness of your perspectives. As opposed to that egotistical (in my opinion) viewpoint, for me every well-intentioned (and elegantly presented) remark from other people who find faults with my statements is completely welcome.

N.B.2:However, the way @cooper presented his argument about Cornell students and all that stuff ... could imply that you discriminate between people who are at top US schools and people who aren't at such schools (yet!). My opinion is that things change in the course of time (and they can change by "180 degrees" sometimes; you can imagine any situation here...) and therefore it is no good behaving like that. In person, I find it most sage to behave in the same way towards all other people ... either they come from Cornell, Harvard ... or an unknown non-US school.

@Cooper: Stop worrying about the administration or who is in the administration of the forum. I want to believe that there are not different rules for the administration and for all other people who post here (as far as posting is concerned). In person, I don't care if sb is in the administration or not and I believe that the administration is open-minded enough not to preclude the posting of a different opinion or critique!

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby cooper » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:05 am

physics_auth wrote:Cooper: Stop worrying about the administration or who is in the administration of the forum. I want to believe that there are not different rules for the administration and for all other people who post here (as far as posting is concerned). In person, I don't care if sb is in the administration or not and I believe that the administration is open-minded enough not to preclude the posting of a different opinion or critique!


I'm not actually worried, I was simply trying to suggest a possible reason why everyone was ignoring her rudeness. I was trying to suggest that maybe they were ignoring it because she is a moderator and they are therefore afraid of getting on her bad side.

I don't know, I don't remember for sure what I was thinking. I used to belong to a lot of websites about discussing political issues (in addition to Psychology and Physics I do enjoy politics :) ), and I was banned several times for criticizing the views of the moderators of the sites. I guess I was thinking maybe people were worried about that here.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:46 am

cooper wrote:
physics_auth wrote:Cooper: Stop worrying about the administration or who is in the administration of the forum. I want to believe that there are not different rules for the administration and for all other people who post here (as far as posting is concerned). In person, I don't care if sb is in the administration or not and I believe that the administration is open-minded enough not to preclude the posting of a different opinion or critique!


I'm not actually worried, I was simply trying to suggest a possible reason why everyone was ignoring her rudeness. I was trying to suggest that maybe they were ignoring it because she is a moderator and they are therefore afraid of getting on her bad side.

I don't know, I don't remember for sure what I was thinking. I used to belong to a lot of websites about discussing political issues (in addition to Psychology and Physics I do enjoy politics :) ), and I was banned several times for criticizing the views of the moderators of the sites. I guess I was thinking maybe people were worried about that here.


Well, my only remark is that political issues are much more subtle issues than the issues discussed in a physics forum. I believe that physics is a field that is far from dogmatism, as compared, for example, to political issues; in other words (I think that) physics field is generally a "neutral" field. Anyway, as it was stated explicitly, only advertisements with a prurient content are banned ... .

N.B.: As for me, my "dispute" (my discrepancy may sound better) is not with the administration of the forum ... but with an individual (who happens to belong to the administration of the forum).

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby excel » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:02 am

physics_auth, thanks for your detailed reply, I understand your views.

cooper, most of us here have been in heated arguments, which is nothing unusual in an internet forum, especially a forum like this which is run with minimal censorship allowing participants to sort matters out by themselves. So, I think it would be quite hypocritical for most of us to attack someone for calling a comment retarded, as you seem to think we should have done. Speaking for myself, my only interest in this thread is in the reasoning and points made, and that too only in one or two specific points, and certainly not in matters of politeness. In my last post, when I said "would you say that is a ridiculous opinion or not?", I meant ridiculous more in the logical sense, and not whether it is polite to say such a thing. I will add that I firmly believe that we should not let ourselves be distracted from the underlying logic in an argument by how sweetly or rudely or eloquently the argument was presented.

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Re: My Struggle.

Postby physics_auth » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:16 am

excel wrote:physics_auth, thanks for your detailed reply, I understand your views.

cooper, most of us here have been in heated arguments, which is nothing unusual in an internet forum, especially a forum like this which is run with minimal censorship allowing participants to sort matters out by themselves. So, I think it would be quite hypocritical for most of us to attack someone for calling a comment retarded, as you seem to think we should have done. Speaking for myself, my only interest in this thread is in the reasoning and points made, and that too only in one or two specific points, and certainly not in matters of politeness. In my last post, when I said "would you say that is a ridiculous opinion or not?", I meant ridiculous more in the logical sense, and not whether it is polite to say such a thing. I will add that I firmly believe that we should not let ourselves be distracted from the underlying logic in an argument by how sweetly or rudely or eloquently the argument was presented.


@Excel
I agree with the very last sentence of your statement. However, I believe that for some people (me also) the behavioral way that sb else wants to present their stance matters. I know that in internet forums there are heated arguments but there is no need to employ incendiary behavior (or language). This puerile behavior does not befit to students who proceed to a PhD (we are mature enough at this age or not?).




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