Useless science

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Duke Whittaker, Jul 25, 2011.

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  1. Duke Whittaker Banned Banned

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of science, but why do we have to learn about useless things at school?
    It's cool if you teach me what organs I have or how to fix something, or at least something useful to society. But why do school insist on teaching kids about quantum physics, atoms and other practically useless chemistry stuff.
    Solving equations won't help me discover alternative energy or build something useful.
    I think this is exactly why nobody respects american education. It's all a waste of budget if you ask me.
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  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Not if you want a career at McDonald's, at least.

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    It's obviously wasted on some people...
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    What do you think atomic energy comes from?

    How do they design the proper angles of the turbine blades for windmills?

    They are trying to create fusion, they need equations to do so.

    So schools are very important and if humans are going to ever find a better technology than what we have then only with good education will they ever do so. Stay in school and learn everything you can that you want to. If you don't like math then try another subject that does interest you but always remember that education throughout your life will only be helpful not harmful to you.

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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

    practically useless is not the same as entirely useless.
    it's practically useless for me to learn anything about accounting for example but i need a certain amount of it to balance my checkbook.
    discoveries and inventions are two entirely different things.
    you are dead wrong if you think you do not need to solve equations.
    an uneducated public would be an even bigger waste.
  8. Duke Whittaker Banned Banned

    Thanks for replies, but I honestly think you guys are trying to justify something that has no meaning only because you've taken the time to learn it. So no hate. I can understand how you feel too. Hell, I'll be defending useless equations in a few years too! ;D
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Not at all. I think that education was why I got this far in life because there are many people without education that are now looking for work but most jobs ask that you have an education of some form or other. True, I did learn something while being educated but the real learning takes place after you find a job and start to learn what to do at that job. If you can't understand what they need to teach you in order to keep that job then you will soon be unemployed once again.

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  10. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    The School education you are referring to is an attempt to give you a taster of what types of direction you can go in life if you of course choose science as a career choice.

    The preliminary education attempts to just give you a generalization, so that you can pick a particular field and then specialize towards a specific goal. You could imply the goals that are set forwards in the curriculum are likely those that are posed as being important careers for the benefit and future of the country as a whole.

    Lesser challenging objects are often ignored as I am sure the intention is to try and get children to aspire to greatness rather than just putting up with mediocrity. (I guess it stems from elitist reasoning, or it's just something that isn't seen unless you become a parent yourself and want to see your child have things better than you perhaps did).

    All I can suggest is no matter how "remedial" you might think the education system is. If you can stick at it, it will become more challenging due to the learning curve that it follows. You have to of course be patient though, the one thing that undermines the future of young people nowadays is wanting a result Now! (It's the main reason why people quit particular courses or degrees, just to find themselves remorsefully thinking about it later and asking "why couldn't have I stuck at it?")

    Incidentally all the "remedial" things you learn are to teach you the basics that all people in those particular fields already know, there is a saying that is usually quote:

    "Learn how to walk, before you try running"

    Before you can start learning of how to make "Alternative Energy", you need to understand how the current energy is produced, it aids in identifying potential flaws in efficiency while also identifying potential avenues of research to follow, however as with any field, there are many other people working on trying to generate a solution, which also means attempting to learn what it is they have seen and what direction they have gone so you don't either duplicate their work that has already been done or research something they already proved will not work.

    (Of course that's a lot further up the Learning Curve)
  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    There is of course another angle to Curriculum, when such was formed, Computers were not common place in peoples households, they did not have applets on mobile devices to access information from the internet.

    In fact it would take many hours of searching by hand through the literature of libraries and papers of other scholars to attempt to work out for themselves what it is they were trying to learn about.

    The timeframe of learning was far longer and more rigid, it wasn't as distracting and didn't have the pre-emptive feed of information from the internet or television to undermine the course or it's work.

    (In essence the Pre-emptive information can be wrong, it's not applied in the same evidence source structure that academics used and can cause people to feel that they already know-it-all before examining the information for themselves. I guess you could say this "Pop Culture" of ours is slowly decaying academic excellence.)
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because if you get a job as a nuclear engineer, a physicist, a materials scientist or even an engineer you'll need to know that stuff.

    Do you like beer? If you ever want to be able to _make_ beer, understanding chemistry and biology will be key to understanding what you're doing.

    For example, here's a description of the UC Davis brewing masters program:

    The Master Brewers Program is a unique, 18-week program that provides an in-depth understanding of brewing science and brewery engineering. Major topics covered in brewing science include malting, mashing, brewing, fermentation and finishing, while the brewery engineering subject matter focuses on fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, solid-liquid separation and more. Students extensively explore these two fields through courses that are the professional-level equivalents of UC Davis degree-program courses, seminars and tutorials in these fields.

    And yes, chemistry is a prerequisite.

    I have half a dozen patents, applications in for another half dozen and another 12 are in the pipeline. I've built satellite phones, communications systems and wireless power systems. We were the first team to make cellphone calls from a commercial airliner in flight using a picocell and a satellite backhaul.

    And I can tell you from experience that "solving equations" is how every single one of those patents, projects and products got started.
  13. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    I've had the same discussions with my sons. It's a catch-22 of sorts...because they haven't learned how to solve equations, for example, they don't understand why they need to learn it.

    Once you begin to learn why they're important, then you'll see why you're learning about them.
  14. Aladdin Registered Senior Member

    Well, in my opinion, the "want to" part is problematic in schools -- there's simply not enough choice in the student's hands. The one-size-fits-all approach that almost all schools in the world are using is harmful, IMHO, because it makes it so much harder for students to keep their focus on what they'd really be interested in, had they had the chance to choose what, when and for how long to study something.

    For example, the OP complains about the uselessness of equations solving. I believe most of us here will agree that solving equations is not an useless skill. But, I believe it does appear to be so (i.e. useless) if you're coerced to study it at a particular moment in time, lacking any meaningful context. A more sensible approach, to me, will be to study equations when they creep up in your study of something else (e.g. how to design a windmill).

    So, yes, education won't be harmful to you, but schools may be. Or, to make use of the aforementioned equations: education != schools.

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    As Mark Twain once put it: I have never let schooling interfere with my education.

    ps/ "!=" means "not equal" in many programming languages; used with the same meaning here.
  15. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

    Wow, you are so smart, you even know what you will need to know or not know in the future!
  16. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

    Duke is the guy who will be serving you a Big Mac.
  17. Shogun Bleed White and Blue! Valued Senior Member

    You do it because they government says so and you do it so you won't end up with a shitty job. That's the basics if you don't give a rat's ass about what you're learning.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Because understanding of quantum physics, atoms and all that "useless" chemistry is what allows us to build the things you want to learn how to fix. For example, without quantum physics and chemistry, there'd be no microwave ovens, no plasma TVs, no CD players, no plastics, no PlayStations, etc. In fact, a fair portion of the modern technology you take for granted wouldn't exist.

    You couldn't be more wrong.


    I think part of the problem is that students such as yourself want to be entertained rather than educated. The fact is, you can't learn any useful skill without some hard, boring, repetitive work. If your attention span is 5 minutes, you won't get very far in life.
  19. phlogistician Banned Banned

  20. Duke Whittaker Banned Banned

    You're the troll, troll.
  21. phlogistician Banned Banned


    You get so much wrong, I can't believe you are a real person.

    Oh, and nobody teaches kids quantum physics. Your tiny brains aren't ready for it.
  22. Duke Whittaker Banned Banned

    Everyone who disagrees is a troll. Typical.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Mod Hat - Closure and Redirect

    Mod Hat — Useless thread

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