Why do most people find science boring?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Magical Realist, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Hey, if you have a fancy car and a pretty girlfriend, and those are the things that are important to you, then that's great. Not everyone shares your value system, of course.
    No need. Feel free not to read anything I post. (But for some reason you seem to care a lot about what I post, because you always answer it. Odd.)
    I imagine there are some people like that. That's also fine for them. They don't bother me; not sure why they bother you. Envy?
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    This sounds like a variant on that old, "I'm thick and proud of it!" anti-intellectual trope that is one of the curses of the Anglo-Saxon world. Taking pride in actual ignorance seems to me the ultimate mark of stupidity. Boko Haram, here we come.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    What could be more human than science, philosophy and scholarship generally? Are those things done by anything other than human beings? What could be more human than being smart and inquisitive? Isn't that what our species specializes in?

    Your 'disfunctional' "nerds" seem to function pretty well where I live, in Silicon Valley. You sound like high-school, MR. (I hated high-school.)

    Darwin paid a lot of attention to finches' beaks in the Galapagos, and deduced a lot from it.

    You seem very interested in consciousness. Awareness seems to arise in nervous systems.

    Genes are developmental biology's instruction set. Not only that, genetic codes contain a great deal of information about organisms' evolutionary history.

    Electrons are fundamental particles, so there's ontological interest. As for applications, there's everything from chemical bonding to electromagnetism. Electrons are useful little devils.

    I think that truth is a value. In my life it's one of the most important values. Knowledge is inherently enlightening. It isn't an accident that so many religious traditions imagine their religious paths gnostically, as in terms of learning some fundamental cosmic truth.

    You are mad because the idiots flamed you on the other thread for seemingly blaspheming their holy scientistic catechism, so here you are lashing out wildly and hysterically in a way calculated to alienate you from everyone around you and to lose you all your friends and allies. It's sad that you let them push you to this point. You're handing them their victory on a plate.

    You care way too much what anonymous discussion board voices say.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
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  7. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    because some do not want to have a low level meantility. it's that simple.
    what i find weird is, i never seen or heard anyone beg to have a low level mentality.funny.
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    While information from quicker sources than watching a ___ minute program might have cut into ratings, any broader apathy could still be due to the traditional repellent of casual interest (which embraces more than just science fields): The esoteric or "in-house weeks / months of study" representational systems of assorted professions that spur boredom in many people (similar to their reactions to legalese).

    As long as the applicable pop-science venue maintains a circus-like attraction for the public -- via skirting around or vastly generalizing the tedious details of the work and the accounting / evaluation of accumulated data in the context of said representational systems (usually quantitative) -- their attention spans can be hooked for awhile. [Or just crouch something like forensic science in a cop tv-show.] Many other kinds of jobs have become less "glamorous" over the years due to the mounting "paperwork" (as metaphor) needed to satisfy administration, bureaucracy, the warding-off of litigation, etc. Though in the case of science, that area of "boring procedure" is crucial to the method rather than sometimes being a "if you want to avoid being discharged / fired, avoid having your brains sued-out, dodge arrest, avoid being depicted as monstrously irresponsible by the local media, etc" affair.
  9. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    yeah, i was curious as to why someone would come to a science site and ridicule science. then it lead to only one conclusion. it's to make individuals angry to fulfil a low level minded arguing craving.just a thought.
  10. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    hypocritical and contradicting much ?
  11. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    As of 2009, the average STEM salary was $78,000 versus $43,000 for the overall average(including STEM). Only 4 of 97 STEM fields had salaries below the national average.
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Actually it's more a self-indictment. I'm a science nerd deluxe, having used it most my life to boost my sense of "knowing things" that nobody else gives a crap about. Then I would fault THEM as being ignorant because they weren't interested in all this information. A few years ago I bought this big book about trees. I had decided I was going to learn all the kinds of trees and be able to distinguish them by sight. Well, for one thing that's harder than it seems. You go by leaf shape, bark, overall shape, etc. But there's just too many. But what really made me give up was every time I pointed out a kind of tree to someone they were like "so what?" I had added to the pile of useless artifactual information that people just don't care about, and it would serve only to isolate and denormalize me further. People just don't want to hear you spout your know-it-all science knowledge. Sure, I could just further resent people as wanting to be ignorant. For wanting to live their lives without worrying about which trees are which. But for once I worried about myself. Why WAS all this information so interesting to me? What was I gaining from studying science? I must be using it for something. As compensation for some sort of weakness or inadequacy in myself. That's what spurred that line of thought, which has really been brewing for some time now. I just didn't have an excuse to articulate it until the past few days when I discovered how so many people use science the same exact way--as a moral system for being knowledgable and not being ignorant like everyone else.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  13. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    OTOH, some outdoors individual who cut firewood for people during the wintertime could have related to that. Tossing in trivial observations like "Elm is impossible to split by hand until dried-out; hickory only slightly less so." That is, many a Sheldon (those exclusively city-bred, anyway) could similarly die of boredom listening to the interests and detailed occupational knowledge of rural folk. With the latter having expressed similar disinterest beforehand on the band gap energy of cluster assembled materials with zero to three dimensional architectures. In general, people usually aren't fascinated in nuts and bolt level information about their neighbor's locally uncommon profession and exotic hobbies till their practical needs or mutable social orientations can be assisted by such.
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    That would require a hands-on familiarity with the practical uses of trees, something I am far from having at this point in my life. But having been attracted to the call of Walden Pond in the past, it might just serve me well in the future perhaps, should I ever shed my reliance on modern conveniences and opt for the simplified life. "Hey, did ya know mesquite sap can be chewed on for sweet energy?"
  15. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    "Normal" isn't a value. If everyone was "normal", no one would be exceptional, no one would be a leader, no one would be left to tackle problems which were "harder than normal." Universal embrace of just the "normal" is a program which would spell the death of civilization.

    Erich Fromm:

    You don't get to label what is irrelevant to other people. Not all of these categories of things are exclusive to the practice of science. Poor people would require less time to occupy themselves with their money, travel and possesions, while rich people can afford to hire others to manage things that don't interest them. Regardless, people are and do many things so it's not an absolute choice of doing science and doing non-science things, so you frame their choice as a dilemma when it is not.


    By definition, what is "irrelevant" is specific to a place, time and situation. Since knowledge is something that one carries with one through all places, times and situations, it is impossible to classify knowledge of an abstract fact as universally irrelevant.

    This is where you crossed the line into the insults that were allegedly reported. Can you not see how counterproductive such baseless claims are? In your first sentence, you could replace "inhuman" with "natural" or "awesome" or "comprehensible" without changing the form of your argument, therefore your argument is just a baseless value label.


    But not exclusively some unevidenced minority of dysfunctional nerds.
    Congress and President Lincoln didn't seem dysfunctional when he signed legislation creating the National Academy of Sciences.
    President Wilson didn't seem dysfunctional when he signed executive order 2859, formalizing the National Research Council.
    Congress and Hoover didn't seem dysfunctional when he signed legislation creating the National Institutes of Health.
    Congress and Truman didn't seem dysfunctional when he signed legislation creating the National Science Foundation.
    Congress and Eisenhower didn't seem dysfunctional when he signed legislation creating NASA.

    It turns out, when a nation has a need to know something, they turn to science, nerd or no-nerd; dysfunctional or not.

    Because elephants poop, in great quantities. And if you have a lot of poop, you don't want to have your population of specific dung beetles die out:

    Because there are crazy people on the Internet. God help their children.

    Ignorance. Ignorance is the prison of not even knowing that you have choices.

    Blame President Lincoln (1863), King Charles II (1660), Roger Bacon (1267) or Robert Grosseteste (c. 1235) for this sudden development.

    Please support your use of "monomaniacal" with some evidence other than "psychological projection."
  16. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Based on what you wrote, it seems that in the past you lacked social skills. Has anything changed in that regard?

    So you were a dilettante at arboreal field biology. This contrasts with earlier claims that you were a "science nerd deluxe" -- more like "fair-weather science groupie".

    Empirically, you validated that there is no learning without a receptive student. This is a long-recognized phenomenon, except for people with poor social skills.

    From the above example, it appear that you were trying to use it as a platform to try and gain a position of social authority over your neighbors. They rejected your posturing as an authority and you mistook that as their rejection of knowledge.

    As above, you were a dilettante, with no serious scholarship, one big book on trees that exceeded your capabilities, and a poorly realized plan to gain the esteem of others by answering questions that they weren't asking. Rather than being a guide, you sought to position yourself as their leader which they unsurprisingly rejected.

    Ignorance isn't a moral system. Neither is it absolute. No man can know everything so we are all differentially ignorant. You, for example, seem to lack social skills and self-perception so would not see your writing as a self-indictment when you attempt to cast others as the evil ones.

  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Precisely my point. That interest and obsessive acquisition of irrelevant artifactual information is a ploy by science nerds for seeming greater that they are. For trying to climb out of the pit of being different and outside of the usual operations of social existence. But in fact it only isolates one further, to the point that you are left with nothing but posting in science groups sharing your irrelevant knowledge with fellow monomaniacs who are seeking the same sort of social validation. That's how science becomes a religion. A "way" to redeem oneself of the original sin of "complacent ignorance". As if knowledge were somehow valuable in itself. A gnosis of spiritual transcendence. It isn't. Knowledge has to be relevant somehow to be valuable. Just knowing alot of facts doesn't make you some sort of superior person.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  18. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    I got a book several years ago that was about nature in winter. I was able to and am still able to identify most of the trees in my area by the bark and/or the shape of the tree. I find that this very satisfying and increases my enjoyment of the outdoors. I did not learn this information to be able to tell others. However over the years I have had people comment on a tree and have told them what kind of tree was, this usually led to an interesting conversation. If you are trying to learn things to tell other people and not learning this information for yourself, it is no wonder you lose interest.
  19. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    so you're ranting and raving, ridiculing science , only because no one accepted you as an authority or praised you ?
    sounds more like emotional instability. are you ranting and raving because you need to fill that emptiness from no one praising you ?
    Russ_Watters and paddoboy like this.
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I WAS learning the information FOR myself. Just as most science whizzes use information FOR themselves. To become smarter and a better person. A sort of assumed value that just having more information, even irrelevant information, increases your value as a person. The fear of being ignorant, the much detested state of the masses you are trying to rise above and stand out from. As if everyone, even ourselves, weren't ignorant in SOME field of knowledge.
  21. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    A point which bears repeating.
    Incorrect. Knowledge is inherently valuable. It's value (and relevance!) depends however on the contingency of circumstance. This is of no surprise in economic theory. Gold has no relevant value if there is no food to be bought. Knowledge, like gold, requires a context in which to be valued.

    Again, that's not doing science. That's just being a science groupie.
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    I find science, particularly astronomy/cosmology as totally awesome and gratifying. I find science as being a totally an indispensible part of human activity and having benefited humanity unquestionably.
    I find philosophy quite dreary and boring...I find listening to heavy metal/rap and techno music as impossible......I find stamp collecting boring....I find knitting and sewing boring......I find playing tiddly winks as boring...I find anti science trolls as boringly unbearable......I find religious trolls as unbearable.
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    No it isn't inherently valuable, especially when it is irrelevant. Just knowing facts doesn't give value to anything unless those facts are somehow relevant to one's life. And even then the value of knowing those facts still depends on if you actually use them or not. I can learn accounting, the geography of Madagascar, or the chemical composition of the planet Neptune. But none of that knowledge is of value to me because it is irrelevant to my life. There is no inherent value is knowing facts.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015

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