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Posted by Mark on June 26, 2003 17:56:56 UTC

and always thought it tragic that a professional cannot voice his philosophical two-cents without risking his/her reputation.

There was a patron to this forum; it was long before you started posting here I believe. His name was Alexander, perhaps Harv or Yanniru remembers him. I remember him telling me that I was a pretty bright kid, but I had to learn one thing real quick if I was ever going to make it "in his world" (at this time I was talking of going to college to become a physicist after I get out of high school). He said that I'd better not get too bogged down in my own personal interpretations and philosophies else I get accused of metaphysics (as opposed to real science), at which point I ruin my reputation as a serious scientist.

I think that comment almost made me lose interest in the field. I wanted to "discover the secrets of the universe" and then explain "what it all means". To me, that was the fun, luxury, and prestige of being a theoretical physicist. I don't dare say Alex stifled my dream with harsh words; that's far from the truth. I didn't change my mind about what I wanted to be back then (I have now, years later, but for VERY different reasons -- going to business school for a later challenge I have laid before myself).

He also called me a smart mouth young punk who would never make it because I didn't have the brains (I guess he found me too opinionated). He was a really cool guy, lol. I actually did like him for some odd reason, maybe it was because he was very intelligent and very blunt.

Anyway, to get to the point ... it's all politics Allen. You either play the game, or you don't even know it's there. You have to conform to a certain set of guidelines, one being that you can't use nursery rhymes to convey a scientific message. If you say something silly, as a lot of posters here have accused you of, then you lose the respect of being taken serious. I'm sure I've voiced plenty of ideas that were construed as dumb, useless, untrue, etc., and looking back at some of my 'younger day' posts, some were just ... silly.

Upon reading some of the responses to your posts, a lot of people in here say that you're very insightful, but very silly and ridiculous at times. I didn't make the rules, but as I said in the first two sentences of the previous paragraph, in a nutshell: you can be a free thinker, but watch the words you choose to convey the message. Otherwise at times people will read into your posts about two sentences deep and then click "back to thread topics" as they shake their head. Either that, or they keep reading for the sheer humor.

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