Archive for December, 2008

7 December, 2008

I have been rocking Disturbed lately. A while back I picked up Ten Thousand Fists. I enjoyed it so much that I then got Indestructible as soon as it was released. Both albums have been in heavy rotation, both in the car and in the office. Even the kids dig the Disturbed, although we had to have a little talk about the salty language.

Not-So-Special Relativity
5 December, 2008

I spent a few years at a prestigious science and engineering college in the Second Plane of Hell . Whilst fish-out-of-water makes for an entertaining film, it does not make for a successful academic career. I belonged at a science college about as much as I belonged at a music college: I can do the thing, just not well at all.

One of the things that really bumped me (and qualified as one of the many signs that I most assuredly did not belong) was the way the various theories of chemistry and physics were taught. One week we would be taught about a particular theory, say, of the atom. After learning our equations and whatnot, the next week we would be told that theory was wrong and presented with another theory. Lather; rinse; repeat.

I had a spirited argument with my roommate (who is both a good guy and a real engineer) over this. He had no problem with that approach, viewing it as something of a condensed history of the science. I felt that they should teach us the best theory they had at the time and found their approach inauthentic. I have never accepted purposefully teaching anything but the best; it feels like fraud.

Another of the reasons that I did not belong at that college is that I saw (and see) a distinction between the two approaches. The journey can spoil the destination.