Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Poll

What is Your Highest Level of Education?

Some high school or currently in high school/GED courses
1 (1.7%)
High school or GED
0 (0%)
Vocational/Trade School
0 (0%)
Some college/university or currently in college/university
11 (18.6%)
Associate's degree
1 (1.7%)
Bachelor's degree
14 (23.7%)
Currently in a Master's or PhD program/Some master's or PhD
4 (6.8%)
Master's degree
13 (22%)
PhD
8 (13.6%)
Currently in medical school/law school/other professional school
0 (0%)
Medical school/law school/other professional school
7 (11.9%)

Total Members Voted: 59

Author Topic: How Educated are we as a Forum  (Read 898 times)

Ktb

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 6
How Educated are we as a Forum
« on: March 29, 2019, 08:03:06 PM »
Just curious about this.

Poll is open indefinitely, so if you graduate or go back to school, feel free to update the poll.
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
- Ishmael

Tor Bejnar

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2480
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 193
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2019, 12:10:32 AM »
In the USA, college = university
In some English speaking countries, college = high school (secondary school)

As Ktb is based in the USA (per his profile), I'll hazard a guess for the first interpretation.

[I know, countries do not speak, the people in the countries speak.]
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

GoSouthYoungins

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 823
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 39
  • Likes Given: 107
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 01:12:20 AM »
Certification in modern times is often pointless. I know top PhDs and drop-outs and (although statistically there is a a huge variance) personally I see no difference. Because all information is now publicly available, all that matters is a desire to learn and a skeptical mind.
big time oops

magnamentis

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2100
    • View Profile
    • Philosophy Ethics Numerology Mikrocirkulation Vaskular Therapie Gesundheit Blut Gesundheit Schmerzen Multiple Sklerose Diabetes Immunsystem Fibromyalgia Modular Mobile Computing iOS Software OSX Android Custom Rom Rooted
  • Liked: 95
  • Likes Given: 109
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 01:55:14 PM »
Certification in modern times is often pointless. I know top PhDs and drop-outs and (although statistically there is a a huge variance) personally I see no difference. Because all information is now publicly available, all that matters is a desire to learn and a skeptical mind.

it's not even only in modern times, many of the renown greatest mind in history never attended a highschool/university.

i say most can learn but not many have the gift to simply get it in most parts. there is an often abused word for it which is why i refrain from going there.

what counts is what we know, what we understand and what we combine PLUS ETHICS.
and not the way we acquired any of the above.

since i'm an academic myself i dare to say that, i never had the impression that beside the basic writing, maths and related stuff i could use a lot of what i learned at school in real-life.

not even once a professional in a field of work, one joins a new enterprise and feels like either having to learn from scratch or the need to turn most things upside down, depending on the position.
http://magnamentis.com
Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

Sam

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 09:19:33 PM »
Though educational attainment is crudely associated with knowledge, that is at best a very crude estimator.

Advanced education tends to focus on narrowly defined areas of expertise. It is all too common for experts in very narrowly defined areas to be woefully uninformed in broader areas of knowledge.

Also, knowledge is not synonymous with wisdom, insight or vision.

More than this:

We tend to have a desire to measure all sorts of things using a single valued metric. Educational level is one such. IQ is another. Both are very crude estimators. And expertise in one area often does not translate to expertise or even ability in others.

We also often forget that there is wide variation in innate capabilities. People who genetically inherit an ability to process complex information spatially are different from people who do not and cannot do so. This difference provides those with such abilities a huge advantage in systems design, systems engineering, complex systems analysis, mechanical design and other areas. At the same time, linear thinkers have a strong advantage in detail work, accounting and other areas. One is not uniformly better than the other.

People who process music in certain ways similarly have certain advantages in specific areas, with corresponding disadvantages in others as compared to people who mentally process music differently.

Emotional intelligence likewise serves as another discriminator in similar ways in other fields. And the generally unrecognized wide variation in how people process specific emotions or use those emotions leads to other wide differences. Similarly other brain differences lead to things like sociopathy. Though normally regarded as bad, sociopathy is common in senior business executives and others. Their lack in certain areas provides them an advantage over people who have a normal range of emotional function, affect, and empathy.

There are many other such deacriminators beyond these.

Beyond all of this, it is my experience that anyone can have something important to say on any subject. That does not conversely mean that they do have something important to say on any particular subject. Quite often having people with no experience (also read that as no preconceptional bias) weigh in on a subject can bring astounding and unexpected insights.

And that leads to my last point. It is all too common for people in specialty fields to develop their own form of blindness. They have built a life on a long history of how things are believed to be. All too often the flaws in that edifice go undetected for far longer than they should as a result. There are a vast number of reasons for this.


Grubbegrabben

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2019, 12:29:43 AM »
Advanced education tends to focus on narrowly defined areas of expertise. It is all too common for experts in very narrowly defined areas to be woefully uninformed in broader areas of knowledge.

I have a masters degree in Computer Science and Engineering. My "expert" area is embedded software.

At first glance, this might seem like a very narrowly defined area. However, "my" software is currently running: Bakery ovens, Protein separation systems, Smart card readers, Allergy diagnosis systems, Wind shear observation stations and so on. And before writing the software for those systems I had to gain at least some knowledge of the problem domain. I do not claim to know how to bake the perfect bread, but I do claim that the oven software is doing exactly what the bakery needs in order to make the perfect bread.

During these years I had colleagues doing mechanical and electrical design as well and they too need to know what the end product is supposed to do.

I have met so-called experts but so far no one "woefully uninformed" in broader areas of knowledge. In my experience, people with advanced education are usually very informed in many areas outside their own area of expertise. Except maybe economists.

Sam

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2019, 03:54:31 AM »
Advanced education tends to focus on narrowly defined areas of expertise. It is all too common for experts in very narrowly defined areas to be woefully uninformed in broader areas of knowledge.

I have a masters degree in Computer Science and Engineering. My "expert" area is embedded software.

At first glance, this might seem like a very narrowly defined area. However, "my" software is currently running: Bakery ovens, Protein separation systems, Smart card readers, Allergy diagnosis systems, Wind shear observation stations and so on. And before writing the software for those systems I had to gain at least some knowledge of the problem domain. I do not claim to know how to bake the perfect bread, but I do claim that the oven software is doing exactly what the bakery needs in order to make the perfect bread.

During these years I had colleagues doing mechanical and electrical design as well and they too need to know what the end product is supposed to do.

I have met so-called experts but so far no one "woefully uninformed" in broader areas of knowledge. In my experience, people with advanced education are usually very informed in many areas outside their own area of expertise. Except maybe economists.

Grubbegrabben,

My comment is not that it is universal, nor even the majority, but that it is unfortunately common. And that has verify much been my experience, particularly in working with the national labs. A very high percentage of the national lab scientists are nothing shy of brilliant. An unfortunately large number miss absolutely basic logical issues and errors, or are very narrowly focused in their expertise.

I hesitate to use specific examples. However, even when the science is clear, all too often many of the researchers I have worked with will and did continue using methods and models that demonstrably cannot work correctly, or failed to apply lessons from even fairly closely related fields. 

E.g. Chemists working at the micro scale in hydrogeology and being unable to apply lessons from modeling at differing scales ranging from molecular scales to millimeter scales to centimeter scales to kilometer scales. Or physicists and chemists doing surface interaction modeling not applying bulk chemistry related to solubility products and reaction kinetics. Or physicists and chemists knowing nothing about parametric pumping. Or corrosion scientists knowing nothing about unintentional heat exchange systems resulting in condensation cells, or inadvertent electrochemical cells. Or radiation scientists being entirely unfamiliar with the diurnal variation in background gamma associated with the crab nebulae and the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Or scientists proposing studies where the opening line of the proposal reads "We need to show that ...". Anything after that is a statement of belief, not of science, which renders the proposed study fatally flawed before it starts. Or failure to recognize type 1 and type 2 errors, or other error types, logical fallacies of a hundred types, etc... and failure to recognize the existence, let alone importance, of unstated assumptions and presumptions biasing experiments and analyses.

One of the most fundamental of these is failure to understand that science is the search for truth in the unknown, and NOT the end result of testing the null hypothesis using statistical measures. The p<=0.05 measure is one of the worst of these. A huge number of scientists I have worked with fail to understand that 1 time in 20 at a p=0.05 that the results of an experiment will indicate that the result is statistically significant when it absolutely isn't. And that is the expected result at p=0.05. 1 in 20 positive correlations are wrong. This also forms much of the basis of p-hacking.

Worse than most of these is the tendency to continue using methods and approaches that can be and have been shown not to apply and/or not to work.

Most often these were not intentional errors. Most often they are errors and biases built into the history of the fields of study. The deference given to precedent, even when the precedent is wrong is unfortunately common. E.g. defining uncertainty in an analysis of a real world system to be the mathematical sensitivity of the results to the variation of the parameters deemed most important in implementation of a mathematical model of the chosen conceptualization of the system. Clearly, the uncertainty is vastly larger. It includes the uncertainty in the choice of models to represent the system and even the absence of full understanding of the system. Yet still, even today, it is common to find uncertainty in modeling defining as the sensitivity of the model to variation of its parameters.

Occasionally the errors are intentional. They are chosen to maintain funding and careers in an environment where others (government or corporate leaders) want a particular outcome.

My point is not one of criticism to chastise or criticize. My point is that we all of us must always be on guard looking for the errors in thought or approach that each of us may (and will) make. That isn't to criticize. That is to correct and improve for all of us. And yes, we will each of us stumble from time to time, and commit all sorts of errors. The sooner we identify those and fix them, the better off we all are.

But this all goes far afield of the original query- how smart are we?

My point in answer to that was that a single parameter like level of educational attainment or IQ is a very crude and often misleading way to think about that.

Said as a positive statement, it is clear to me from the depths and breadths of the discussions here, that the quality of thought of those contributing to this forum is extremely high.

Quite often the discussions here have raised issues that have been underappreciated by the experts in the field(s). And in doing that with experts in the field being a part of this discussion, it has benefited everyone. More than that, collectively we are vastly smarter than the simple sum of our members.

Often we are individually and collectively stumbling in the dark. That happens at the frontier of knowledge.


Avalonian

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2019, 05:07:50 AM »
"A specialist is someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing."

I've come across a few colleagues like this, but more commonly you discover that anyone at a high academic level has hidden interests conducted at an almost equal level. For example, among palaeontologists I know of someone who has published more papers on modern fungi than on fossils, internationally-known entomologists, orchestra-level musicians, extremely advanced textiles skills, authoritative specialist philatelists and historians, a world angling champion, and even an internationally-known shaman. And so on.

My point is that the characteristics needed to become a successful academic very commonly result in them having the need to explore other areas as well, and excel in them too. In general (acknowledging that there are always exceptions) I think that a fundamental curiosity and a need to understand the world around them is one of the features that make for a good scientist. It may be that this manifests more in those who stay in a research career, and not so commonly to those who just get a PhD and then go into industry etc., but for vocational academics one field of knowledge is usually not enough.

sidd

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 4469
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 141
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2019, 05:26:02 AM »
Re: "the original query- how smart are we?"

The original query is, and i quote the thread title: " How Educated are we as a Forum"

Perhaps another poll asking "How smart are we" requiring solution of amusing puzzles b4 one can vote ... 

Sorta like humans and climate change ... a puzzle to be solved b4 we get to vote ...

sidd

Sam

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2019, 07:00:14 AM »
Re: "the original query- how smart are we?"

The original query is, and i quote the thread title: " How Educated are we as a Forum"

Perhaps another poll asking "How smart are we" requiring solution of amusing puzzles b4 one can vote ... 

Sorta like humans and climate change ... a puzzle to be solved b4 we get to vote ...

sidd

Interesting Sidd,

From Wordnik

adj.   Having an education, especially one above the average.
adj.   Showing evidence of schooling, training, or experience.
adj.   Having or exhibiting cultivation; cultured: an educated manner.

From Dictionary.com

adjective-
1) having undergone education: educated people.
2) characterized by or displaying qualities of culture and learning.
3) based on some information or experience

Perhaps I should have taken a hint from "Educated" having been capitalized, that the question was about the level of formal education attained. But then personally, I've never found that to be particularly meaningful or important. The most gifted and interesting people I have known have had levels of formal education that ranged from grade school to multiple doctorates in diverse fields to Nodel Prize winners. Generally, though not always, the most astounding reached some high level and then simply did not care or regard formal levels of attaintment as meaningful, except in so far as it allowed them to attain their goals (e.g. MDs, lawyers, engineers, architects). The one group I have known who were enamored of such things were Mensans with IQs in the range of about 140-160.  Generally those folks I've known with IQs north of 160 have had little care or use for such things.

As with so many things involving language, the meaning is somewhat ambiguous without further specification, and highly subject to the history of the writer and readers.

Sam

Pmt111500

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 45
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 08:01:40 AM »
I have to comment that while music may help youngsters to develop a keen sense of harmonical tremors and Bayesian statistics it might not be the best art form for students of harder science disciplines. Rather, they might try painting with UV/Vis/IR reflecting paints or some sort of claywork.

The disciplines I studied long ago have progressed so much i recently saw (and bought) a book for students that is so new a discipline that summary articles on various subjects were starting to be published right at the end of my studies. Of course I've heard of some of the things in there, but I guess I'm just old. Another thing that is a bit sad is that advancements on genetical taxonomy have made it rather hard to make accurate observations without an equipment of several 1000s of pounds.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 08:11:14 AM by Pmt111500 »
Amateur observations of Sea Ice since 2003.

sidd

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 4469
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 141
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2019, 08:10:32 AM »
I note that the poll presently stands at 13 of the first 30 respondents having a masters or better. Clearly an overeducated, ivory tower dwelling, lily livered and decadent sample, as might be expected of those concerned with climate change.

sidd

Rodius

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2019, 08:34:41 AM »
I note that the poll presently stands at 13 of the first 30 respondents having a masters or better. Clearly an overeducated, ivory tower dwelling, lily livered and decadent sample, as might be expected of those concerned with climate change.

sidd

Dont worry, I am a Uni drop out, I am doing my best to drag the standards down by refusing to complete my degree.
If I get climate change, there is still hope that others will get it as well.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 09:20:14 AM by Rodius »

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3527
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 432
  • Likes Given: 932
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 09:06:52 AM »
I am a Masters dropout... having completed (barely) the courses in theoretical physics I realized I needed to write a thesis. The straw that broke the camel's back.

Pmt111500

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1732
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 45
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2019, 09:31:05 AM »
I am a Masters dropout... having completed (barely) the courses in theoretical physics I realized I needed to write a thesis. The straw that broke the camel's back.

Poorly done master's is very discouraging for employers ("not enough zeal to be a good worker") so you mightn't be any better off educationally or careerly ( aww what a word. "Hey, that's the janitor obsessed with science and effects of disaster capitalism")
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:15:52 AM by Pmt111500 »
Amateur observations of Sea Ice since 2003.

johnm33

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 1147
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2019, 11:24:38 AM »
Ivory tower? je pons pas. nota nada zilch.

Jim Hunt

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3898
    • View Profile
    • The Arctic sea ice Great White Con
  • Liked: 122
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2019, 11:44:39 AM »
I'm afraid I don't fit into any of the boxes.

I was a "research fellow" for 5 years many moons ago, but what with one thing and another I never quite got around to writing my PhD thesis!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

magnamentis

  • ASIF Upper Class
  • Posts: 2100
    • View Profile
    • Philosophy Ethics Numerology Mikrocirkulation Vaskular Therapie Gesundheit Blut Gesundheit Schmerzen Multiple Sklerose Diabetes Immunsystem Fibromyalgia Modular Mobile Computing iOS Software OSX Android Custom Rom Rooted
  • Liked: 95
  • Likes Given: 109
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2019, 11:56:41 AM »
Though educational attainment is crudely associated with knowledge, that is at best a very crude estimator.

Advanced education tends to focus on narrowly defined areas of expertise. It is all too common for experts in very narrowly defined areas to be woefully uninformed in broader areas of knowledge.

Also, knowledge is not synonymous with wisdom, insight or vision.

you nail it quite spot on, after i first studied economics i later did philosophy and the best thing i ever did was to study atrophysics at a relatively high age. it is crucial to drop self-importnance to be open and less biased and limited in mind (i say less, not NOT LOL) of course failure is a daily thing while as long as we learn (as quickly as possible) from mistakes, failure is education and a must, at least when considering that we're barely born wise or took in wisdom with baby food.

narrow views and the likes is a huge problem, one can solve HIS problem and as a side-effect destroy spaceship earth (as it happens) we call them "Fachidioten" quite spot on somehow.

Thing is that masses tend to treat each new breakthrough like a mantra, making it a religion which pust all those single and disconnected finds to high in rating and allow for abuse and narrow minded solutions.
http://magnamentis.com
Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

Klondike Kat

  • ASIF Citizen
  • Posts: 414
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 22
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2019, 01:56:06 PM »
Though educational attainment is crudely associated with knowledge, that is at best a very crude estimator.

Advanced education tends to focus on narrowly defined areas of expertise. It is all too common for experts in very narrowly defined areas to be woefully uninformed in broader areas of knowledge.

Also, knowledge is not synonymous with wisdom, insight or vision.

you nail it quite spot on, after i first studied economics i later did philosophy and the best thing i ever did was to study atrophysics at a relatively high age. it is crucial to drop self-importnance to be open and less biased and limited in mind (i say less, not NOT LOL) of course failure is a daily thing while as long as we learn (as quickly as possible) from mistakes, failure is education and a must, at least when considering that we're barely born wise or took in wisdom with baby food.

narrow views and the likes is a huge problem, one can solve HIS problem and as a side-effect destroy spaceship earth (as it happens) we call them "Fachidioten" quite spot on somehow.

Thing is that masses tend to treat each new breakthrough like a mantra, making it a religion which pust all those single and disconnected finds to high in rating and allow for abuse and narrow minded solutions.

There is quite of bit of truth to this.  These breakthroughs then fall into groupthink, whereby everyone researching the breakthrough contributes to the current thinking, with very few daring to challenge the new mantra. 

Ktb

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2019, 04:35:06 PM »
Jim, I updated the poll to allow you to vote properly.

Otherwise, everybody is free to read into the poll however they would like.
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
- Ishmael

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3527
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 432
  • Likes Given: 932
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2019, 08:58:00 PM »
Jim, I updated the poll to allow you to vote properly.

Otherwise, everybody is free to read into the poll however they would like.
Thanks, but now I can't update my vote... Neven help please.

Susan Anderson

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 513
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 207
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2019, 08:42:07 PM »
Many of the participants on the scientific side of this forum are well educated amateurs who in some cases exceed the expertise of those with PostDoc education. Neven on the Arctic would be a good example.

This result, while interesting, will not reflect the collected expertise here.

[You need only look at the political posts, however, to see that intelligent people can go sadly astray when they go outside their field of expertise and start "collecting" biased material on the internet and looking for people to blame, while being unable to distinguish between liberals and neoliberals.]

uniquorn

  • ASIF Middle Class
  • Posts: 964
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 447
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2019, 10:50:47 PM »
uni drop out

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3527
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 432
  • Likes Given: 932
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2019, 03:34:37 AM »
I repeat my request to make the poll editable. "Remove my vote".

Ktb

  • ASIF Lurker
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2019, 04:19:40 AM »
I repeat my request to make the poll editable. "Remove my vote".

I messaged Neven, and he did change it when I initially requested. It seems to have reverted somehow.
I have no option to do so when I attempt to edit the poll.
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
- Ishmael

Neven

  • Administrator
  • ASIF Royalty
  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
    • View Profile
    • Arctic Sea Ice Blog
  • Liked: 357
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2019, 07:42:15 PM »
I've edited the poll again.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

oren

  • ASIF Governor
  • Posts: 3527
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 432
  • Likes Given: 932
Re: How Educated are we as a Forum
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2019, 08:21:29 PM »
Thanks Ktb and Neven.