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  #31  
Old 07-11-14, 06:10 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post
Don't worry about maths/chemistry in molecular biology - I know loadsa' people who specifically chose a mol biol degree because it did not include maths/chemistry.
So does this mean that I need to study molecular biology? This is what I'm ultimately trying to figure out.
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  #32  
Old 07-11-14, 06:35 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Much of these posts I again don't really understand but this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post
And that the proper application of science/maths can shape the mind (globally logically consistent with all of species wellbeing) ie at wisdom into state morality in which the individual is happy through losing material world attachment.

IE the point of maths/science is for the individual to attain a style of mind which we may define as wise.
I ditched my material world attachment some time ago and we've talked before in other threads about this and move from hedonic to eudaimonic happiness and focus on species wellbeing. But for me this had bu66er all to do with my maths/science knowledge because I have pretty much zero! This "wisdom" came from surviving 40 odd years trying to push sh*t uphill aka undiagnosed ADHD, and then discovering meditation 2 weeks after getting diagnosed. And suddenly 2 buckets were removed from my head and all became clear (2 orthogonal rotations of consciousness in JKZ-speak). Besides which, there are plenty of others on that path who didn't get there through maths and science.

Most of the reason I now want this maths/science is so I can use it to help spread the word (in a round about way).. but it certainly wasn't what got me there in the first place.

.. plus if it takes a full Cambridge UG maths/sci experience to get to the same place .. why bother and why not just get on a cushion and figure it out that way? Far less hassle. Maybe we should just ditch uni entirely and get 17/18 year olds to spend a year in retreat and be done with it.

Maybe we funny apes just got a little too clever for our own good.
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  #33  
Old 07-11-14, 06:55 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post

If we take these 2 methods of maths and science though - the goal is to get somewhere.

All that I'm suggesting is that the goal in life is to be happy.

And that the proper application of science/maths can shape the mind (globally logically consistent with all of species wellbeing) ie at wisdom into state morality in which the individual is happy through losing material world attachment.

IE the point of maths/science is for the individual to attain a style of mind which we may define as wise.
I am not sure I'm understanding you correctly (and I suspect that I'm not) but if I am, I think this is quite a dangerous path to take.

I believe, that the goal of science is knowledge and understanding of ourselves, the world around us and beyond. I think that in itself is a valuable end goal but of course the applications of science are endless and have assisted humans in countless ways. Some of these applications might not have been entirely beneficial but that's an unfortunate side effect that arises from human nature rather than science itself.

Maths (as I see it) is just a tool to understand and study science, everything in and around us.

Happiness and wisdom are extremely subjective. One man's happiness is another's idea of hell. An example of this is that the ideal world you present doesn't sound to me like a place where I'd want to live (assuming that I understand you correctly).

If you only pursue scientific topics that are inline with one person's or a group's concept of wisdom and happiness then you are limiting the pursuit of happiness and understanding of everyone outside this group. More importantly, if you place limitations on science, how would you know what you are missing? How do you know what you don't know?

One of the big advantages of the scientific method is that there is a constant process of re-evaluation and corrections (which I believe is what sets it apart from other belief systems). Science never claims to hold the absolute truth (even if some scientists would like to make you believe they do) but it only reflects the understanding and state of knowledge at that particular time with an unlimited scope for change. If you place limitations on science you turn it into a religion, a narrow, tightly bounded set of "truths" and stagnant beliefs. It might grow but only in one direction and even that growth is limited. You cannot understand the road that you have chosen unless you place it in the context of what is around that road, unless you are really aware of and understand the alternatives.

I think, we've seen plenty of examples in history, where groups of humans have tried to limit science, control its scope and suppress its growth and it has never resulted in an increase of happiness or well being except maybe for a chosen few.

(Huge apologies if I've misunderstood you.)
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  #34  
Old 07-11-14, 07:03 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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  #35  
Old 07-11-14, 07:05 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post

I believe, that the goal of science is knowledge and understanding of ourselves, the world around us and beyond.
Exactly.

But what's the motivation for recruitment of 'knowledge and understanding of ourselves' ?

Prior to the emergence of mind - the other 13.7999 billion years of Universal history did not need to understand the mechanisms at play giving rise to reality.

So the question is why do we care ?

There's a reason - and that reason is that when we understand our place in reality - we actually get to see we belong, relax and are happy.

The problem with human beings is that we present ourselves at war with one another, with reality with animals etc - there's this urge to fight

- but the point I'm trying to get at - is that a rational understanding of reality places us into context, dismantles this feeling of not belonging and allows us to settle into synchrony with reality as opposed to trying to defeat it.

Understanding through science as the basis to true happiness.
Though as Ruby has just mentioned - there are other routes.

Science is an easy route as long as scientists learn how to talk simply.

I'm trying to describe science as the tool of mind (subservient to mind) in constructing itself.

The point isn't the science - the point is mind - referencing the nature of ALL higher degrees as being philosophy Degrees.
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  #36  
Old 07-11-14, 07:12 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by ruby.149.42 View Post
[font=Calibri]R
I had the lucky fortune to have someone take me under their wing in my late teens and convince me I was actually bright and ended up going to uni and getting a business / computing degree in my 20s and psych degree in my 30s. Both were gained through the "brute force" method of rote learning and studying probably 10 times as hard as anyone else (have since repeatedly read this is pretty common for our folk). One of my big passions in psych is neuro however I had to "brute force" again, literally hours and hours and HOURS of rote learning stuff because I didn't have the basic underpinnings in chemistry and biology. So i.e., I would be at the point where I would be explaining g protein's activating enzymes etc .. without knowing what was really going on underneath it all.

I'm now 43, was only diagnosed about 18 months ago with ADHD, and it's finally time to go back and gain this knowledge (sigh - if only we could upload the data). I'm starting a PhD next year (ADHD / Mindfulness / Neuro / Biofeedback - still broad and culling) and I really want to get a decent handle on this stuff before I get started. For the last almost 12 months I've been reading solidly in the associated literature and there's still so much of it I can't quickly engage with . I'm also really interested in the genetic / epigenetic world but can only get so far because I'm missing so much basic knowledge. It's too big an area for me to master by "brute" force - while that method may "work" at undergrad level, it's simply regurgitative (my word) learning, rather than productive if you know what I mean. I've hit my ceiling without getting some of the basics .. but which?

So what I'm seeking is some sort of fast track method to get up to speed as quickly as possible. Each time I ask someone who's in a science related field they respond with a lot of "just's" e.g., "just do an organic chemistry unit" but then I go and look up organic chemistry and it will have pre-reqs of e.g., BIO101 / CHEM101 and then they both have pre-reqs of all sorts of maths which I didn't do.
My slightly less tangential reply to the OP:

I'd approach this with a top-down method since if you don't know what background knowledge you need to know, it will be pretty tough (and time-consuming) to acquire the pre-requisite knowledge that you actually need for your field. It's ok to go off on tangents..if they are of interest and if you have the time. Also, you don't have to know everything before you start your PhD. A PhD is an opportunity to learn as much as contribute with your own piece of research.

Do you know anything more about your PhD project than the keywords you mentioned? Try reading up everything you can about your specific topic and every time you come across something new or something you don't understand, read up on that. If you don't understand that, then again dig further. Scientific publications are a great way to start because they always include a literature review and a list of relevant references.

Are you joining an existing project? In that case, make sure you read and fully understand the research proposal and all the material cited in it. I'd also ask your future supervisor (if you already have one) what they recommend for you to read.

Science is too broad a subject for you to get focussed and relevant answers from people in "science related fields". If you know, which department you are joining look up the people who work in areas closest to what you are intending to do and ask them for recommendations.
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  #37  
Old 07-11-14, 07:14 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

You see if the point in life was to have children and to grow vegetables and animals to eat
- then we wouldn't need academic enquiry.

We can do all of the above and have been able to do all of the above for thousands of years now.

Instead human beings have pursued how we came to be - where we came from - with a vigour ... ...

Why ?

If we were just material world creatures all we should have done is make more babies and more food to eat.

But we're not.

And so if we're not - and we're something else which can be intuited through scientific enquiry into existence

- then what are we ?

All that we are - is an evolutionary thrust towards understanding context towards transcending material world desire ie a species making a collective effort towards understanding context so we can leave material world desire alone and enter the limitless world of quality as raison d'etre.

IE an enlightening species undergoing enlightenment towards living a life with meaning supporting the transition referenced in the term moksha.

Freedom from material existence (incarceration) (<- a consequence of incomplete mind) before physical death.
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  #38  
Old 07-11-14, 07:47 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Another vote here for Khan Academy. The interactive maths course on there is excellent, it's like a computer game, and is actually pretty addictive!
You can browse through the videos etc. without signing up, but do sign up for a free account which gives a whole other dimension to the maths course and tracks your progress etc.

Coursera and edX.org are both really worth looking at, there are some excellent courses on both.
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  #39  
Old 07-11-14, 07:59 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

More simply

quote=;1663551
All that we are - is an evolutionary thrust towards understanding context towards
transcending material world desire <- divorcing from the attraction towards competition/fighting
Quote:
The problem with human beings is that we present ourselves at war with one another, with reality with animals etc - there's this urge to fight

- but the point I'm trying to get at - is that a rational understanding of reality places us into context, dismantles this feeling of not belonging and allows us to settle into synchrony with reality as opposed to trying to defeat it.
Quote:
No aliens are going to come half way across the Universe to kill us
ie a species making a collective effort towards understanding context so we can leave material world desire alone and enter the
limitless world of quality <- the informational reward system (cf muscial chills) ie getting our kicks from resources which aren't limited
as raison d'etre.<- reward system ie a behaviour which is motivational at the neurochemical level operating human function by recruitment of happy nts eg dopamine/serotonin etc
[/quote]

It's clear that the transition of attraction towards limiting to attraction towards limitless behaviours is going to be compatible with survival of the species - ie we all can't eat at McDonalds but we all can enjoy Nirvana.

(whichever context whether upon the informational transfer or spiritual synchrony abstraction layers of existence)
Quote:
The term nirvana is more common in Buddhism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moksha
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Therefore we can not pay attention to pointless pursuits geared towards money/power acquisition.

Last edited by SB_UK; 07-11-14 at 08:22 AM..
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  #40  
Old 07-11-14, 08:10 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Quote:
Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post
Exactly.

But what's the motivation for recruitment of 'knowledge and understanding of ourselves' ?

Prior to the emergence of mind - the other 13.7999 billion years of Universal history did not need to understand the mechanisms at play giving rise to reality.

So the question is why do we care ?
I don't think, there is a universal, absolute, fundamental need for knowledge or understanding, but then I think there isn't a universal need for anything really and that includes happiness. Needs can only be understood in context, whose need and what for?

Prior to the emergence of mind - the other 13.7999 billion years of Universal history did not need to understand the mechanisms at play giving rise to reality for what? What did they not need it for?

It's true that the universe has survived and it will probably survive even without human's understanding or interference (maybe even better so). I guess, it can be argued that some species who have become extinct now might have survived with more (a lot more!!!) knowledge and control (which can only come from knowledge) over their environment but what would would have been the need for that? The truth is that we don't know what the meaning or purpose of anything is. Is there a need for survival? Is there a need for anyone or anything to endure? Without knowing that you don't know what you need to achieve it or if there is anything to achieve at all.

Why do we care? It's a good question and I'm not sure I've got a good answer, definitely not one that holds true for everyone. I can think of several plausible answers of why humans have always pursued science.

Evolution obviously favours those with an instinct to survive so I think humans have innately got a strong instinct to survive and I guess that is what drove the initial pursuit of science: technology that assists and prolongs our survival.

Another natural instinct is to minimise pain and discomfort so humans have sought technologies that make our lives more comfortable.

Another natural instinct is to avoid or eliminate fear, or in particular fear of death, fear of non existence and so humans have sought explanations for what comes after death, what is life, etc. and I think that has driven a lot of the searches for knowledge. And each answer leads to more questions, shows us more areas that we don't understand or that we didn't even know existed and so the search for knowledge and understanding endlessly continues.

For me mostly, I guess, I care, because it's more interesting than anything else. It's more interesting than happiness ( though I'm not saying that the two are mutually exclusive). I really don't know what I'm supposed to do or why and this seems as valuable a time pass as anything else. Besides, I believe, it's the only way to have a chance at least to ever know why we were are here or if there is a purpose or significance to anything. I doubt we'll ever find an answer to that or that there is an answer but unless you look for it, you'll never know.


Quote:
There's a reason - and that reason is that when we understand our place in reality - we actually get to see we belong, relax and are happy.
Yup, I agree and maybe that really is the main motivation.

Quote:
The problem with human beings is that we present ourselves at war with one another, with reality with animals etc - there's this urge to fight
Again, I agree except that I don't think that it's a uniquely human problem. Other animals and even in a way plants do the same. Everyone wants to survive and unfortunately, we have evolved in a way that means that survival at times depends on fighting others. How would a lion survive without killing?

In fact, humans are in the unique position to actually be able to strive to survive while preserving as much as possible of everything and everyone else. Maybe it's possible. I really don't know and without knowledge we will never know.

Quote:
- but the point I'm trying to get at - is that a rational understanding of reality places us into context, dismantles this feeling of not belonging and allows us to settle into synchrony with reality as opposed to trying to defeat it.
I'm not sure what context you are talking about or what reality. Do we really understand reality? Is there anything like reality?

Quote:
Understanding through science as the basis to true happiness.
I'm not sure what true happiness is ..as opposed to merely happiness. Will science lead to happiness? Again, I don't know. I doubt it but without science we are unlikely to ever know.

Quote:
Science is an easy route as long as scientists learn how to talk simply.
Ideally yes, but "simply" is very subjective and it's actually quite difficult to be able to talk or describe anything in simple terms.

Quote:
Quote:
I'm trying to describe science as the tool of mind (subservient to mind) in constructing itself.
What do you mean by "in constructing itself?

The point isn't the science - the point is mind - referencing the nature of ALL higher degrees as being philosophy Degrees.
The point of what? I think I agree though. I tend to think of philosophy as a way of thinking. No, not a way of thinking but "thinking" itself. Philosophising is thinking and it does include all branches of education. Isn't that why higher research degrees (as opposed to taught degrees) are called PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)?

It seems to me that we pretty much agree except that I don't see why certain fields of scientific areas are less valuable or should be limited in any way. And I'm not sure that "happiness" is a universal aim.
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  #41  
Old 07-11-14, 08:19 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Quote:
Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post
You see if the point in life was to have children and to grow vegetables and animals to eat
- then we wouldn't need academic enquiry.
Yes, you would because you would want your children to have a higher chance of survival and you would want to enquire about methods to grow more vegetables and get more meat.

Quote:
We can do all of the above and have been able to do all of the above for thousands of years now.
Aided by science? Science doesn't have to happen in universities!!!
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Old 07-11-14, 08:22 AM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Animals are not vegan and vegetables are not ketogenic SB
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Old 07-12-14, 03:36 AM
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Cool Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by ruby.149.42 View Post
MADD As A Hatte - Khan Adademy is AWESOME!!!! Far out it is just brilliant. So brilliant I reckon we should put it as a sticky up the top because there must be so many older ADHDers like myself who crashed out of school before being diagnosed. What a fantastic site. I've now ditched the paid Oz one I was using and it's Kahn 100%. Not only is it free, but it has also given me loads of tests to work out where I'm at and what I need which will save hours of time.

Bless your cotton little socks for that one
That was exactly my reaction to KhanAcademy. Shagadelic!
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  #44  
Old 07-13-14, 11:07 PM
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post
My slightly less tangential reply to the OP:

I'd approach this with a top-down method since if you don't know what background knowledge you need to know, it will be pretty tough (and time-consuming) to acquire the pre-requisite knowledge that you actually need for your field. It's ok to go off on tangents..if they are of interest and if you have the time. Also, you don't have to know everything before you start your PhD. A PhD is an opportunity to learn as much as contribute with your own piece of research.

Do you know anything more about your PhD project than the keywords you mentioned? Try reading up everything you can about your specific topic and every time you come across something new or something you don't understand, read up on that. If you don't understand that, then again dig further. Scientific publications are a great way to start because they always include a literature review and a list of relevant references.

Are you joining an existing project? In that case, make sure you read and fully understand the research proposal and all the material cited in it. I'd also ask your future supervisor (if you already have one) what they recommend for you to read.

Science is too broad a subject for you to get focussed and relevant answers from people in "science related fields". If you know, which department you are joining look up the people who work in areas closest to what you are intending to do and ask them for recommendations.
Yes I have a supervisor and dept but this is my project. The thing is at this point in time I'm almost doing a high-level survey of the field and trying to figure out how a lot of different pieces fit together. But I'm missing some basics which I've been fine with from a top-down viewpoint for earlier levels but I don't feel are enough now. So for example, papers talking about gene expression, neuroscience etc which I can scan and get the gist, but I want to be able to properly scrutinise. Same point I was making in my TygerSan post. I don't doubt I could blag my way through a PhD together on my current level of knowledge .. just to get the PhD, but this is not why I'm doing it .. I really want to be able to critically evaluate and get full meaning of a ton of science which at the moment I can only get gist (of some - some, not at all!).

So as before, I got HD's in all my neuro topics and can blab away about sodium channels but I have no idea what even an ion is. Not really. Same with genetics, I can quote you stuff on methylation .. but I don't know what methylation is or double helixes etc. At this point in time I feel like a bit of a fraud .. like I'm a walking-talking example of the Turing Test.
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Re: Fastest route to Maths & Science Catchup

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Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post

I'm not sure what true happiness is ..as opposed to merely happiness. Will science lead to happiness? Again, I don't know. I doubt it but without science we are unlikely to ever know.
True happiness = eudaimonia
Merely happiness = hedonia

Non-scientific pathway to eudaimonia = cushion time.
Scientific pathway to eudaimonia = ?? As the scientific luddite in this thread I don't know but SB seems to believe so .. one day I may understand why but not a clue at this point!

Divide and Conquer: How the Essence of Mindfulness Parallels the Nuts and Bolts of Science

Haven't watched this yet but big fan of our Shinzen so will try to watch tonight.

Just posted this on another thread but I reckon the key to widescale waking up and eudaimonic happiness is going to be a merging of the 2.
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