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Alta & King Crimson

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
sub·jec·tive (s b-j k t v)
a.Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
b.Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience.

ob·jec·tive ( b-j k t v)adj. a.Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic. See Synonyms at fair1. b.Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal

It seems as if people are confusing fact & opinion.
If I feel Kid Rock is better than Bob Dylan, that is my opinion. I cannot & should not present it as fact nor should I be attacked as if I did when I am offering it as my preference.
If I feel that skiing in Southern California is superior to skiing in Utah, that is my opinion. Once again you may disagree, but your subjective experience & your opinions based on that experience are not more real or valid than mine.
( as you can imagine those are both big ifs for me!)
The recent tirades on music & the pissing match set off by the comments on the Alta chutes & what is the “best” skiing prove people are emotionally tied to their opinions, but they are just that: opinions. There is no universal judge to rank these things & proclaim a winner.
We all bring our prejudices to the table in any discussion; it is only in our willingness to give up our prejudices that will lead us to new & possibly rewarding experiences.
My taste in literature, music, snow consistency, terrain, wine, malt liquor, etc may be considered bad by most of you. I share it, as I hope we all do, to enliven this board & maybe show a different side of things to some of you as many of you have shown me.
If I am attacked for it, fine. I may attack yours. Realize these attacks may be to goad, or question. Some of it is just spew. It becomes personal as we refuse to separate our opinions from ourselves.
I think we all need to take ourselves a bit less seriously.
post #2 of 16
Thanks Ti!

Good food for thought.

An aside: Kid Rock better than Dylan? I certainly hope you aren't planning on breeding! (that's a joke people)<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dirtsqueezer (edited June 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 16
thanks. much needed.
post #4 of 16

Also important because the things people use to convey and prove "objective" almost never exist as such. It's a lot of propaganda because you/we are a subjective creature/s with limited experiences, skills at observation and reasoning abilities. The best we can strive for is balanced or well-argued/presented. That is hard to find, however, which leads people to accept "probable opinion" as omniscient Truth. I'm vaguely citing the a work by Bertrand Russell where he works out how most "facts" are little more than "probable opinion" which is, I think, why Freud could then argue in his "Why War?" on the necessity to compel the Volk/mass to accept someone's opinion as valid truism and why force/propaganda has often been successful.


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #5 of 16
Skiing in Vermont is superior to Utah. Really no question about it. A "no brainer". Also there's a couple of hills in Jersey that could put up a fight...
post #6 of 16
I can assure you that the musical & location preferences are not that particular Solitude resort season pass holder's true feelings.

Funny stuff ti, have you ben reading the Foucault I gave your sister? I dont think you need to dumb it down for these folks tho.

I remeber my first encounter w/gonzostrike arguing back & forth that rage against the machine had talent unlike other bands he lumped them with. He definately can get people going.

nice title.
post #7 of 16
This reminds me of a story...

When I was an obnoxious little kid, I was taking a history test which I was NOT prepared for.

One question was something like "What do you think were the two major reasons the North won the civil war?"

I wrote my answer. A few days later, we got the tests back and I got the question wrong. No partial credit either. Then the obnoxiousness kicked in. I raised my hand and told the teacher that he had marked a question wrong on my test that I had gotten right. The teacher disagreed and had me read my answer aloud. When I was done he said "That answer is completely wrong and was not marked incorrectly."

I disagreed. I explained that he didn't ask for the reasons the North won the war. He asked what I THOUGHT were the reasons the North won the war. Since I wrote exactly what I thought, the question can't be wrong and I've answered it perfectly.

He said something about me being a smart mouth and threatened to send me to the principal. My response was something like "Your inability to properly word a question isn't my fault. Mark it correctly or I'LL go see the principal."

Bottom line is that I got the question marked wrong AND got detention for being a smartass; but I STILL think I'm right! Don't ask me my opinion or thoughts on something and tell me they're wrong!
post #8 of 16
Bravo, Kevin!!!!
post #9 of 16
Actually, that question seems perfectly acceptable to me. It is not complete, though. I would have asked and graded the exam based on how reasons are explained and defended using historical information (whatever sources are used as course material). Might have gotten picky about the structure of the argument, as the best students usually write nicely formatted essays: a real introduction which states a thesis, then subsequent paras where points are explained, developed and defended, then a conclusion that also ties together the points just made to show why the argument is well substantiated.

Now a BS answer usually doesn't attempt to do any of the above and hence is lucky to get a D if there is some redeeming interest or demonstration of information present. If you didn't understand the criteria used, that's a problem. But this question as the essence of an exam essay is okay. Sure, there is a subjective element. I WANT students to show they've actually thought about the material; this doesn't mean flaunt ignorance of the material, though.

For example, my midterm asked students to deal with the developments of Europe between 1680-1870 and how or in what way(s) did this represent "progress" (or didn't; the text included a sidebar questioning how Enlightenment thinkers had faith in progress, much like pre-1914 scientists and imperialists -- yes, Foucault is cited! I've read Discipline and Punish; it's a good read). People who show me generally that they didn't turn their brains off do well. Got a 97 from a student who could have gotten a higher score, but he was the first essay I read and, being a mean Soviet judge, I "left room" for potentially better work, but there wasn't any. It would still be an A+ but I don't think Rutgers gives those out. What did he do? He wrote an essay that used information with a purpose: to form a coherent argument. Guess I have a bias toward good writing. That's what happens in CAS classes. Good kid; not bad on the eyes, either.

Since I have to write the final shortly, I cannot take my duty lightly...


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #10 of 16
interesting stories about "thinking outside the box"
Here's one that came across my desk..


Problem in Physics of Interest
Height Measurement Algorithms

The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the
University of Copenhagen: "Describe how to determine the height of a
skyscraper with a barometer."

One student replied: "You tie a long piece of string to the neck of
the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the
skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of
the barometer will equal the height of the building."

This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student
was failed immediately. The student appealed on the grounds that his
answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an
independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the
answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable
knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem it was decided to call
the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal
answer which showed at least a minimal familiarity with the basic
principles of physics. For five minutes the student sat in silence,
forehead creased in thought.

The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the
student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but
couldn't make up his mind which to use. On being advised to hurry up
the student replied as follows: "Firstly, you could take the barometer
up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure
the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can
then be worked out from the formula H = 0.5g x t squared. But bad luck
on the barometer."

"Or if the sun is shining you could measure the height of the
barometer, then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow.
Then you measure the length of the skyscraper's shadow, and thereafter
it is a simple matter of proportional arithmetic to work out the
height of the skyscraper."

"But if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a
short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum,
first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The
height is worked out by the difference in the gravitational restoring
force T = 2 pi rsq root (l/g)."

"Or if the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be
easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in
barometer lengths, then add them up."

"If you merely wanted to be boring and orthodox about it, of course,
you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof of
the skyscraper and on the ground, and convert the difference in
millibars into feet to give the height of the building."

"But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence
of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would
be to knock on the janitor's door and say to him 'If you would like a
nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height
of this skyscraper'."

The student was Niels Bohr, the only Dane to win the Nobel Prize for
post #11 of 16
Ha! I presume the examiners chose to pass the student, having found he actually knew something about the subject, after all. I do wonder, though, how he ever got any recommendation letters for advance work.

I'm sure the law of karma has provided for this guy to now give exams and he has on occasion had to deal with various slackards and malcontents, etc. that act just like he did. Hence the prof. get the last laugh (from the emeritus lounge).

post #12 of 16
dchan -

That is great! thanks.


post #13 of 16
That reminds of another physics story: Apparently a bunch of big-wig physics guys we're sitting around after dinner at a conference trading stories about bad students. One guy pipes up about a guy who turned in a one and a half page doctoral dissertation at the last minute, for which he was promptly placed on probation. The professors all laughed. What slacker, the guy's on a fast train to loserville, no respect for the scientific tradition, etc. By chance, the guy had the dissertation with him and waved it around. One guy asked what it was about. "Some cockamamie equation about waves" said the professor. One professor, a certain Professor Einstein, said "Mmmm, tell me more." Turns out the student was de Broglie, and what is now known as de Broglie's Wave Equation is part of the bedrock of modern physics.
post #14 of 16
I love it! I'm a bit of a math/physics junkie and these stories are priceless! The barameter guy rocks!

EDIT: With all the physics experts on this board, I'd better qualify that being a physics junkie does NOT mean I'm an expert. I've got an engineering degree and nothing more. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by KevinH (edited June 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I told you and Alisha both that I dont want to know ANYTHING you gave her.

I am glad lisa dug the point I was trying to make in the original post.
tell me whatcha think but tell me why.

on that note the IMHO, or my $.02, or I think.... are redundant. If you post it It is presented as your opinion or a sacarstic twist on it.
post #16 of 16

That's a great story. Of course I had envisioned the Empire State Bulding until you revealed who the student was. Ha .. that's a good one.... the real teacher in all this...of coure is Neils Bohr.

Your story reminded me of the Steve Martin performance in the movie "Roxanne." He played a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac who was the fire chief in a small but rather tony ski town.

He was in the lcoal bar one night, and some jerk accused him of the obvious, ie. having a "big nose." Steve Martin went on to point out at least ten better insults for describing his protuberance.

As he finished the 10th alternative, and with perfect timing, he flattened the guy to the floor.

dchan you are rather interesting and diverse soul. Keep showing us all these interesting facets of your life... and you will no longer be deemed unpolished....but rather a "gem." Who knows you may have to change your "handle" to "Rennaisaince Man."

As to the Merlot thing, I did meet with a local Leelanau Penninsula vintner. Definitely a characteristic of the grape and /or what happens to the juice during fermentation. A lot of complex variables that come into play during that process. Expensive and time consuming to discover which one, and then how do you counter act it. His simple and elegant solution, with all the wines available to drink, just skip the merlots and merlot blends that exceed 20%.
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