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Curious Minds Are Unstoppable

Submitted by Murphy1844 at 2007-10-11 10:17:21 EDT
Rating: 1.24 on 46 ratings (46 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

One of my roommates came in to my room today and stood there for a second. He looked at my computer screen and said, "business stuff?"

"Yeah." I'm tracking 15 different companies and their returns over the past 10 years to meet a short-term investing goal of netting a 10% return on all investments I will be making for the next year. So far I haven't invested a dollar, which breaks the most important rule of investing (from what I've heard), which is: The best time to start investing was yesterday. The second best time is today... and so on.

"I'm going to run up to Jack In The Box at Mall 205 and see if they're open. Wanna come?"

"Sure," I said.

On the way back (they weren't open so we ended up ordering the new Chili Nacho thing from Taco Bell, which is acceptable but not delicious), we were listening to the Adam Carolla show on 101.1 FM. A caller called in.

"Yeah, I have a question for you guys... I'm just about to graduate from UCLA with a 4-year degree and right now I work at a tire store. I can't find any career in my field and I'm wondering why I got a four-year degree in the first place. I'm thinking I should have gone the vocational school route."

This sparked one of Adam's rants, which I love. "I've said this before," he started, "and I say this all the time..."

He started to talk about curiosity. He compared curious people to not-so-curious people (his wife, specifically, who apparently is only curious about her kids), and opined that curious people ALWAYS FIND A WAY BECAUSE THEY'RE CURIOUS AND THEY LEARN and not-so-curious people are pretty much fucked (in a "what now, I've got a DEGREE and everything so I deserve something right now kind of way").

"College," Adam continued, "is a great place to get your fundamentals like reading and writing and some basic math. Past that, you've got to be curious and keep feeding your mind. Curious minds need a constant stream of information like a shark needs to keep water moving through it's gills. People who aren't curious are like moldy rocks collecting mold. My wife's like a moldy rock. ALL SHE CARES ABOUT ARE HER KIDS, which isn't a bad thing, but she doesn't have a curious mind."

This topic is fascinating, I thought. My other roommate was looking through the Taco Bell bag. He said, "I have a suspicion that they forgot something." A few moments later he said, "I KNEW IT. They forgot my fucking nacho chips. They got the cheese, but they forgot the chips. How FUCKING hard is it to put chips in a bag!!"

I agreed, categorically, with Adam's assessment. He even went on to say that all a curious person needs to get by is basic cable and the internet (Google). I somewhat agree, but this is a talk-radio statement: basic, opinionated, and incomplete. Right as I was thinking that college is a great place to SPARK curiosity, he brought up Dr. Drew (one of my personal heros, by the way).

Evidently they argue about the importance of college. Drew's stand is that college is obviously a place to get your basics, but also (and more importantly) a place to LEARN HOW TO BE CURIOUS. Adam, who identifies more with the work-a-day types and has never been to college, disagrees, stating that curious people are pretty much born that way and, if you're not curious now, college probably isn't going to do anything for you.

I thought back to some intro classes I've taken. Specifically an intro class on philosophy and an intro class on political ideologies. Before taking the classes, I didn't give a shit about these topics and avoided thinking or talking about them because I didn't know a damned thing about either one. After, I found both topics so interesting that I did plenty of "casual" reading by some of the greats, and learned a great deal along the way. Descartes literally ruined my fragile 19-year old mind at this time, but I now thank him for that and the ongoing humility (and frustration) that his ideas have caused. This is off-topic and a post all its own.

What I'm getting to here is that college, in my opinion, is excellent for EXPOSURE to different topics, but if you're going through the motions thinking that a 4-year degree will automatically set you up with a rewarding and high-paying salary then you're fucked. If you're curious, then college is nothing but slip of paper that proves to employers that you can stick to something for a few years and finish it. Beside that, curious people with curious minds are unstoppable.

As for the "business" stuff mentioned above. Thank you Razor for your post. I do come back to this site and read stuff from my favorite authors from time to time and that post will probably change my life. Before that I didn't have a clue about index funds vs. mutual funds, the difference between an IRA and a Roth-IRA, DIPS and DRIPS, and so on.

As for me, personally, I turned 27 in July and I haven't had a drink for almost 6 months. Instead of drinking, I played WoW, and now I have a level 67 Hunter and a 40 Mage (I'd rather be a dork then a drunk). I'll write about my medically supervised detox at another time.

See you around,

Murphy


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Submitted by Val at 2009-01-25 21:58:25 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I appreciate you.

Submitted by hidden101 at 2007-10-13 06:43:57 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by Murphy1844 (user info) at 2007-10-11 18:46:38 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

Three or four grand a MONTH? What are you drinking, Lobster Cocktails? Hehe. East-coast version: Labsta Cacktails?

=================================================================

well, it sure ain't Steel Reserve anymore. i used to be able to get fucked up off that stuff for $1.90. i've been going to expensive places. like, every night. i have no problem drinking 20 gin and tonics, and taking a couple shots of patron or something more expensive. and neither do the people with me when i pick up the tab.

Submitted by hidden101 at 2007-10-13 06:39:16 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by skrapmetal (user info) at 2007-10-11 19:57:14 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

"you also don't need college to make money. it helps sometimes, but if you're a real go-getter like myself, you can do just fine. i make twice as much money as the average person around my age. i work my ass off for that money. i'm on business travel 90% of the damn time. i work so much, that i often don't have time to spend it. i usually find a way to spend about 3 or 4 grand a month on drinking, though."
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And this defines success for you, does it? Not being sarcastic, just asking.

================================================================

i suppose i come off as materialistic and shallow when i talk about money.

i measure my success by the goals that i've accomplished. when i set a goal and complete it, it's a great feeling. i feel successful. when my career takes a surprise turn for the better, i feel successful. in fact, this was probably the greatest week ever for my career. not only was i schmoozing with generals and congressmen this week, i made a ton of business contacts, and i thoroughly impressed the president and vice president of my company. might i remind you, we have over 80,000 employees (guess how many of them are PhDs?), so that's kind of a big deal. not only that, but my concept from two years ago is now the subject of a microsoft case study which is going to be submitted to the national institute of standards and technology. AND microsoft wants input from me and my team to help with aspects of windows server 2008.

so yeah, i'm feeling pretty successful right now.

ok, i'm done patting myself on the back now. this bottle is empty and i'm too drunk to open another one... time for bed.

Submitted by Murphy1844 at 2007-10-12 19:29:43 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Azuremyst.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-12 06:23:18 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Fatterrific (user info) at 2007-10-12 00:26:19 EDT (#)
Ranking: 1

What server do you play WoW on?

If it's Bonechewer, we should call each other names.
------------
If you're associated with something called "Bonechewer", there's no need for further namecalling.

Submitted by Fatterrific at 2007-10-12 00:26:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

What server do you play WoW on?

If it's Bonechewer, we should call each other names.

Submitted by Fucking foul at 2007-10-11 20:12:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I wonder if Adam Carolla's wife punches him in the throat for saying that shit about her, or if she's cool with it.

She's probably cool with it - he seems like the type that would marry a laid back, low maintenance kind of woman over a super high-strung, overly sensitive trophy. Of course, I'm totally talking out of my ass here. As usual.

Submitted by haikumikoo at 2007-10-11 20:08:14 EDT (#)
Rating: -1

You had a +1 going until you bragged about your WoW character.

Laaamo.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 19:57:14 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

"you also don't need college to make money. it helps sometimes, but if you're a real go-getter like myself, you can do just fine. i make twice as much money as the average person around my age. i work my ass off for that money. i'm on business travel 90% of the damn time. i work so much, that i often don't have time to spend it. i usually find a way to spend about 3 or 4 grand a month on drinking, though."
-------------
And this defines success for you, does it? Not being sarcastic, just asking.

Submitted by Murphy1844 at 2007-10-11 18:46:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Three or four grand a MONTH? What are you drinking, Lobster Cocktails? Hehe. East-coast version: Labsta Cacktails?

Submitted by sir_cowman at 2007-10-11 17:30:24 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

what toe said

Submitted by i_can_get_you_a_toe at 2007-10-11 17:19:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

(I'd rather be a dork then a drunk).


---

what the fuck? really? lame.



Brisbane trip '07 wooooo!

Submitted by ilikesteak at 2007-10-11 16:56:21 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by PioneerBill (user info) at 2007-10-11 14:04:30 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

Submitted by ilikesteak (user info) at 2007-10-11 13:09:01 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

I say it's not curiosity, but generativity that gets people what they want.

You can learn all you want, but until you have a thought of your own, then you're just reciting facts, no matter how interesting.


-----------------------------------

generativity?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes. The ability to create and produce new thoughts and ideas.

Submitted by hidden101 at 2007-10-11 15:46:21 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

dude, it's good to see you come around again. i check in every once in a while when i'm bored. i'm currently bored at Regan National Airport in DC, waiting to fly back to Chicago where i will drink heavily and probably end up sleeping with a fat girl. i'm proud of you for quitting drinking and making it 6 months. i'm slipping back into alcoholism and it's kind of scary, but i'm trying my best to keep it under control. the problem is that my lifestyle makes it so hard for me not to drink every day. not that i'm using it as an excuse, because it's my own choice to live the way i do. hopefully i will be able to change my lifestyle soon and live a bit healthier.


onto your post- i agree with Adam Corrolla. i went to college for a couple years and hated it so i just stopped going. i was born curious, though. i've always wanted to know how things ticked and would often take things apart to find out. now i have a job as an engineer. some say i can't call myself an engineer because i don't have a degree, but to that i say that the Wright brothers dropped out of high school and never went to college for any formal engineering education and their curiosity and creative engineering led to the very invention that is going to get me from Washington DC to Chicago in a mere two hours. just in time to meet friends for a night of irresponsible, out of control drinking.

you also don't need college to make money. it helps sometimes, but if you're a real go-getter like myself, you can do just fine. i make twice as much money as the average person around my age. i work my ass off for that money. i'm on business travel 90% of the damn time. i work so much, that i often don't have time to spend it. i usually find a way to spend about 3 or 4 grand a month on drinking, though.

Submitted by AshyLarry at 2007-10-11 15:44:21 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Moldy Rock: good name for T's V.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 14:08:09 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Bigmike (user info) at 2007-10-11 13:12:06 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

"Set the tape dispenser aside. Look at the screen through the polarizing lens and rotate the lens. It gets lighter and darker, finally blocking all the light. That's where the polarization of the screen is 90 degrees from the polarization of the lens."


Basic optics of polarized lenses 101. Are you in the optics field?
-------------
Nah. Engineers, we take the physics classes so I know why that works, and why the light reappears if you rotate a third polarizing lens between the two that are 90 degrees apart. I have actually used the stress line visualization experiment in a failed glass bottle case in my job, though. Makes pretty pictures, and juries love pretty pictures. Neat to see how stresses concentrate at thin areas of glass, and it helps to establish the direction of crack promulgation.

Submitted by PioneerBill at 2007-10-11 14:04:30 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by ilikesteak (user info) at 2007-10-11 13:09:01 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

I say it's not curiosity, but generativity that gets people what they want.

You can learn all you want, but until you have a thought of your own, then you're just reciting facts, no matter how interesting.


-----------------------------------

generativity?

Submitted by inion_de_trua at 2007-10-11 14:02:41 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

curiosity gets you yelled at a lot, especially when it's called being nosy :(

Submitted by Bigmike at 2007-10-11 13:12:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

"Set the tape dispenser aside. Look at the screen through the polarizing lens and rotate the lens. It gets lighter and darker, finally blocking all the light. That's where the polarization of the screen is 90 degrees from the polarization of the lens."


Basic optics of polarized lenses 101. Are you in the optics field?

Submitted by ilikesteak at 2007-10-11 13:09:01 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

I say it's not curiosity, but generativity that gets people what they want.

You can learn all you want, but until you have a thought of your own, then you're just reciting facts, no matter how interesting.

Submitted by corn nugget at 2007-10-11 13:08:39 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by pshuu at 2007-10-11 12:51:56 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

=======================================================
As for me, personally, I turned 27 in July and I haven't had a drink for almost 6 months. Instead of drinking, I played WoW, and now I have a level 67 Hunter and a 40 Mage (I'd rather be a dork then a drunk).
=======================================================

What server? Alliance or horde?

Submitted by shadow at 2007-10-11 11:43:13 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I have Jewish friends for my investing needs. You can't trust an Irish with money, best to stay friends with Razor and Jonukah and let them tell me what to do with it.

So yes, curiosity very important. Education also very important but for a different though similar reason (holy god I can't type today). So I agree with your assesment and will spare you drawn out and boring personal anecdotes, and share only this: in the three years I have been out of school I have learned a tremendous amount about the world, and the humans who wander all over it. But there is not a day that goes by where I don't regret not finishing my degree.

So I plan to return to school next fall, when I'm eligible for grants, because if I've learned one thing: never pay for anything you don't have to.

Unless it's charity. But you can't buy Kharma. So give "reasonably."

Submitted by GodChicken at 2007-10-11 11:34:27 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

nice to see ya around again.

I agree with Adam on the curiousity deal.

Submitted by TheUniter at 2007-10-11 11:26:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 1


Submitted by Brdn_Nkd at 2007-10-11 11:07:09 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Shlongy (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:46:01 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

I'd rather read posts from a drunk than a dork.


haha

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 11:04:16 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

residulal?

Fack.

Residual is what I meant.

Submitted by Hilarity_Ensues at 2007-10-11 11:04:13 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

+2 b/c you made me think of my roommate, who thought that just b/c she got a 4 yr degree that she was instantly going to find some high-paying government job. You're degree is in history, honey, and you'll have to do some footwork to get that job, not sit around and wait for someone else to just hand you a job. She's currently still waiting for that friendofafriend to get her a job. It's been 2 yrs.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 11:02:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by Bigmike (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:45:59 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Oh, I forgot.

If you take two grey polarized sun lenses and turn then 90 degrees to each other, you can view a total solar eclipse through them.
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D'ja know most LCD computer screens emit polarized light (because there's a film on the screen)? Truth. Fun experiment: Get a polarizing filter for a camera (or use one lens of your polarizing sunglasses) and a plastic tape dispenser (like the one that come on Scotch tape). Maximize an Uber screen (it's generally white) and hold the tape dispenser in front of it. Now look at it through the polarizing filter. The lines you see in the plastic are residulal stresses from it's manufacture. Squeeze the tape dispenser and watch the lines multiply and concentrate. Where the lines are most concentrated is where the tape dispenser will eventually break if you squeeze hard enough.

Set the tape dispenser aside. Look at the screen through the polarizing lens and rotate the lens. It gets lighter and darker, finally blocking all the light. That's where the polarization of the screen is 90 degrees from the polarization of the lens.

Science rocks. Uber helps.

Submitted by NintendoCzar at 2007-10-11 10:48:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Shlongy (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:46:01 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

I'd rather read posts from a drunk than a dork.
------------------------------------------------

No one he never reads my posts. Oh well, better for me I suppose- I hate minus two's :P

Submitted by Shlongy at 2007-10-11 10:46:01 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

I'd rather read posts from a drunk than a dork.

Submitted by Bigmike at 2007-10-11 10:45:59 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Oh, I forgot.

If you take two grey polarized sun lenses and turn then 90 degrees to each other, you can view a total solar eclipse through them.

Submitted by MudWhistle at 2007-10-11 10:45:32 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

re skrap: you can lead a Gryphon to water....

Submitted by Bigmike at 2007-10-11 10:44:18 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Hey Murphy. How's it hanging?



Submitted by skrapmetal (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:29:53 EDT (#)
Ranking: 1

I have a theory that the reason the Earth, Moon, and Sun are exactly the right size and in the perfect relative locations to allow the corona of the Sun to be visible during a total solar eclipse is so Man will look up and wonder.
=================

Can't you cause permanent damage looking at a Solar Eclipse, don't you have to use special lenses or cameras...wouldn't that put a flaw in your theory seeing as early man wouldn't have had these tools?


Ok, let's talk optics here for just a second. It's not good to look at the sun directly period. End of story. The retina is a sensitive thing. You can easily damage it by exposing it to intense concentrations of bright light. While the corona of the sun is dramatically intensified light, it will not make you go instantly blind as if it were magic. You see, the image burns itself into your retina in a manner and any damage to your retina at all will cause what's called "Loss of Field." This is when you have a blind spot or a whole area that seems dark or blurry to you because of a small damaged part of your retina.

Think of your retina as if it were film in a camera. If you damage even the smallest bit of that film anywhere on an exposure then the picture will not develop properly in that section no matter how small. The retina is the same way. I have wrinkles in my right retina. It causes me to have continuously blurry vision even after being corrected. Wrinkles on your retina suck badly.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 10:44:07 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by MudWhistle (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:32:28 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Submitted by skrapmetal (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:29:53 EDT (#)
Ranking: 1

I have a theory that the reason the Earth, Moon, and Sun are exactly the right size and in the perfect relative locations to allow the corona of the Sun to be visible during a total solar eclipse is so Man will look up and wonder.
=================

Can't you cause permanent damage looking at a Solar Eclipse, don't you have to use special lenses or cameras...wouldn't that put a flaw in your theory seeing as early man wouldn't have had these tools?
-----------
Yes, it can cause damage or blindness to stare at the sun, even during an eclipse. Those early humans who did so would go blind and therefore not be able to gather food and thus die off. This served to remove from the future gene pool those too damned foolish to realize that staring at the sun makes their eyes hurt and maybe that's not OK.

Today, because of the curiosity the decendants of those who didn't go blind, we know that you can place a small hole in a piece of paper and it will act as a lens through which you may safely view the 'projected' image of the eclipse on the surface below the paper. See how far we've come? And yet, every time there's an eclipse, the news shows some idiot with permanently dialated pupils and a stupid look on their face saying "I didn't know!" Maybe not all that far after all.

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2007-10-11 10:42:06 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by MudWhistle at 2007-10-11 10:41:42 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Although, according to Chaos Theory...imagine the destruction that butterfly might cause by making that trip.

Submitted by Paralyzed_By_Hope at 2007-10-11 10:40:28 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

This is the reason I picked "professional student" as my career choice.

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2007-10-11 10:39:00 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

I hate butterflys

Submitted by MudWhistle at 2007-10-11 10:37:49 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Indeed.

Submitted by Murphy1844 at 2007-10-11 10:34:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Find their own paths. I would answer as many questions that they ask you as you can and make sure they're asking them for reasons other then to get your attention.

Here's a question I remember asking when I was a little one: "How long would it take a butterfly to fly from Oregon to Florida?" My parents were annoyed, because I asked seemingly dumb questions like this all the time. I really wanted to know.

Find out and answer your kids. Use Google. Here's the answer, after about 2 min. of time on the web:

A slow butterfly would take 25 days of uninterrupted flying to get from Oregon to Florida (3,000 miles). A fast butterfly would take 4 days.

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2007-10-11 10:34:50 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

My interest in Earth as a whole system began in 1965 when I was part of a Nasa team preparing the instruments for the search for life on Mars. I soon grew disenchanted with the approach of my biologist colleagues who planned instruments that would find the kind of life they knew about on Earth. They showed little concern about the possibility that Martian life might be quite different. I couldn't help wondering whether there might be a more general way to detect life whatever its form.

Submitted by MudWhistle at 2007-10-11 10:32:28 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by skrapmetal (user info) at 2007-10-11 10:29:53 EDT (#)
Ranking: 1

I have a theory that the reason the Earth, Moon, and Sun are exactly the right size and in the perfect relative locations to allow the corona of the Sun to be visible during a total solar eclipse is so Man will look up and wonder.
=================

Can't you cause permanent damage looking at a Solar Eclipse, don't you have to use special lenses or cameras...wouldn't that put a flaw in your theory seeing as early man wouldn't have had these tools?

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2007-10-11 10:29:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

I have a theory that the reason the Earth, Moon, and Sun are exactly the right size and in the perfect relative locations to allow the corona of the Sun to be visible during a total solar eclipse is so Man will look up and wonder.

Submitted by MudWhistle at 2007-10-11 10:25:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

if you are right about the slip of paper meaning 'i'm a person that will stick to something' then my choice of military over college was correct as I find myself rather successful.

to take it a step further, what then do I try to impress upon my children...to go to college or to find their own paths?

Submitted by CaptainThorns at 2007-10-11 10:22:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Curiosity may kill the cat, and on occasion a human or several thousand, but by and large we have progressed in society and technology primarily due to said curiosity.

Good post.


Lenny: Yeah, he got injured on the job and they sent him home with
pay. Pfft. It's like a lottery that rewards stupidity.

Homer: Stupidity, eh?

King-Size Homer