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Author Topic: The "I am eccentric" thread  (Read 2036 times)

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The "I am eccentric" thread
« on: 13 Jan 2018, 14:44 »

This may belong in RELATE but let's see what happens here.

My latest bit of evidence that I am eccentric is that I have been holding regular imaginary conversations with osteoblasts.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #1 on: 20 Jan 2018, 21:43 »

Does anybody else here ever feel eccentric?
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #2 on: 20 Jan 2018, 22:24 »

I'm not rich enough to be eccentric.  I'm just crazy.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #3 on: 21 Jan 2018, 02:55 »

Does anybody else here ever feel eccentric?

No.  But I believe that I am considered so by some family and acquaintances.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jan 2018, 12:23 »

I started getting told I was weird as soon as I entered primary school. Specifically that word, mainly by my peers but sometimes adults and authority figures. That made me feel weird.

It's hard to think of examples.

I talk to my animals and out loud to no one a lot.
I have a similar way of thinking during conversations or thought tangents to Brun.
I like to eat food of my plate in an order, least favourite thing to most favourite thing. Sometimes this leads to deconstructing part of or all the meal before eating anything.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jan 2018, 13:35 »

I'm not rich enough to be eccentric.  I'm just crazy.

#metoo

I started getting told I was weird as soon as I entered primary school. Specifically that word, mainly by my peers but sometimes adults and authority figures. That made me feel weird.
...
I talk to my animals and out loud to no one a lot.
I like to eat food of my plate in an order, least favourite thing to most favourite thing. Sometimes this leads to deconstructing part of or all the meal before eating anything.

I thought I was the only one who did that (the food bit)!
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jan 2018, 16:01 »

Yes, but sometimes your favourite food cools quickly and is best eaten piping hot. If you eat it last, then by this time it might not even be your favourite food any more, due to its critically cooled state. So now you've got yourself a multiple-objective optimisation problem to deal with.

My usual approach is to get a taste of that favourite food while it is at its best, divert to my least favourite, eating in the usual order, but occasionally returning to my favourite so that I can be sure that it will all be eaten before it reaches Critically Cooled state. Sometimes I have to finish on my second favourite food in order to ensure this.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jan 2018, 16:29 »

Sometimes that happens but my less elegant solution is wolfing the least favourite things and then having time to savour the most favourite things.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #8 on: 21 Jan 2018, 16:46 »

I used to do that, but now I don't, partly because I like to savour even my "least favourite" things, and partly because wolfing down food as quickly as possible is not entirely compatible with conversing with my dining companion(s).
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #9 on: 21 Jan 2018, 17:21 »

I started getting told I was weird as soon as I entered primary school. Specifically that word, mainly by my peers but sometimes adults and authority figures. That made me feel weird.

It's hard to think of examples.

I talk to my animals and out loud to no one a lot.
I have a similar way of thinking during conversations or thought tangents to Brun.
I like to eat food of my plate in an order, least favourite thing to most favourite thing. Sometimes this leads to deconstructing part of or all the meal before eating anything.
Lots of people talk to their pets and think alloud.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jan 2018, 01:58 »

That's true but it doesn't mean some people, even some of those who do it, don't think it's strange. Also a lot of people have some kind of amount of doing it they think is okay and I think I'm well past a lot of people's limits, at least out of those who know me.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #11 on: 22 Jan 2018, 02:55 »

I was a very weird kid. Then I was a teenager who kinda WANTED to be weird.

Nowadays? Nah, not so much. I have my quirks, I'd assume a few more than average, but I think I still fit comfortably in the middle area of the bell curve.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #12 on: 23 Jan 2018, 01:52 »

One of the reasons I identify with the word 'queer' so much is that I feel like it describes me on more levels than my sexuality.

Saying that, I talk to my cats. And the dog.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #13 on: 23 Jan 2018, 15:59 »

I tend to assume I'm normal, and am surprised whenever I discover other people not thinking the same way I do about something. Is that weird? I don't know.  :-D
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #14 on: 23 Jan 2018, 19:21 »

I tend to assume I'm normal, and am surprised whenever I discover other people not thinking the same way I do about something. Is that weird? I don't know.  :-D
What do you mean? Other people having different opinions, or other people arriving at theirs in fundamentally different ways?

Or are you wary of being arrogant, and try to avoid thinking of other people as simply being wrong?
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #15 on: 23 Jan 2018, 19:28 »

I talk to my animals and out loud to no one a lot.
...
I like to eat food of my plate in an order, least favourite thing to most favourite thing. Sometimes this leads to deconstructing part of or all the meal before eating anything.

Hell, I tend to have quick conversations with myself, but that's more to help me formulate my thoughts into something that doesn't resemble jibberish.

And I also do the food thing, least favourite to favourite.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #16 on: 23 Jan 2018, 22:14 »

I tend to assume I'm normal, and am surprised whenever I discover other people not thinking the same way I do about something. Is that weird? I don't know.  :-D
What do you mean? Other people having different opinions, or other people arriving at theirs in fundamentally different ways?

The latter. How even people who arrived at the same opinion got there via completely different reasoning, or by interpreting something we both saw in an entirely different way.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #17 on: 24 Jan 2018, 07:45 »

I'm so weird, I bought a place just because it had one of THESE in the backyard!



(Okay, not really, I bought it because it was in Arizona, but the grapefruit's a bonus...)
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #18 on: 24 Jan 2018, 08:28 »

I'm so weird, I bought a place just because it had one of THESE in the backyard!


...Gravel?
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #19 on: 24 Jan 2018, 08:29 »

posted sans comment...  :-D

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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #20 on: 24 Jan 2018, 08:41 »

I tend to assume I'm normal, and am surprised whenever I discover other people not thinking the same way I do about something. Is that weird? I don't know.  :-D
What do you mean? Other people having different opinions, or other people arriving at theirs in fundamentally different ways?

The latter. How even people who arrived at the same opinion got there via completely different reasoning, or by interpreting something we both saw in an entirely different way.

Uhuh ... Nowadays, I mostly just get angry - I guess two decades in a hard science and years of TAing & grading have thoroughly convinced me that "sometimes, when people think different from me it's because they're wrong".

I remember agonizing a lot when I started grading students (chronic self-doubt and OCD added to that), but I also remember that my shyness to tell people that they made a booboo related inversely to the time I spent with their ... mentations. As much fun as the whole "RaRaRah We're theoretical physicists and love being obsessive & underpaid!"-thingy is, you do want to go home at some point in the night ...

What sort of surprises me is when people don't care - even when they're shown they're wrong, even when they finally, after hours of discussion and stonewalling, acknowledge to you they were wrong - they don't care that they embarrassed themselves, they don't care what being "sloppy thinkers, but adamant about their results" means for their reputation, they don't care they wasted significant amounts of your time & energy. That's where I start feeling contempt and ... wariness. I only met three people of that sort past the Masters-level, but the experiences, as well as some of the reactions from other colleagues to such antics, were ... memorable (*).


(*) Which is part of why I still have faith in organized science - I have this pet theory that the whole outfit sort of selects for people who really dislike cognitive dissonance on the one hand, but just have to know on the other. And by construction, science tries to minimize the number of times where correctness can be regarded as a matter of opinion - there's a significant risk that "talking your way out of it" not only won't work, but will have serious repercussions. That you'll be shown to have been wrong, without any possible doubt, in full view of everybody, including your closest friends, most vicious enemies and the most important people in your profession (Also: Those circles are small. Tens of thousands per subfield, several hundreds to some thousands per specialisation, about 20-100 "people you have to know" per 'sect' - there's cliques of people who prefer the one or other 'method' - the "Luttinger liquid people", "The DMRG-mafia" etc.etc. I'd dined with five or so 'world-leading experts' in my specialisation already as an undergrad, and that's not anything unusual). Not a perfect protection against malcognitions, pig-headedness, poisonous hierarchies or plain cheating ... but the sort of people who enjoy playing that weird game are generally ill-suited to enjoy 'winning it for the wrong reasons'. Physicists at least, can get really nasty about people not admitting they're wrong, in an unrestrained, petty Lord-of-the-Flies way - "Was it really necessary to make fun of him in front of an international audience?" "I don't think I understand your question - He is wrong!". I once witnessed a conversation between my advisors (Masters and PhD, respectively) about an "incident" at a conference, and Ale's profound satisfaction of being proven right after the fact. I asked what the incident was and got the answer that someone had doubted a conclusion of his in a ... hurtful way. I pressed a bit further, and was told that what the offender had asked was "Are you serious about this?". Now imagine people who regard that kind of innocuous remark as a memorable slight getting ... explicit.
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2018, 09:30 by Case »
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #21 on: 24 Jan 2018, 08:58 »

Not talking to your pets is weird. Talking to your pets a hell of a lot is maybe a little weird.

You're an eccentric when your pets talk to you. I want to get a pet bird one day, teach it how to speak, and be the eccentric.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #22 on: 24 Jan 2018, 15:06 »

I'm so weird, I bought a place just because it had one of THESE in the backyard!
...Gravel?

Ha ha. That's a grapefruit tree. There's an orange tree behind it, but it's on life support at the moment.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #23 on: 24 Jan 2018, 15:22 »

When my brother went, with his wife, on his first sabbatical in California, he particularly liked that he could lean out of his kitchen window and pick a grapefruit for breakfast.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #24 on: 24 Jan 2018, 15:47 »

What sort of surprises me is when people don't care - even when they're shown they're wrong, even when they finally, after hours of discussion and stonewalling, acknowledge to you they were wrong - they don't care that they embarrassed themselves, they don't care what being "sloppy thinkers, but adamant about their results" means for their reputation, they don't care they wasted significant amounts of your time & energy. That's where I start feeling contempt and ... wariness. I only met three people of that sort past the Masters-level, but the experiences, as well as some of the reactions from other colleagues to such antics, were ... memorable (*).

Yeah, I hear ya.

I was the opposite of this growing up. I was so afraid of saying something wrongheaded or idiotic that I almost never expressed my opinion at all. It took me a lot of time, and some counseling, for me to realise that I was more often (although not always) better off expressing my opinion, being wrong, acknowledging that I was wrong, and learning thereby. I am also still learning that even when I am 100% convinced that the other person is wrong, it can be good to at least acknowledge some common ground, so that some form of discussion may continue.

If I can just get my ego to pipe down a bit more often, then maybe I'll get somewhere.

When my brother went, with his wife, on his first sabbatical in California, he particularly liked that he could lean out of his kitchen window and pick a grapefruit for breakfast.

I am officially jealous of this.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #25 on: 24 Jan 2018, 15:51 »

I'd just like to be able to walk outside without having to put on a bunch of extra layers of clothes and worrying about sliding on ice.

(It's actually pretty nice this week. Made it to 32F/0C today)
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #26 on: 24 Jan 2018, 19:19 »

Not talking to your pets is weird. Talking to your pets a hell of a lot is maybe a little weird.

You're an eccentric when your pets talk to you. I want to get a pet bird one day, teach it how to speak, and be the eccentric.

I forgot to talk about the pet thing. I talk to my kitten all the time. Sometimes it's pointlessly detailed explanations of things like, "No, we can't give you chocolate, it is very bad for you and will make you ill, okay? Okay, now, wait, we don't climb the curtain, come on, come down, do you want to play? Let's play" etc etc etc. I guess tone of voice is important for bonding, and it would feel a lot weirder to say "blah blah blah" (actually, I've done that too).

Now, talking to plants, that's a bit weird. ;)
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #27 on: 25 Jan 2018, 00:03 »

it would feel a lot weirder to say "blah blah blah"

My father-in-law once decided to test the theory that dogs responded mainly to voice recognition rather than actual words by walking around Hampstead Heath with his dog calling him back by shouting out "Income Tax!".

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Now, talking to plants, that's a bit weird. ;)

Prince Charles; 'nuff said.  Well, George III did it too (trees for preference), but he was sick.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #28 on: 25 Jan 2018, 03:15 »

My father-in-law once decided to test the theory that dogs responded mainly to voice recognition rather than actual words by walking around Hampstead Heath with his dog calling him back by shouting out "Income Tax!".
What were the results of that experiment?
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #29 on: 25 Jan 2018, 03:50 »

Whichever it was, it doesn't say much. Take two dog owners and have each of them call the other one's dog by name, then you have a proper experiment.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #30 on: 25 Jan 2018, 04:19 »

Plus, any ad hoc experiment like this is likely to produce flawed results, due to factors not taken into account. Even people who study animal behaviour professionally have made (sometimes astonishing, once you know the full picture) leaps of logic, ommissions or let their personal biases influence their conclusions.

(incidentally, my own experience with dogs suggests that they are usually capable of recognising a few dozen words, independent of tone of voice and context. But even if that's true, it varies VASTLY between two dogs. Some dogs are remarkably good at regognizing words, or seem to be, and some dogs either are kinda dumb, or just don't care enough to react in a way that's expected. Which - i.e., the willingness to DO something - by itself is a source of potential bias, because we tend to equate "dog responds" with "dog understands", and it's obviously not a one-to-one correspondence. In either direction.)
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #31 on: 25 Jan 2018, 05:24 »

Really, people don't talk to their pets?  :-o I'll bet they don't listen to them either.

With my dog, I can generally tell when she doesn't want to understand, and when she doesn't understand. But then, I've been around dogs nearly all my life. Same with the ones before that, although the willingess to respond does vary between individuals, and between breeds.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #32 on: 25 Jan 2018, 06:04 »

I didn't expect it to be indicative of anything, I was just curious.
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Re: The "I am eccentric" thread
« Reply #33 on: 25 Jan 2018, 07:34 »

My father-in-law once decided to test the theory that dogs responded mainly to voice recognition rather than actual words by walking around Hampstead Heath with his dog calling him back by shouting out "Income Tax!".
What were the results of that experiment?

The dog continued to ignore him, as before, of course!
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