Bruce Bostwick wrote:
> I've seen firsthand the kind of damage a Ph.D. can do if there are no
> constraining factors. Condensed version of the story: Geophysics
> professors should not attempt carpentry, especially if their idea of
> how to cut a 4x4 is with a circulal saw, and even more so if they
> don't see anything wrong with using a plywood blade to do it. A dull
> one, no less. And if they do it surrounded by their own students, who
> are acutely aware of how thoroughly the Prof is embarrassing himself
> but dare not speak up to point this out .. well, it's a sight to behold.
> (I came within a few red hairs of going to my own car, grabbing the
> circular saw with the carbide crosscut blade on it, and finishing his
> 20-minute odyssey of noise and smoke with a half-second zip through
> the offending board. Self-educated gentleman-amateurs with a modest
> amount of engineering knowledge *do* tend to make decent carpenters.
> Especially if they grew up around fathers whose lifetime hobby was
> carpentry. There's at least one garage I helped frame that is well on
> track to outlasting the house it was built for.)
> On Jul 17, 2008, at 5:48 PM, Kevin B. O'Brien wrote:
>> Some of the dumbest people I ever met had PhDs and were teaching.
That is a case of something outside of their presumed knowledge. But I
recall the Physics professor who seriously argued in a faculty meeting
that we should submit grades carried out to 4 decimal places since the
software used to record grades and compute GPA would carry its results
to 4 decimal places. I don't see how you can be a professor in *any*
science and not understand the idea of limits to measurement accuracy.
BTW, I was a professor of Economics at the time. I know some people like
to claim that social scientists are "soft" and incapable of real
science, but I instantly saw why his proposal was ridiculous.
Kevin B. O'Brien TANSTAAFL
Linux User #333216
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein