Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Bang Theory



This clip from the TV show, The Big Bang Theory, could be a documentary of my life, although as an empiricist I spend somewhat more time collecting and analyzing data, and then staring at computers, rather than staring at equations on whiteboards. But I can easily stare at an analysis for a few days too, so this scene isn't all that far off.

10 comments:

Sonic Ghost said...

Watching that clip in the context you put it in was so hilarious.

Patrick said...

I just watched your video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g55krVOV9EY

and I LOVE the part when you say "this ought to be FUCKING interesting"

that is superb

imagicalgreek said...

That is HILARIOUS...I'm not in a scientific discipline myself, but I can definitely relate.

BTW, I just checked out the video link Patrick provided, and it is brilliant. Thank you.

Sandy said...

I had a meeting with my thesis committee yesterday where all I really showed them was two graphs. One graph presented the data in a very traditional format, the way that one member of my committee had insisted it be done. My biggest problem with that format was that you pretty much needed a PhD in a very narrow area of specialization to be able to understand it. And it only provided a very limited amount of information.

The second graph was my idea. I took all the information that would have been traditionally shown on about 500 graphs and used a 3D graphing program to create a contour plot of all the info. And I used very pretty colors. And any idiot could look at it and understand where the major changes in the sorts of information presented were occurring. Even my thesis supervisor understood that graph and he never has a clue about what I’m up to.

The first response to the second graph was a “what the f**k?” Then they got all excited about it. It took a little longer for the guy who preferred the traditional way of doing things, but even he started to see the usefulness in my graph after a minute or two. Seeing a bunch of grown men get that excited by a graph is kind of funny.

Such is the drama of being a nerd.

FB said...

Sandy, wow, congratulations! That difference in formulating an abstraction might turn out to be more memorable than a lot of short-term results that are obsolete in five years. Be sure to back up your data so that if you need to remember why that graph was good ten years from now, you can find at least one backup copy.

(I once made the mistake of losing too many backups and had to plead with an old department to send me a copy of their copy ... such is the shame of being a sloppy nerd.)

By the way, Rense linked to a UK article about retrocausality.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6879293.ece

The theory is that retrocausality might be preventing the discovery of a Higgs boson or something, I don't really keep current with physics.

Sandy said...

FB, Thanks. I don't always get along very well with my thesis advisor. He tells everyone how smart I am, but I think I make him uncomfortable. The thing with lab equipment malfunctioning in my immeadiate vicinity doesn't help either.

I saw a similar article to the one you commented on here.

David Bailey said...

LOL - I kept expecting him to find an expression like E=MC^3 and slowly rub out the 3 and replace it with a 2 - maybe that would have been too obvious!

A. Shadow said...

LOVE this show!

Patrick said...

Dean, what are your thoughts on Braude's "Limits of Influence"?

In your personal opinion, do you think large-scale PK exists?

rohan said...


The Big Bang Theory
is an American sitcom created and executive produced by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. It premiered on CBS September 24, 2007