Adam

active 2 weeks, 6 days ago
active 2 weeks, 6 days ago
  • Adam replied to the topic Drawdown Pensions. in the forum General Chat 2 weeks, 6 days ago

    Pension Wise are surprisingly helpful.

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    > Maths and physics simply are harder and require more work than modern languages or PPE.

    Except for the truly brilliant few (and there were certainly some at Cambridge!) for whom the Maths course was apparently effortless. And unlike brilliant physicists, they didn’t have to do lab stuff and unlike brilliant humanities students, they didn’t have to read books and write essays.

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    That may be true, but, by all accounts the Cambridge Maths course was (and probably still is) exceptionally demanding and fast paced. What’s more, you could be good enough to get in and then three years hard work later you could understand your stuff and still potentially be unable to do any questions in your finals – there were no questions just testing basic understanding, incomplete answers got very little credit and all the questions were hard. So you could end up with nothing while others who wouldn’t have considered applying to Cambridge got firsts at other good universities. It was incredibly demoralising for many. A friend seriously considered doing an Open University Maths degree afterwards just to regain some self respect academically (something I might even do in…[Read more]

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    My problem was that I had to work really hard just to keep my head above water (lectures each morning then most of the rest of the day, often into the small hours, struggling desperately to understand my notes) and, far from aiming for a first, I ended up, after three years, more or less relying on some doable questions on seismic waves (!) to come up in the exam to get a degree at all (I felt near break down and almost thinking of packing it in half way through my final year). The result was that I made nothing at all of university life and lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, hermit like in my room most of the week and just about staying sane by escaping to go climbing for a day or two at the weekends – and Cambridge is a pretty rubbish location to be a climber, though my escapist…[Read more]

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    >This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

    If you are saying that an Oxbridge degree primarily indicates the achievement in getting there in the first place then I agree, though obviously, that will often be partly due to the support is given at school and at home. I certainly worked extremely hard for my place at Cambridge, though it didn’t really seem like work at the time because, for me, spending a large proportion of my time practicing the sort of…[Read more]

    • Your description of the academic aspect certainly resonates with my recollection (and my daughter’s current travails at Cambridge). However, you present your “brilliant survivors” as the winners in the Oxbridge environment. My experience was of being surrounded by a thousand very able, very ambitious peers for whom the academic tasks were a tiresome distraction from the business of transitioning to adulthood. Those aiming for nothing more than a first class degree were the losers in most eyes!

      It’s a matter of objectives and expectations. You were very probably more interested in your chosen subject than I was. I opted for modern languages, over other subjects at which I was more adept, primarily on the basis that the workload was relatively light. The achievement of a place w…[Read more]

    • My problem was that I had to work really hard just to keep my head above water (lectures each morning then most of the rest of the day, often into the small hours, struggling desperately to understand my notes) and, far from aiming for a first, I ended up, after three years, more or less relying on some doable questions on seismic waves (!) to come up in the exam to get a degree at all (I felt near break down and almost thinking of packing it in half way through my final year). The result was that I made nothing at all of university life and lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, hermit like in my room most of the week and just about staying sane by escaping to go climbing for a day or two at the weekends – and Cambridge is a pretty rubbish location to be a climber, though my escapist…[Read more]

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    You are wrong. A piece of paper with “Oxbridge Degree” written on it rightly or wrongly opens many doors which a piece of paper with just “Degree” written on it does not.

    • That’s assuming you manage get an “Oxbridge” degree of course, the chances of that will no doubt bear heavily of whether to apply to Oxbridge or Love Island…

    • @adam This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

      But I’d say that the greater advantage an Oxbridge education bestows is not that doors are opened for you. No, after battling through the experience, it’s that you never fear you cannot contend with what is on the other side of the door. And that is priceless.

      • >This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

        If you are saying that an Oxbridge degree primarily indicates the achievement in getting there in the first place then I agree, though obviously, that will often be partly due to the support is given at school and at home. I certainly worked extremely hard for my place at Cambridge, though it didn’t really seem like work at the time because, for me, spending a large proportion of my time practicing the sort of…[Read more]

        • Your description of the academic aspect certainly resonates with my recollection (and my daughter’s current travails at Cambridge). However, you present your “brilliant survivors” as the winners in the Oxbridge environment. My experience was of being surrounded by a thousand very able, very ambitious peers for whom the academic tasks were a tiresome distraction from the business of transitioning to adulthood. Those aiming for nothing more than a first class degree were the losers in most eyes!

          It’s a matter of objectives and expectations. You were very probably more interested in your chosen subject than I was. I opted for modern languages, over other subjects at which I was more adept, primarily on the basis that the workload was relatively light. The achievement of a place w…[Read more]

        • My problem was that I had to work really hard just to keep my head above water (lectures each morning then most of the rest of the day, often into the small hours, struggling desperately to understand my notes) and, far from aiming for a first, I ended up, after three years, more or less relying on some doable questions on seismic waves (!) to come up in the exam to get a degree at all (I felt near break down and almost thinking of packing it in half way through my final year). The result was that I made nothing at all of university life and lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, hermit like in my room most of the week and just about staying sane by escaping to go climbing for a day or two at the weekends – and Cambridge is a pretty rubbish location to be a climber, though my escapist…[Read more]

    • @adam I suspect the difference in your experience to that of other posters is subject. Maths and physics simply are harder and require more work than modern languages or PPE, and that would be true at other universities as well.

      • I made a similar observation earlier and the awareness that the sciences required more hours of “compulsory” study did steer me away from Chemistry towards Languages. But science is not harder than the humanities. Once intractable maths and science problems are being solved all the time, yet a comprehensive understanding of the human condition (philosophy and literature) or influencing and predicting behaviour (politics and economics) eludes us still.

        • You can argue that this is true for the subjects, but studying sciences is definitely harder than studying humanities, if only because understanding of a subject can be tested without ambiguity. You do not get far by providing your own “interpretation” of a maths or biology problem!

        • @songbird How does having a better definition of the correct answer make a subject harder? If anything that should single out the sciences as easier. Not that I’m making that argument since I’ve already observed that the sciences very obviously impose a greater compulsory workload.

          In literature or philosophy you are probing the mind of the author/philosopher, often from a distance of many centuries, to elicit his/her take on the great questions of life, mostly dealing with love and death, but also conflict, betrayal, lust and power. But you are obliged in that process to confront those questions yourself and blend your modern interpretation with the original, then present a case, as a barrister might, for rebuttal by a tutor or examiner, who not only understands the subject bet…[Read more]

        • Being able to clearly distinguish correct and wrong answers in an exam leaves much less wiggle room for the student, no chance of getting by with some waffling and a good sales pitch! It is, therefore, possible to test a much larger body of knowledge in any given exam.

          I guess you will find that most science questions also do not simply ask for recalling material. Ideally, I want to know whether a student has understood the underlying concepts and can, therefore, apply them to a problem at hand. The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!

        • “The regurgitating exams exist, but I would class them as simply lazy or even bad teaching practice!”

          I agree entirely. I don’t know about over in Germany (?) but here in the UK rote learning and regurgitation of formula keyed through Pavlovian training with certain question styles seems to the the main outcome of A-level sylibii and teaching.

          Kids talk about the “suvat equations”. Putting asside my distaste about the non-acronym nature of the name, or the use of arbitrarily chosen variables to yield the name, it distressed me that they think of “s=ut+1/2at^2” et al as physics, and of bunging numbers in as doing physics. They are solutions to the equations of motion under certain rigid constraints. They should be learning the equations of motion and how to solve them, not…[Read more]

        • @ratface There’s also a lot of variation within the sciences. I started studying chemistry at university where there seemed to be usually be one single correct answer but for a variety of reasons dropped out of university for a while (ironically to get a job as a lab technician based on my chemistry skills). I later went back to study biology, mostly plant ecology, where often there is no single answer & its often a case of considering alternatives and justifying a choice. I found that much more satisfying than chemistry (a bit like you I suspect). All a long time ago but I still remember one question for our finals general paper – “Skin – the perfect wrapping ?” difficult to prepare for that & similar questions other than to have a good knowledge of the subject.

      • That may be true, but, by all accounts the Cambridge Maths course was (and probably still is) exceptionally demanding and fast paced. What’s more, you could be good enough to get in and then three years hard work later you could understand your stuff and still potentially be unable to do any questions in your finals – there were no questions just testing basic understanding, incomplete answers got very little credit and all the questions were hard. So you could end up with nothing while others who wouldn’t have considered applying to Cambridge got firsts at other good universities. It was incredibly demoralising for many. A friend seriously considered doing an Open University Maths degree afterwards just to regain some self respect academically (something I might even do in…[Read more]

      • > Maths and physics simply are harder and require more work than modern languages or PPE.

        Except for the truly brilliant few (and there were certainly some at Cambridge!) for whom the Maths course was apparently effortless. And unlike brilliant physicists, they didn’t have to do lab stuff and unlike brilliant humanities students, they didn’t have to read books and write essays.

  • The problem with many of these drug cases is not the fact that more people are taking them – it’s the testing that’s getting ever more exacting. Back in the day when I considered analytical chemistry – a laboratory would need about a kilo of what it was you wanted testing because a little was used for each separate chemical you were looking for. Chromotography was used and much time was taken up by the need to constantly calibrate the testing equipment. These days there’s a neat bit of kit called a Mass Spectrometer – it can test microscopic amounts of sample and gives a complete analysis in one go almost down to the individual atoms and if it’s a compound – details of the manufacturer, where he buys his underpants!

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    I know it’s not very scientific but it just seems too mind blindingly far out to be true. If eventually we find indisputable proof that it truly is the case then okay but right now I think you need some pretty extraordinary proof for such extraordinary claims.

    Odds or rarity would no longer have any meaning, if the chance of it happening is more than absolutely zero then it is happening all the time and there are an infinite number of them. You’d get things like near god like beings (within the bounds of physics) and freak quantum things happening such as super powered brains spontaneously popping into existence and the like. In fact everything that could ever be will happen constantly.

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    I just can’t accept the universe is infinite, or what I should say is that my limited understanding of the evidence for it is not enough to convince me it’s true.

    By infinite, I mean containing a truly never ending number of things whether that be atoms, stars or galaxies however thinly spread they might be. The implications would be that everything physically possible would exist right now and there would be infinite copies of it all as well, including an unlimited number of atom perfect copies of earth and everyone on it as well as every possible variation. It’s just too much to comprehend for me at this stage.

    • Why are you unconvinced about this?

      • I know it’s not very scientific but it just seems too mind blindingly far out to be true. If eventually we find indisputable proof that it truly is the case then okay but right now I think you need some pretty extraordinary proof for such extraordinary claims.

        Odds or rarity would no longer have any meaning, if the chance of it happening is more than absolutely zero then it is happening all the time and there are an infinite number of them. You’d get things like near god like beings (within the bounds of physics) and freak quantum things happening such as super powered brains spontaneously popping into existence and the like. In fact everything that could ever be will happen constantly.

    • I have more trouble getting my head round a finite universe than an infinite one!

      • I’m not a scientist, but I thought this idea of a centre of the universe, or of some kind of possibly infinite ‘body’, was something we were meant to have got out of our heads, post-Einstein (and, at the other extreme, post quantum physics, for that matter). Because it still makes us think of the universe as some kind of huge, expanding Newtonian ping-pong ball. From a philosophical point of view, it’s a very odd question too, because it has no conceivable interest beyond the totally theoretic. With the obvious concomitant mistake that the ‘centre’ has some kind of special importance, and that everything revolves around it (as in the Ptolemaic and Copernican way of seeing things). I suspect, when applied to ‘the universe’ (whatever we quite mean by that), it makes a lot less sense…[Read more]

      • There are privileged positions on the number line. If we consider multiplication for example, 0 is the only number that gives you the same result no matter what you multiply it by, and 1 is the only number that always gives you back the other number. -83.24 whilst I’m sure interesting doesn’t as far as I’m aware fulfill any of these special functions.

        Re the universe being infinite, my understanding (particle physicist not cosmologist, so I defer to more appropriately learned colleagues if they come and contradict me) is that it’s not infinite, it’s been expanding from a size of effectively zero at finite rate for a finite time, so it can’t be infinite. However, it does extend out past the distance we can see because at some points in the history of the universe the rate of…[Read more]

        • “Re the universe being infinite, my understanding […] is that it’s not infinite, …”

          Well we don’t really know, since we can’t see further than the observable horizon. The default model assumes that it is infinite (but that just means “large compared to the observable horizon”).

          ” … it’s been expanding from a size of effectively zero at finite speed for a finite time, so it can’t be infinite.”

          Not really. We don’t have physics that would apply at time=0, size=0, since we know that currently known physics breaks down at the Planck scale and we don’t have working quantum-gravity theories. The default model would thus assume an infinite extent of stuff round about the Planck time.

          “However, it does extend out past the distance we can see because at some points in the…[Read more]

          • “Well we don’t really know, since we can’t see further than the observable horizon. The default model assumes that it is infinite (but that just means “large compared to the observable horizon”).”

            Exactly, just like no one in particle physics believes that the results of the Standard Model of particle physics will hold up to infinite energy scales, I presume no one in cosmology believes that the Standard Model of the universe actually works perfectly outside the region we have data.

            “Not really. We don’t have physics that would apply at time=0, size=0, since we know that currently known physics breaks down at the Planck scale and we don’t have working quantum-gravity theories. The default model would thus assume an infinite extent of stuff round about the Planck time.”

            Yes,…[Read more]

  • Adam posted a new activity comment 4 months ago

    Well we should control it and I don’t see why not. The sort of stuff that’s being discussed comes out of silicon valley type companies, Google, Apple etc and ultimately therefore we know where the money goes. There’s no reason we shouldn’t tax them in a way that provides a universal income but keeps the economics of the world ticking over.

    I’m more concerned about the intrusiveness of technology into our lives. The way that data is gathered, stored and shared about us. While I do my best to frustrate this process by giving incorrect personal details about myself whenever possible I am under no illusions that this is particularly effective. Once the IoT (Internet of Things) gets up and running and your fridge starts building a picture of your eating habits and your television…[Read more]

  • That would depend on the job… Should the disabled be forced to work?

    If there is a suitable career, yes, just like everyone else effectively is. A wheelchair would not be an encumberance on me doing my job, for example – I primarily work from home doing IT, and when visiting client sites it wouldn’t be at all hard to make reasonable adjustments – just about every modern office building these days has a lift, and while I couldn’t use the Tube I could use trains, buses and taxis.

    There will be some disabilities which make working impossible, but the vast majority will just require retraining into a new role, which the Government really needs to be assisting with.

  • Adam replied to the topic How do you buy a car? in the forum General Chat 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    I tend to have a pretty solid idea of what i want, so all this test driving and shopping around i don’t understand.

    Eg: I wanted a food focus, so I went and bought one.

    In all seriousness, there are some amazing lease deals around at the moment, im tempted myself.

  • Adam replied to the topic how to cure muscle spasms in back? in the forum Health 6 months ago

    I second diazepam! Last time my back spasmed, I literally couldn’t move. Took a diazepam, went to bed, and woke up cured!

  • Adam changed their profile picture 6 months ago

  • Adam replied to the topic I've given up diet drinks in the forum Health 6 months ago

    Are flavored sparkling waters as bad, I like sainsburys apple and kiwi. Can’t bear coke, fanta etc but am partial to ginger beer.

  • Using a company will usually mean that even if your “regular” cleaner is off you’ll get someone cleaning your house whereas if it’s a private arrangement if they’re ill on on holiday then there’s no one to cover. Companies are usually more expensive as obviously they have more overheads but will be insured for any damage etc. One off deep cleans will often be charged at a higher rate.

    I have a privately arranged cleaner and pay £9 per hour. The positive is she does laundry and ironing as well as cleans. Downside is she has been ill quite a lot lately and last year took a six week holiday to visit a sister abroad.

    My aunt uses a company and pays £13.50 per person per hour and they only work in pairs, they often say they’re finished long before their allotted time of one hour a…[Read more]

  • Adam replied to the topic How to grow taller? in the forum Health 6 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks for all your comments guys. Surgery is not something that I would want to do. Sounds too drastic and could go wrong. Was thinking more in terms of Cuban shoes without the obvious big heels. Plus you are right about accepting myself for who I am! Now I think about it.. getting taller is only too please other people and to stop snide comments from people. BUT if people draw their own confidence from putting down people who are smaller than they are in height that says more about them and it should be them who should be looking to change not me. Also, lots of celebs such as prince etc were small but that didn’t stop them being successful!

  • Adam started the topic How to grow taller? in the forum Health 6 months, 1 week ago

    Id love to be taller.. who wouldn’t! As a kid I had my growth spurt to early which meant I was the tallest in my primary school class for years but like Daniel Radcliffe in Harry potter..I never did get any taller. Now I am in my 20’s and at 5 ft 6 Iv lost hope of ever growing taller as I am presuming my growth plates have now closed so was wondering if there was any other way to increase my height a bit more… For example not looking to reach the height of Robert Wadlow at 8 ft 11 and 37 shoe size!

    Any ideas would be great, please don’t be to brutal 😉

    Thanks

  • Have you tried swapping SIMs between one of the Android phones that does receive texts from the iPhone 6, and one of the ones that doesn’t? (Don’t forget to send the test texts to the right numbers!)

    If the same phone still doesn’t receive texts even with a different SIM in then that may, indeed, suggest that the problem is at least partly due to the receiving phone (though I struggle to understand how, and I’d bet that the iStaff couldn’t offer a rational explanation for it either, if pressed – but blaming Android is a good way to try to get their support call closed).

    If texts don’t get delivered to the previously OK android phone when it has the SIM from the problematic phone in it then that would suggest that there is a problem with the number, and I’d say that would most…[Read more]

  • I agree silicon valley nerds of EVIL! Just check out this story of a silicon tech boss complaining about fruit sellers on the streets and wanting to get rid of them https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/02/mark-woodward-facebook-fruit-vendor-comments

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