Author Topic: Comments, posts on other forums  (Read 482 times)

polly_mer

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 08:17:04 PM »
So no one posts opinions on popular sites such as City Data? Or quora?  You feel it is beneath you? Or don't care to share thoughts with amateurs?  It may take a long time to get a reply on an academic site, if you get one at all. My feeling is that Ph.D.s are not into this social media

I have plenty of demands on my professional time.  It is very, very unlikely that anyone is asking questions on those sites that need my professional expertise in terms of computational materials science, VVUQ of computational models, and risk-informed, high-consequence decision-making that relies on computational models.

I participate here because I have expertise in higher ed outside the classroom that is useful to others.

Wat's the benefit to anyone for me to screw around on random sites waiting for a question that might need my expertise at the level of intro courses (I have seen those questions) instead of putting more effort into my research and discussing my research with people who can use it?

Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

mamselle

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2020, 06:32:50 AM »
When I was trying to locate a missing branch of our family in the UK, I participated for awhile on a very well set-up site for the town that included a lot of historical info (they were one of the old colliery towns, besides having played some part in the internecine wars of the 14th-17th centuries; ironically, a colonial gravestone I've worked on here in the US is also for one of their 17th c. schoolmasters).

After locating my kin, who had all moved away, as it turned out, I tried to stay on the site, but the same three or four retired guys kept posting the same old " it wasn't like that in OUR day" rants, and kept getting themselves banned for rather colorful mid-Lothian  expletives (I learned a few unwanted terms that stick in the brain like earworms...) so I finally gave up.

Something similar happened with our town's chat line...two self-proclaimed "oldest inhabitant"-type guys (it was never females, I'm reporting, not generalizing, here) would get onto some barney, start a rapid-fire barrage of couterposting, and stuff my email box full of ten-post summaries of their altercations--some of which seemed to have originated during their high school years here in the 1950s/60s.

Without a buffer of sanity (i.e., enough other posters offering more palatable fare) it was too much to absorb: I was spending half my time just purging my inbox of their poisonous diatribes.

So I gave up on them, too.

People who selfishly hijack a social media outlet just to air their personal vendettas don't seem to recognize that they contribute to a high attrition rate on the site, and erode away the very audience they imagine themselves to be performing for.

Sic semper tyrranus...

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

polly_mer

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 07:46:52 AM »
After a good night's sleep, I'm going to address directly
You feel it is beneath you? Or don't care to share thoughts with amateurs?


In my day job, I am a respected professional.  My expert judgement is worth hundreds of dollars per hour.  I am invited to have discussions with the FDA, FAA, NRC, and other federal agencies because of my expertise in using computational models to make high-consequence decisions with estimates of risk.

Yet on this fora, I had someone dismissively say I'm wrong because she reads the news and there was an article with an Nth-hand summary she prefers over my expert judgement in the limitations of that model.

In a different day job, I had professional training in online education, assessment, and accreditation for higher ed.  My responsibility was to know the regulations and best practices, so I spent hours every week immersed with the literature and relevant discourse groups, but that doesn't matter when the assertion is the weight should go to 'real academics currently in the classroom' instead of knowledge based on broad research.

In another day job, my responsibility was keeping up with trends in higher ed for our institutional planning and resource allocation.  Again, I spent hours every week with the research and relevant discourse communities.  I still keep up in some areas because I want to see the outcome.  Yet, on these fora, I get not infrequently reported for making personal attacks for pointing out that a given post indicates someone being seriously underinformed regarding discussions going on in the general higher ed outlets at the moment, let alone knowing more than just personal experience and wishes for a different reality.

Years ago, I would attend the general physics and cold fusion sessions at the American Physical Society March Meeting.  APS has a philosophy that everyone who submits by the deadline in good form gets a slot.  General physics is the session for outside the mainstream as well as out-and-out crackpots.  In both sessions, the audience is mostly students who are eager to correct typical misconceptions regarding quantum mechanics and relativity.  The speakers want to be taken seriously, but they push back hard on the notion that they have made errors that good HS students in physics and chemistry won't make.


Thus, as mamselle wrote, some of the people most eager to engage with experts are the reason that experts will disengage with the general public.  Why would experts continue to be insulted and dismissed when they have plenty of outlets for positive, or at least productive less pleasant interactions? 

Having another expert prod weaknesses in a new line of cutting edge research is valuable, even when not in-the-moment pleasant.

Having a seriously underinformed person insist their opinion based on inadequate references or just personal experience is as valid as expertise gets old fast.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Myword

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2020, 03:42:30 PM »
I got it. Didn't know that about you.

 Kudos.

polly_mer

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2020, 05:17:05 PM »
I got it. Didn't know that about you.

It's not just me.  Faculty are faculty because they are experts in their areas.

Engaging with the public as just one of many "opinions" in the discussion is often frustrating and a bad use of precious time/energy.

Better is to do focused outreach as an expert or to decide where targeted communication might matter.

I'm still here as a voice because generally, when people leave academia, their voices are lost to the discussion.  As one comment on another outlet mentioned recently, when you leave, it's healthier to embrace the identity of data scientist than to think of oneself permanently as an alt-ac using the transferable skills.

Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Myword

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Re: Comments, posts on other forums
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2020, 07:52:13 AM »
I have much more time as I have no classes.
   Agree.   It is tempting to inform the public about misunderstandings in my expertise,
where they know little or nothing. I will try avoiding it.

The bigger issue and problem is that the internet forums, boards
 invite opportunities for rampant cheating. Getting answers from strangers. I have seen numerous questions and whole assignments that appear to be homework on forum sites. I mentioned it to a moderator (not this forum) and he accused me of trolling, didn't care a bit.
 This is mainly in humanities, social sciences, English. I ignore the posts.