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Thread: Giving some things a miss

  1. #1
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Giving some things a miss

    It's always good to learn something new.

    But we only have a finite amount of time left.

    So perhaps it makes sense to decide that there are certain things we're happy to never know or understand.

    First into the 'happy to give it a miss' bin for me are different kinds of infinity. I'm happy with the general kind of infinity but I'm quite happy to see out my days without fully understanding why there are different kinds of infinity.
    Last edited by AlphaOmega; 11th May 2021 at 22:29.

  2. #2
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Here we go...


  3. #3
    I got to 3 minutes and put it in the category - never need to know that.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Here we go...

    Typical mathematician. Got bogged down with the theory and gave no thought to who was going to change all those sheets.

  5. #5
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    So choosing not to understand the axiom of choice?

    I don’t often disagree with you, but...

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    The wild swimming fad that's going on at the moment.
    Brass monkey stuff that I'm happy to body swerve any involvement in

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    The wild swimming fad that's going on at the moment.
    Brass monkey stuff that I'm happy to body swerve any involvement in
    +1, I fail to see how subjecting your body to thermal stress can be beneficial. Many years ago, at the age of 23, I swam for 15 minutes in the sea at Torquay in late spring and suffering mild hypothermia...........not funny and certainly not pleasant, I've never repeated this folly and have never attempted to swim in UK coastal waters since. Apart from the cold there's the risk of picking up all manner of infections too.

  8. #8
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Talking

    I may have to concede that I am not going to have time to understand time.

    A painful admission, given the forum interest alongside its more serious preoccupations with cars, outlet jackets and investment-grade slippers. In my youthful dalliances with physics the variable t popped up quite a lot, suggesting time might be somewhat important. Mrs TT has often added significant weight to this view when I am late for dinner.

    But unlike say the variable m, it remains largely unexplained. Time is aloof. We have a lot of investigation and knowledge of what makes up m - just ask any schoolchild what "stuff" is made from. But less so t. Ask anyone what makes up time, and regardless of where they disembarked the learning bus, meaningful answers are hard to find.

    Unexplained then, but not unexamined. It has perplexed many a great mind. McTaggart, Einstein and Hawking from the more recent past. And many esteemed scientists and Daniel Wellington engineers in the present. Learned journals post the latest developments. I just don't think it is all going to be resolved before I'm done.

    Maybe that's what being alive is: perception of time. In that case, I should be grateful for an extended period of ignorance.

  9. #9
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    So choosing not to understand the axiom of choice?

    I don’t often disagree with you, but...
    I was hoping you might see this.

    I think my analytical skills are a lacking a little, possibly compounded by a lack of time and other pressures.

    It's essential that we're able to defend the things we don't understand. Otherwise the good work by those who have devoted their lives - whether they're scientists or physicists or mathematicians - could be subject to dismissal by fad or the prevailing social trends.

    For example, I have little knowledge of quantum computing. To try and find a way in, I do my best to explain the underlying quantum physics to the children but... I'm reliant on YouTube videos to provide the background from the likes of Jim Al-Khalili.

    I suppose for the first time in my life I'm coming to realise that unless I devote specific time to something now, it may be that I never come back to it.

    I'm slightly concerned at the other things that may also need to go in the bin for me permanently. Skiing, football, any decent grasp of chemistry, precious metal watches, climbing Everest, brussel sprouts, carpentry... the list goes on.

    I suppose I'm trying to work out what is the ethical position. Become comfortable with ignorance or rage against the dying of the light?

  10. #10
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    To add context, Bob Mortimer was talking about some of the records he was listening to. He became a little thoughtful when he realised that he may not have time to listen to everything again. And that if he took the time to listen to a rarity, it might be the final time he did.

    In that line of thinking, I can safely say that there is also quite a lot of blues, soul and contemporary classical music that I will never listen to. I haven't finished listening to Bach or Prince so I think they should probably be my focus.

    It's slightly annoying that we have to choose...

  11. #11
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    I may have to concede that I am not going to have time to understand time.

    A painful admission, given the forum interest alongside its more serious preoccupations with cars, outlet jackets and investment-grade slippers. In my youthful dalliances with physics the variable t popped up quite a lot, suggesting time might be somewhat important. Mrs TT has often added significant weight to this view when I am late for dinner.

    But unlike say the variable m, it remains largely unexplained. Time is aloof. We have a lot of investigation and knowledge of what makes up m - just ask any schoolchild what "stuff" is made from. But less so t. Ask anyone what makes up time, and regardless of where they disembarked the learning bus, meaningful answers are hard to find.

    Unexplained then, but not unexamined. It has perplexed many a great mind. McTaggart, Einstein and Hawking from the more recent past. And many esteemed scientists and Daniel Wellington engineers in the present. Learned journals post the latest developments. I just don't think it is all going to be resolved before I'm done.

    Maybe that's what being alive is: perception of time. In that case, I should be grateful for an extended period of ignorance.
    Wonderful post.

    I couldn't quite find the right words and you've encapsulated it perfectly.

    Where should I disembark the learning bus? That would have been a better thread title. It's also precisely how I feel.

    How many weekends are there left for us? And of those, how many will we be focused and cogent? And of those, how many will we take the time to study something new?

    Taking the hotel analogy above, doors are closing at an accelerating rate.

    The challenge remains then - what should go into the box marked 'do not open'?

    I see this as a positive thing by the way. Instead of drifting in life and accidentally never learning Mandarin or forgetting to visit Paris in the spring, we should actually make a choice.

  12. #12
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    About 25 years ago I was in Manhatten with my brother in law, and we went into a big bookshop, and there I saw a lovely big hard-backed book on the art-deco skyscrapers of New York. A big format coffee table book, and I think it had the Chrysler Building (of course!) on the front.

    And I thought - not a book about skyscrapers, not a book about art-deco skyscrapers, but a book about art-deco skyscrapers of New York (at the risk of repeating myself!) So much specific detail in one book! The author knowing so much about that topic! And at that point, I realised that I'll never know everything. And it's OK!

    Since then, I've realised a few things.

    1. A expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less. As the depth of knowledge increases, the width, the span of that knowledge, decreases.
    2. The historian C.V. Wedgwood said “An educated man should know everything about something, and something about everything.” I am happy to be a jack of all trades.
    3. But keep learning! Keep reading. It keeps you young.


  13. #13
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    To infinity and beyond .................................................B uzz Lightyear.


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  14. #14
    Some random thoughts that are loosely associated with this topic.

    The growing realisation that the time I'm likely to have left is getting smaller and smaller, coupled with the fact that that time seems to be going quicker and quicker is rather sobering. If you care to think how many years you are likely to remain alive and then multiply that number by twelve you have the number of months left. Then consider how quickly the months seem to go by nowadays...

    So I find that I'm caring less and less about quite a lot of 'things' of late and insread try to focus on what is the more important stuff.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  15. #15
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    I once saw a program, American and in the nineties I believe condemning the silly long hours work ethic that was prevalent there at the time and maybe still is for all I know.
    The presenter had two big jars half filled with just over 2000 marbles in each. He explained that each marble represented a weekend of your life if you reach 80 years old, and that if you were 40, the first 500 you had largely forgotten, and the last 500 were generally not that pleasant, so you were left with 3000 usefull ones, half of which were already gone. He popped a marble from one jar to the other, said one weekend spent at work....gone, another marble, another weekend gone etc etc. Quite sobering and it virtually stopped me doing the sometimes crazy hours of overtime I saw colleagues doing. Now I am retired, and the extra money those guys earned is long gone and they are no better off than if they had not done the extra hours, not to mention the days they lost with their loved ones to spend at work to get that money. Time is precious. Money is very necessary but not precious.

  16. #16
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    One man's view - its just one mans view. Not profound - just a view.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX6NztnPU-4


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  17. #17
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez à demain :
    Cueillez dès aujourd’hui les roses de la vie.
    (Heed me, and live for now: this time won’t come again.
    Come, pluck now — today — life’s so quickly-fading rose.)
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Wonderful post.

    I couldn't quite find the right words and you've encapsulated it perfectly.

    Where should I disembark the learning bus? That would have been a better thread title. It's also precisely how I feel.

    How many weekends are there left for us? And of those, how many will we be focused and cogent? And of those, how many will we take the time to study something new?

    Taking the hotel analogy above, doors are closing at an accelerating rate.

    The challenge remains then - what should go into the box marked 'do not open'?

    I see this as a positive thing by the way. Instead of drifting in life and accidentally never learning Mandarin or forgetting to visit Paris in the spring, we should actually make a choice.
    In this context, I think the boxes marked 'do not open' should be the ones that simply don't interest us. Put another way, given that time is limited - and increasingly so - we should only open boxes we want to open, and not boxes we think we should. When we're gone - or indeed still here - it matters to nobody that we didn't understand or appreciate a particular idea, activity or concept.

    It is times like this when I envy stupid people. It never crosses their mind that they 'should' understand or appreciate something and they are all the happier for not carrying the burden.
    Last edited by Jdh1; 12th May 2021 at 10:08.

  19. #19
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    The average life is only what, about 30,000 days, so don't stress the small stuff. Retire as early as possible that way you 'gain' as much free time, life for your own choosing as you ever will and reading is good. Swimming also.
    Last edited by Passenger; 12th May 2021 at 10:12.

  20. #20
    Giving this thread a miss, too depressing!!


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  21. #21
    Bitcoin. I’ve looked at the thread and can’t make head nor tail of it.

  22. #22
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    Bitcoin. I’ve looked at the thread and can’t make head nor tail of it.
    I'm in the same boat, no sense on any level...compelling viewing.

  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    Space, the universe, infinity, black holes etc. I don't have enough time or brain capacity for that.

  24. #24
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    Modern music... given up trying to appreciate the dirge rap tunes that my teenagers listen to, and happy to accept that there is plenty of high quality 20th century tunes to see me out.


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  25. #25
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    The average life is only what, about 30,000 days, so don't stress the small stuff. Retire as early as possible that way you 'gain' as much free time, life for your own choosing as you ever will and reading is good. Swimming also.
    I’m 64, retired at 57.
    My old man when I was a wee lad (5) said “Son the bible says that man shall live for three score years and ten. You’re 5 so you have 65 summers left! Enjoy them all.!”
    Mom died when she was 50, Dad made 83.5 so let’s see if retiring early has helped me. No stress at the moment is a god send.


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    The wild swimming fad that's going on at the moment.
    Brass monkey stuff that I'm happy to body swerve any involvement in
    I saw some tv presenter doing wild swimming in some manky river it looked disgusting

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshiremadmick View Post
    I’m 64, retired at 57.
    My old man when I was a wee lad (5) said “Son the bible says that man shall live for three score years and ten. You’re 5 so you have 65 summers left! Enjoy them all.!”
    Mom died when she was 50, Dad made 83.5 so let’s see if retiring early has helped me. No stress at the moment is a god send.


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    I heard similar growing up, the old 3 score and 10, my grandpa made exactly that innings..I don't know too many folks who in their 80's and beyond aren't coping wth something that slows them down or impacts their quality of life in some way so I want to enjoy to the max. what's likely to be in general the 'best' years. I managed to stop work in the conventional sense just before 40, I'll be 50 in about a month. I'm adopted and don't have any family health history to go on....The way I see it IF I can make 70 it's a huge 'win'... I'll have enjoyed more 'retirement' by some margin than I endured work and with luck/ perseverence I can hopefully maintain a decent level of activity/fitness/health, enjoyable and deeply satisfyng. Anything after 70 the cream, icing on the cake.

    Best of luck to you YMM.
    Last edited by Passenger; 20th May 2021 at 07:37.

  28. #28
    There must be hundreds of things we will be giving a miss just because we’re not interested - wild water swimming, skiing, horse riding, (sky) diving for me - the list is endless.

    What’s more interesting is things we’d like to do (or wish we had) but time is limited. For me, examples are playing an instrument, learning a language, studying maths etc.

    I’d like to learn as much as possible about cosmology, dark matter (would be great to see that resolved before I die), time(!) etc. - helps put our existence into perspective.
    Last edited by Kingstepper; 20th May 2021 at 07:36.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael 38 View Post
    I saw some tv presenter doing wild swimming in some manky river it looked disgusting
    The term "wild swimming" does raise a smile, when we were kids we called it..."swimming".
    The wife was reading the paper the other day and she pointed out an article regarding the benefits of "forest bathing", turns out it was a walk in the woods. What next? ;)
    Last edited by Ruggertech; 20th May 2021 at 08:01.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    +1, I fail to see how subjecting your body to thermal stress can be beneficial. Many years ago, at the age of 23, I swam for 15 minutes in the sea at Torquay in late spring and suffering mild hypothermia...........not funny and certainly not pleasant, I've never repeated this folly and have never attempted to swim in UK coastal waters since. Apart from the cold there's the risk of picking up all manner of infections too.
    There are benefits https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-hum...ysical-health/

    But like Marmite, it's clearly not for everyone. I love it. As for loving different types of infinity... I'm not so sure :)

  31. #31
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonRA View Post
    There are benefits https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-hum...ysical-health/

    But like Marmite, it's clearly not for everyone. I love it. As for loving different types of infinity... I'm not so sure :)
    I love it too, swim all year round sea and pool... though the coldest the Med gets here is about 14/15 C in Jan/ Feb so don't reckon for most of the year it can really be described as cold water. I grew up near Skeggy and remember Summers spent at the beach, often huddled inside a wind break, now that was some cold sea even in August.

  32. #32
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    I heard similar growing up, the old 3 score and 10, my grandpa made exactly that innings..I don't know too many folks who in their 80's and beyond aren't coping wth something that slows them down or impacts their quality of life in some way so I want to enjoy to the max. what's likely to be in general the 'best' years. I managed to stop work in the conventional sense just before 40, I'll be 50 in about a month. I'm adopted and don't have any family health history to go on....The way I see it IF I can make 70 it's a huge 'win'... I'll have enjoyed more 'retirement' by some margin than I endured work and with luck/ perseverence I can hopefully maintain a decent level of activity/fitness/health, enjoyable and deeply satisfyng. Anything after 70 the cream, icing on the cake.

    Best of luck to you YMM.
    Thanks Fella
    But Given you retired at around 40 You should easily hit 4 score years and more God Willing


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  33. #33
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshiremadmick View Post
    Thanks Fella
    But Given you retired at around 40 You should easily hit 4 score years and more God Willing


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    Let's hope, from your keyboard to her ear.

  34. #34
    I've given up trying to understand mobile phone bills or any bill when there is a change.

    As long as it's less than my calculation, I am happy.

    I recently changed my mobile sim plan and one month was less than half the usual amount, despite changing at the start of the normal billing period.

  35. #35
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    Come on. This is turning into a grumpy old man thread. I am happy to learn and experience new things for as long as I can.

  36. #36
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Yeah, but many (most?) of us are old men (and probably grumpy like everyone else! If it's not COVID it's the bloody weather! )

    Anyway, I definitely agree with the OP.

    I feel I should try and understand why Opera is great, why Cricket is riveting, why the 911 is the best car ever (despite trying to kill you on every corner), why I need a G-Shock, why a Rolex Sub is the watch I really should aspire to own and why Pink Floyd are a brilliant band, but, honestly, I don't have the time.

    If 60 (nearly) years have passed without me getting them, will another 10 or 20 really make difference?

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post

    I feel I should try and understand why Opera is great mostly it isn't , why Cricket is riveting sometimes it is, why the 911 is the best car ever (despite trying to kill you on every corner) Bently continental man meself, why I need a G-Shock you just do, why a Rolex Sub is the watch I really should aspire to own aim higherand why Pink Floyd are a brilliant band mostly they are, but, honestly, I don't have the timewhat free time you have might best be spent on the later PF albums , the rest can wait - mainly the sub..
    imho of course

  38. #38
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Strange.

    This is a new video on a similar theme.



  39. #39
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    The average life is only what, about 30,000 days, so don't stress the small stuff. Retire as early as possible that way you 'gain' as much free time, life for your own choosing as you ever will and reading is good. Swimming also.
    Yes swimming is very very very good in Spain, especially when wearing a waterproof Rolex.

    Swimming in the UK is miserable. If you swim outdoors you will probably be cold and if you swim indoors, everything stinks of chlorine.

  40. #40
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Mick P you missed off Urine on top of bleach


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