Criticism!

Please feel free to criticize me at any point. I do become disillusioned when I’m actually correct you know, when I don’t expect to be correct. This post is written mostly** as an extended response to ellerej’s comments to my post on Language.

(**remark: well, the first part of the post)

I first briefly scanned his/her (If you like, you may clarify on your gender; I will assume that you are a male in the remainder of this post.) blog. Clearly he has forayed into the realm of linguistics much more deeply than I have, with pretty much all the linguistic knowledge I know comes from a rather haphazard fashion of reading random Wikipedia pages* (this extends to most other topics such as history or computer science or Minecraft physics, say). Therefore I will admit that I do not have a rigorous treatment on any of these subjects, and do not know of many terms and jargon used to effectively communicate on the subject. But that isn’t really the intent of posting such things. Of course it’s not going to be published in some linguistic/compsci/Minecraft journal, nor do I expect my thoughts to override other peoples’ beliefs.  I do like thinking, however, and thus I randomly synthesize various materials in my brain to create posts, no matter how erroneous it may be.

(*I try to minimize usage of Wikipedia while writing my posts other than to quickly find examples though, mostly relying on retained information from Wikipedia. Hence potential factual inaccuracies.)

On the other hand, the reader may ask, there must be something I’m good enough at. (Note that this is vastly different from the Rathian “expert”.) In particular, the Rathian expert is one which the general populace believe is well-versed with certain facts. I’m talking about people who actually are well-versed with certain facts (relatively speaking of course; I obviously cannot hope that anyone at our high school to be involved in forefront college research at any one subject.)

No, it is not any of the sciences, hard or soft. I find myself trying to justify many of these concepts to myself to ensure that things are true, and epically fail doing so. (confined to two things: 1) spend as little effort as possible while 2) getting a good grade. You know, MSJ A-range grade.) Yeah, point #1 isn’t particularly conducive to my attempts of justification, as I just go “fuuuuuuu I suck at chem I’m (too lazy to/can’t actually) prove this” or “fuuuuuuuuu this chem concept is too easy and is trivial, chem y u no get harder to prove”. Perfect recipe for defeat, except I’m not actually sad because I already expect the defeat. [That said, I seem to be handling this chemistry thermodynamic stuff unusually well, given how badly I fared when I did thermodynamics in physics. Conditioning? I don’t know.] So basically, I fail at chem. Apparently lots of people are failing worse at chem (gradewise, possibly concept-wise?) though. And they get really good homework packet grades too. [Yeah, homework packets are the reason why my grade isn’t as high as it should be. Let’s just say that I could probably improve about 6-7% with a better homework grade, oops. I also, for better or worse, decline certain inherent advantages given to us in tests, such as scientific calculators (which did not turn out spectacularly, but it could have been worse I guess).]

Well, that’s a lot of tangent for one paragraph. Let’s just say that I suck at writing too.

I guess you could say that I’m competent at math. That may be true. However, rarely can I solve problems that you guys throw at me in due time. I don’t work like that. Most likely, any math problem that you tell me to do will be stuck in a very long queue of things to do, and I will probably defer that problem until you forget about ever having asked the problem. This usually occurs for geometry problems that various people on gmail chat ask, and I will admit that I have a very real deficiency in that subject of math. In particular, my score distribution on the USAMO last year looked something like this: 7/7/0/7/2/7. That’s 28/28 for non-geometry (1,2,4,6) and 2/14 for geometry (3,5). [Or maybe I’m just too lazy to draw a diagram. This is true too.]

However, it is to my shame to announce that I can’t solve number theory on the spot either. This might not bode very well on pretty much any USAMO besides last year’s (Basically, last year was #2 #6 combo, #1 nt, #4 alg if I recall correctly), where the number theory and algebra coaligned with the #1/4 (the first problem of days one and two, i.e. the easiest problems).

Actually now that I think of it, I can do #1/4 geometry (take the USAMO the year before that). But that’s about all the geometry I can do. I guess I could possibly do #2/5 NT/alg as well. Not too stable I’d say.

Hmmm. And then there’s combinatorics, which supposedly is my impenetrable bastion. I guess possibly maybe.

Am I good at math? You decide. Although, to be fair, I’m not planning on making this blog much of a math blog (maybe concepts/olympiad strategy (do I even possess this!?) or something, but most likely not actual math problems), so that point’s moot. Still remember what was the original intention of this post?

 

Hah, I bet you scrolled up for that one.

 

As you can tell, I’m apparently very prone to digressing. And thus I suck at writing. Again.
So basically, we can establish that I am not going to be an expert at whatever topic I am writing my blogpost on [this blog at least]. That much is a given. After all, if I were an expert at a topic, why would I even bother posting new innovative ideas on a measly blog? Well, I can’t really imagine why someone would post something that doesn’t fall under one of the categories:

1) Personal stuff/sentimental/rants. You can’t really replicate this. While your experiences and mine may coalign mostly, I try to present these things in a different light. Not necessarily in a better light, a different one. Oh well, I guess that’s a start.

2) Things semi-independently found. Basically, without having had a formal treatment [challenge: ANY treatment] on a particular subject, talk about it. It’s a very interesting exercise and I encourage more people to partake in such an activity, especially since you can’t dwell in your comfort zone. It’s also a very interesting experiment from an outsider’s point of view as well, seeing perspectives largely unaffected by subject-specific discourse, although I’m not sure how isolated one actually can be from a subject.

3) Statistics, infographics, etc. Eh, this blog will not contain solely of statistics. I do enough of that on a daily basis already. Although, I do realize that some people like blogs filled with that stuff. Your choice I guess.

Hm, I think I covered too much under #1. Oh well.

 

Now that I’ve not-very-clearly outlined exactly the extent of seriousness my posts should be taken to, you may continue to criticize away 😛

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  1. Chem: Wait what why are everyone (read: most people) suck at chem. My class has…uh…just read my blog.

    Math: Wait you’re good at combo? Okay expect problems on Gtalk. 😛

    Writing: Yeah. We (read: most teenagers) suck at writing.

    Okay apparently I suck at commenting too.

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