Matthieu Miossec

Doctoral Student - Genetic Medecine (Congenital Heart Disease),


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What is one thing that intrigues you which you know next to nothing about and what's stopping you from investigating it?

From an outside view it looks like an interesting subject, but you've never really delved into it. Why? Maybe another passion for another subject? Time constraints? Don't know where to start?

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    Aug 9 2012: What women want. I do not wish to investigate because all men who have gone before me have said it is unattainable knowledge.
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    Aug 9 2012: What about you, Matthieu?
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      Aug 10 2012: I have delved into economics, a subject far removed from anything I usually look at (science mostly). I've started by admitting that I know next to nothing about economics which is why I'm starting with "Economics for dummies".
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        Aug 11 2012: I hadn't even thought of economics! It admire that. I suppose anything is fascinating when you get your brain really involved into it.
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    Aug 10 2012: Usually when something intrigues me it eventually gets to the top of the list of things I want to learn about. Occasionally money and / or time imposes a constraint on practical investigation, but it's always been possible to follow up on the theoretical side.
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    Aug 8 2012: I have always been interested in learning how to construct the sorts of things that require tools beyond the simplest, least sharp hand tools. Alongside this but connected to it, I have had a long-standing interest in learning to do computer-assisted design.
    I have never jumped in, in part because of a fear of power tools and in part because I have been even more interested in other subjects and practices which I did pursue with diligence and vigor.
    Laugh if you will, anyone, but I have signed up for a Coursera course on making things, a course that requires only an exacto-knife to start. I am starting small. I will report back how many times I cut myself.
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      Aug 9 2012: Laugh? Applaud maybe.
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        Aug 9 2012: Thanks, Debra. In terms of this conversation, having absolutely no self-consciousness about being entirely inept at some new thing has allowed me to make many forays into the unknown. (I once made the case to some adolescents that an advantage of being an adult is that one is beyond any concerns about perhaps looking foolish. One of my daughters responded that that was actually true only of me. OTHER adults, she claimed, were more concerned than adolescents tend to be about appearing foolish).
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          Aug 10 2012: At any rate, it's always better to appear to be foolish because you're learning than because you're pretending to already know.
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    Aug 8 2012: I'd love to know how the motor in my car works.
    I think I'm too proud to take interest in 100 year old technology. So I join the crowd and wonder about the commercial use of the Higgs Boson, instead.
  • Aug 16 2012: The basic structure of Information.

    I have investigated this and found that no one knows the answer.

    Right now, computers are learning to 'hear' and 'speak' words and sentences by doing statistical analysis of thousands (millions?) of recordings, and they are getting better at it. The same basic approach is being used for image recognition.

    Obviously, our brains take a much better approach. Introduce a child to lions by showing the child a picture of a lion. The child will immediately be able to recognize lions in other pictures, and distinguish lions from other animals.

    If we could understand how our brains store the image of a lion, we might be able to program a computer to compare and identify images and words as fast as our brains can.
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    Aug 10 2012: Hi Matthieu!
    Fortunately, or unfortunatiely, depending on how one looks at it, I have nothing to offer! I've been thinking....thinking...thinking about this, and.....nothing!

    Throughout my life adventure, when/if something intrigued me, I pursued it, explored it, studied, researched, practiced, worked and played at it... did whatever was needed to know more about it. There are certainly a LOT of things I do not know. The thing I DO know, is that when something intrigues me, I go for it!

    I'm with Anne on this one...sometimes money or time causes a challenge, and if I am REALLY intrigued, I find a way, at some time to pursue it.
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    Aug 9 2012: I would really like to understand many things in physics which i feel I have no natural aptitude for. I am not exactly drawn to it, rather challenged by it and I think my worries about math and calcullus stil get in the way.
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      Aug 9 2012: You might try reading Warped Passages by Lisa Randall, Harvard physics professor. It is a description of the frontiers of particle physics, written for the layperson. No math required.

      Brian Greene, physics professor at Columbia, wrote the best seller The Elegant Universe, about string theory and also for the layperson.

      For that matter, even at the university level, there are two physics tracks very often. One is calculus-based and the other not.

      Have you checked whether Coursera has Intro Physics for free? The How Things Work class is on my list for the future.
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        Aug 9 2012: Thank you, I just put those on my reading list and I count this as a gracious kindness. I started with "physics for dummies" so maybe I have a chance. Thanks again, Fritzie!
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          Aug 10 2012: I find that the for Dummies series can be really good, that's the approach I've taken too with regards to economics.

          I don't know if I'd recommend Warped Passages as the book to start with. It confused me somewhat midway through. On the other hand, it could always be that I lost track of it a bit as I got really busy during that time.