John Daicopoulos

Lecturer - School of Physics, James Cook University
Townsville, Australia

About John

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted 12 months ago
Megan Washington: Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking
Thank you Megan. It was wonderful to listen to your talk. I too stutter, though many around me don't know it. Over many years I've changed the way I talk to cover it up - like changing words mid sentence as you do. My kryptonite are words and sentences starting with D...like my last name, ugh! I teach, and have done so my entire career, so my broken talk has become my persona, but it's a big ruse to cover my stutter. Phone conversations, interjecting in a conversation in a timely manner, and yes people's names you so clearly articulated, are all major issues. Thank you for standing up to tell the world. I had worked on community radio for many years and never stuttered, my "choice of voice" was different from normal, from me. But it was one I was happy with and it's one I use in normal conversations with in small groups. I've never had any counselling, I just covered myself as needed. Thank you for your courage to speak with your own voice in front of many.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted about 3 years ago
Boaz Almog: The levitating superconductor
Sorry, no ancient knowledge. Ancient Africans, and everyone else for that matter, used human know-how, skills learned over generations of experiment, accident and success, patience and determination to build great, and small, architectural masterpieces. No aliens, secret knowledge or lost powers. Just being human is good enough.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted about 3 years ago
Boaz Almog: The levitating superconductor
That is the issue Roger, so much of today's research is in finding or creating materials that have a critical temperature well above liquid nitrogen levels, say room temperature. All superconducting materials will act as shown, the race is for the temperatures.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted about 3 years ago
E.O. Wilson: Advice to young scientists
Thank you for sharing your experiences and wonder with us Prof. Wilson. Your speech was inspiring on many accounts, especially the way you describe and value the role of mathematics in science. Many would agree with your comparison of mathematics to a language; and as a language it is crucial to advancing what we know, study, investigate and claim from our research. Unfortunately, many are dismissive of its place in science, clearly you are not and thank you for stating that. It is true that creativity, imagination, thoughtfulness and wonder are vital elements in the process of solving a (scientific) problem, just as they are in creating a piece of literature or music; however, the fundamental role of mathematics is always considered second fiddle to them, indeed I'd say many consider it subservient to them. We are in awe of the works of magnificent writers, but much of what makes their work great is their mastery of the language used to create it. Their creativity, imagination, thoughtfulness and wonder are a result, and an expression, of that language and its semantics. And with a reader's shared, and often unequal, mastery of that language we can experience what they create. I don't need to have a writer's flair for language to know how important that flair is in developing and conveying what they have created. That same understanding for a scientist's "flair for mathematics" is weakly, or rarely, expressed. Thank you for trying to stem that tide.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted about 3 years ago
Terry Moore: Why is 'x' the unknown?
I am fascinated by the responses to this video. I find it difficult to follow the transformation of today's English language over the course of my short life to date, yet many of you are claiming to know the transformations of, and between, many languages over thousands of years. I respect the research and science behind these investigations, all of which I find interesting, but surely there's plenty of wiggle room still. Even with today's technical ability to record anything and everything, I suspect in a thousand years historians, ethnographers, and linguists will struggle to identify exactly the origin of some of our phrases and words that did not exist only a generation ago. And I find that a wonderful tribute to the human capacity for language, just as it existed a thousand years ago.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted over 3 years ago
Peter van Uhm: Why I chose a gun
If we walk down the street and see two children fighting, most of us would step in to stop it, because we can. If we walk down the street and see two people fighting with guns we call the police because they are better trained, prepared and equipped to deal with it. The level of intervention depends on the level of violence, or potential violence, that is or can be expected. It's nice to claim we need to find the root of the violence, but that happens after we stop it. I am delighted to know that I and others like me would not turn away if a parent hits a child, even in their own home. We witness, stare, comment, scorn and maybe call the police... we intervene. A generation ago "we" looked the other way. I am delighted to know that I and others like me would not turn our eyes away from domestic violence. We witness, provide protection, call the police... we intervene. A generation ago "we" looked the other way, and so too did the police and society and... I am delighted to know that societies, populations and nation states gather, argue, and choose to intervene in the "internal matters" of other nations, I wish they chose more often. In all of these matters the people we ask to intervene on our behalf have made errors, some large, some small. No human goal is achieved without flaws and failures. The grimmest reality to me is how we prioritize where, when, and why we'll intervene. Thank you Peter van Uhm, and thank you to your colleagues.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted over 3 years ago
Peter van Uhm: Why I chose a gun
Sometimes an amputation is the best available medical treatment to an infection, likewise, so too is the military response. And to claim that this response, or the military one, is "...not exactly what I would expect from the forefront of human innovation and technology" does little to further the discussion. The forefront of human innovation and technology simply means that we strive to make today better than yesterday, not that tomorrow all will be perfect. The forefront of any human endeavour is an evolving process, not a finale.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted over 3 years ago
Does the future of education lie in bilingualism? Is it even possible?
David, my family and I live in Australia, but we're Canadian, that's the source of our bilingualism (plus a third language for both my wife and I). As such, it goes to my point that learning two languages in school did not nor does not take away content from anything else. If it's skills that we value then learning a second language is not an impediment, the learning of another language is a mental skill on its own. If any two distinct educational jurisdictions were compared, there would be multiple subjects within the curriculum that were unmatched, or covered to different degrees, and yet most students from all jurisdictions come out similarly, as my wife, son and I can attest, and so too can most students from Europe. I'm more than happy to have a debate (but not here or now) about what should be cut or reduced within any particular jurisdiction. As a physics teacher there are many topics that I would love students to learn, but choices must always be made, some content will always need to be set aside. The skill of learning another language should be a value on its own. Thank you, and Michael M, for your responses.
195095
John Daicopoulos
Posted over 3 years ago
Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter
Antonio, I see nothing in my first question which implies any correlation attempt on my part, and that's my point, there's no correlation to your points either that he's "lost something" that others have had. As to your second response, I don't see how you can claim that at all unless you know him and what specific life experiences he's sacrificed. If, when, someone reads for 10000 hours it's very unlikely we would say, depressingly, that that person "...has lost the same life experiences anyone else would lose during that time." So why should this be any different?