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vasu

Sheldon Cooper ... All Talk ... Little Substance

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Dr. Sheldon Cooper for all boasting about his intelligence..his dedication to science......his brain being the best....  shows little substance or results...

 

He gave up String theory so easily... because he was not getting any results...and he got nothing to show for it.... looks like he was doing it to get fame not for science ....

 

Though Sheldon giving up pretty quickly is nothing new..... we have already seen it before... one better competitor he gives everything up instead of trying to fight...

 

And of course he is trying to Change his field of study.... or university... Change which apparently he hates....and is not at all comfortable with....  why the hypocrisy when others change or make changes....

 

wish the writers were brave enough to post a question like this on Sheldon's character and once give us a proper reply.... or his constant whining is irritating....

 

a question like this was once asked by Leonard in the table episode ... but the writers/Sheldon clearly chickened out....

 

Sheldon's scene with Stuart in the finale was just too much..

Edited by vasu

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Yeah give Sheldon a desk job, and teach him what real work is all about haha.

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If you look at the whole show, Sheldon had some early awards, I think the last was when he took his pants off at the awards banquet. However, he has had many failures, the first big one during the North Pole trip. Think about it, Sheldon kept three PHDs and a NASA supporting engineer at that hell hole, when it was obvious to everyone there his theory was wrong and the data wasn't supporting it, but Sheldon refused to leave and drove them crazy because he made an error. Ever since then he has made a few mistakes and has had no real positive accomplishments. The new element fiasco, which received international attention, should have seriously damaged Sheldon's credibility in the scientific world, making it more difficult for him to get a Nobel than anyone else. I think Bernadette summed it up during the parking spot fight, Sheldon will get another good parking spot if or when he accomplishes something meaningful or important.

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To be fair, it wasn't up to Sheldon to keep them there. The dates for drop off and pick up, at such stations, are pretty tightly scheduled. That said, it was his over the top reaction to the lack of supporting data that drove the others to their reactions.

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As a theoretical physicist, Sheldon isn't going to be coming up with much in the way of tangible results, as far as I understand the field (being a musician.)  And it's not likely that he would win a Nobel prize any time soon because whatever theory he might come up with would have to be provable, and a lot of the work in theoretical physics is not going to be provable until technology catches up.

One might have a theory about the behavior of some kind of particle (or whatever), but unless some kind of mechanism exists to test that theory, it cannot yet be proven.  So, the theory could take decades to be proven, but it could turn out to be something valid or whatever.

 

So, it's not like Sheldon's job consists of turning out widgets--making geegaws like Wolowitz.  One could say the same thing about Leonard's work.  He's an experimental physicist whose work is essentially proving or disproving someone else's theories, which includes, apparently, duplicating existing experiments.

 

His work and Sheldon's are kind of like what Leonard told Penny early on (their first psuedo-date) and Dr. Stephanie later, when asked about what's new at work, or what he did at work.  He told Penny that there really haven't been many new things in physics and he told Stephanie that at work he sat there and thought about stuff.

 

Since it all takes place as a matter of thinking, postulating, coming up with theories and calculations to demonstrate those theories, it's not like there's much to produce except papers outlining those theories.

 

I think that the implication of the show is that Sheldon is indeed still a genius and still brilliant.  Up until the end of this season, he's been working along.  He may not have had any big breakthroughs, but it's not as if he suddenly became an idiot.  On the show they're not going to make up fake science for him to prove or whatever, so they're not going to be able to show him coming up with some great world-changing breakthrough.

 

I think that Sheldon overreacting to the idea of someone being smarter than him is simply to show how fragile his ego is and how he values being the smartest one.  Even though he didn't suddenly become dumber than Dennis Kim or Kripke, the idea that he might not be the smartest one is enough to shake him up.

But he eventually finds his footing again, so it's not as if those momentary "set-backs" make him actually give up.

 

As for changing his field of study, this isn't something that happened all of a sudden.  There has been real-world discussion of developments which have affected the future of the study of string theory, so Sheldon questioning whether or not he should continue on that path is a very valid one--and one that he has been trying to consider in a very normal way.  He's been coming up with options and trying to sort through which field might be most promising, etc., but then once he's chosen one, the university won't let him change.  I don't think his decisions along that line have been at all childish.  If they won't let him change his field, he could go ahead and seek out a university that would take him on in the new field he's considering.

And giving up on string theory is a major issue for him, not an easy decision.  That's part of what is stressing him out.  It's a major life change for him.  He's dedicated essentially his whole life to it and now finds that it could well be a dead end, and on top of that, a dead end he's not being allowed to turn from.

 

All the other stuff happening on top of his field of study conundrum is what bothers him.  He cannot change the one thing he wants to change and he cannot maintain the things he wants to maintain.

 

I don't think there's anything that indicates that he is "all talk and little substance".  He may talk "big" about himself and not do well with change or challenge, but that doesn't mean that he isn't an actual genius or that he might not still eventually win a Nobel prize.  It may not be in his original field of study, but that doesn't mean that it's not out there in the future for him.

Edited by phantagrae
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As a theoretical physicist, Sheldon isn't going to be coming up with much in the way of tangible results, as far as I understand the field (being a musician.) And it's not likely that he would win a Nobel prize any time soon because whatever theory he might come up with would have to be provable, and a lot of the work in theoretical physics is not going to be provable until technology catches up.

One might have a theory about the behavior of some kind of particle (or whatever), but unless some kind of mechanism exists to test that theory, it cannot yet be proven. So, the theory could take decades to be proven, but it could turn out to be something valid or whatever.

So, it's not like Sheldon's job consists of turning out widgets--making geegaws like Wolowitz. One could say the same thing about Leonard's work. He's an experimental physicist whose work is essentially proving or disproving someone else's theories, which includes, apparently, duplicating existing experiments.

His work and Sheldon's are kind of like what Leonard told Penny early on (their first psuedo-date) and Dr. Stephanie later, when asked about what's new at work, or what he did at work. He told Penny that there really haven't been many new things in physics and he told Stephanie that at work he sat there and thought about stuff.

Since it all takes place as a matter of thinking, postulating, coming up with theories and calculations to demonstrate those theories, it's not like there's much to produce except papers outlining those theories.

I think that the implication of the show is that Sheldon is indeed still a genius and still brilliant. Up until the end of this season, he's been working along. He may not have had any big breakthroughs, but it's not as if he suddenly became an idiot. On the show they're not going to make up fake science for him to prove or whatever, so they're not going to be able to show him coming up with some great world-changing breakthrough.

I think that Sheldon overreacting to the idea of someone being smarter than him is simply to show how fragile his ego is and how he values being the smartest one. Even though he didn't suddenly become dumber than Dennis Kim or Kripke, the idea that he might not be the smartest one is enough to shake him up.

But he eventually finds his footing again, so it's not as if those momentary "set-backs" make him actually give up.

As for changing his field of study, this isn't something that happened all of a sudden. There has been real-world discussion of developments which have affected the future of the study of string theory, so Sheldon questioning whether or not he should continue on that path is a very valid one--and one that he has been trying to consider in a very normal way. He's been coming up with options and trying to sort through which field might be most promising, etc., but then once he's chosen one, the university won't let him change. I don't think his decisions along that line have been at all childish. If they won't let him change his field, he could go ahead and seek out a university that would take him on in the new field he's considering.

And giving up on string theory is a major issue for him, not an easy decision. That's part of what is stressing him out. It's a major life change for him. He's dedicated essentially his whole life to it and now finds that it could well be a dead end, and on top of that, a dead end he's not being allowed to turn from.

All the other stuff happening on top of his field of study conundrum is what bothers him. He cannot change the one thing he wants to change and he cannot maintain the things he wants to maintain.

I don't think there's anything that indicates that he is "all talk and little substance". He may talk "big" about himself and not do well with change or challenge, but that doesn't mean that he isn't an actual genius or that he might not still eventually win a Nobel prize. It may not be in his original field of study, but that doesn't mean that it's not out there in the future for him.

Question. I thought the reason he left to find himself was to do with all the changes happening around him. Isn't giving up string theory a change. Double standard there me think. It's alright for him to make changes but other can't.

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Nobel prize winners are really rare. Even if you do amazing theoretical work "by yourself," they only consider mainstream science with solid experimental proof... and if you work as part of a team, they only give the prize to one or two guys.

Sheldon has a high IQ but that is not enough. Luck, teamwork, luck, perserverance, luck, lots of work-hours and luck are much more important factors.

 

Phantagrae, every researcher would love to change fields of study like that, but it's an extremely hard thing to do: you lose all your funding and most of your credibility, making publishing papers much harder, and as you said, that's 90% of the job. It's even harder for untenured researchers. Sheldon (or at the very least Leonard, Amy and Raj) should have know better.

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Sheldon has a high IQ but that is not enough. Luck, teamwork, luck, perserverance, luck, lots of work-hours and luck are much more important factors.

You forgot politics.

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Question. I thought the reason he left to find himself was to do with all the changes happening around him. Isn't giving up string theory a change. Double standard there me think. It's alright for him to make changes but other can't.

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I think it's a combination of change and loss of control.

The reason he's wanting to change his field of study is that the current thinking seems to be that there's no longer a future in string theory--and if that's true, that is also a change in his circumstance.  If his future does not lie with string theory, what can he do?  If that aspect is changing, the only way he can try to maintain control is to try to change to another field.  But the decision is brought about by the prospect of change in the promise of that field.

 

The other changes are things that are apparently beyond his control.  If Leonard decides to move out, then that is a change in Sheldon's circumstance that Sheldon has no immediate control over.  And with the comic book store burning down, that's another change in his daily life that he has no control over.

 

And because the university is apparently not going to allow him to change the one thing he wants to change, he again faces a loss of control over his life and environment.

 

It's all part of the bigger picture of loss of control over these aspects of his life.  If everything in his life is ordered and scheduled and defined and maintained in status quo, then having all of these things disrupted and altered is what drives him over the edge.

Nobel prize winners are really rare. Even if you do amazing theoretical work "by yourself," they only consider mainstream science with solid experimental proof... and if you work as part of a team, they only give the prize to one or two guys.

Sheldon has a high IQ but that is not enough. Luck, teamwork, luck, perserverance, luck, lots of work-hours and luck are much more important factors.

 

Phantagrae, every researcher would love to change fields of study like that, but it's an extremely hard thing to do: you lose all your funding and most of your credibility, making publishing papers much harder, and as you said, that's 90% of the job. It's even harder for untenured researchers. Sheldon (or at the very least Leonard, Amy and Raj) should have know better.

 

I'm just going by what was happening in the episode--whether or not he will be allowed, or will continue to pursue, a change in his field of study is one of the questions that is currently up in the air.  Whether or not it is rare, whether or not he might lose credibility, whether or not he might seek out and/or find addtional grants, etc., are all questions that may be addressed in S8 or whatever.

 

But I was addressing what he was attempting to do and why, not whether or not he will ultimately be successful.

But if he is indeed a genius, it's entirely possible that his work could go even further if he ultimately changes fields.  Who knows?  The point I was making, though, is that he is trying to work his way through the issue, not just dropping the ball because he didn't feel like it anymore.

 

If it turns out that string theory really is a dead end, why would CalTech want to continue to fund research in that field?  I don't know.  I'm just saying that Sheldon is trying to deal with what he sees as a dead end in his life's work.

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@phan. don't really know much about physics so not going to comment on the ins & outs of string theory but I still think it was not part of the reason for his meltdown it was a change . he was willing happy to change his field of study just like that. he also reqularly change the RA whenever it suites him to benefit him.These are all changes I am afraid. Sheldon want control and you are right he was losing control of his environment and got scared cause usually in the end he gets his way but this time he finally realises that he wasn't going to stop the changes happening so he freaks out. I just hope Sheldon comes back a better person and appreciate his friends and give Amy the commitment she deserves.

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You forgot politics.

 

Yes, you're right. But political skill is more important for experimentalists, isn't it? Some mathematicians can even get away with quitting, refusing cash prizes, living with their mothers :)...

 

I'm just going by what was happening in the episode--whether or not he will be allowed, or will continue to pursue, a change in his field of study is one of the questions that is currently up in the air.  Whether or not it is rare, whether or not he might lose credibility, whether or not he might seek out and/or find addtional grants, etc., are all questions that may be addressed in S8 or whatever.

 

But I was addressing what he was attempting to do and why, not whether or not he will ultimately be successful.

But if he is indeed a genius, it's entirely possible that his work could go even further if he ultimately changes fields.  Who knows?  The point I was making, though, is that he is trying to work his way through the issue, not just dropping the ball because he didn't feel like it anymore.

 

If it turns out that string theory really is a dead end, why would CalTech want to continue to fund research in that field?  I don't know.  I'm just saying that Sheldon is trying to deal with what he sees as a dead end in his life's work.

 

You're right, of course.

I was just saying that it would be really jarring if he changed fields of study "just like that". Wouldn't be a problem if he changes field of study and then has to contend with limited funding, trying to find someone to publish together with, etc.

 

They have to give him at least one success in the next three seasons, though. I want to see "but Sheldon will always be a genius" Amy again! Mayim is fantastic at delivering this kind of condescending lines...

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While he is certainly not as we'll rounded as Leonard, I do think he is a genius but remember he was a child protegy and that stems from that.

I do think Leonard will get tenure, but eventually Sheldon will figure out something big

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While he is certainly not as we'll rounded as Leonard, I do think he is a genius but remember he was a child protegy and that stems from that.

I do think Leonard will get tenure, but eventually Sheldon will figure out something big

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.

Sheldon isn't the only genius. It seems to get lost in promoting Sheldon as a genius, that Leonard is also a genius, whatever that means. There isn't a category or description within IQ that is named genius, although informally anything above 150 can be considered a genius. Not to mention, at the levels mentioned(187 for Sheldon, 173 for Leonard) the errors in their scores ( it's the nature of how testing is done) are big enough that it's possible that Leonard is actually the more intelligent.

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I wouldn't be surprised if Amy and Bernadette aren't smarter than all of them.  Amy seems to be doing exceptionall well in her research career and is well known in her field.  Bernadette has already been a big contributer to her company, remember her and Howards bonus trip to Las Vegas, and makes a lot of money in the drug business.

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I wouldn't be surprised if Amy and Bernadette aren't smarter than all of them. Amy seems to be doing exceptionall well in her research career and is well known in her field. Bernadette has already been a big contributer to her company, remember her and Howards bonus trip to Las Vegas, and makes a lot of money in the drug business.

I agree with you that Amy is probably smarter. I actually always saw an episode play out that he finds out her IQ is higher

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I wouldn't be surprised if Amy and Bernadette aren't smarter than all of them.  Amy seems to be doing exceptionall well in her research career and is well known in her field.  Bernadette has already been a big contributer to her company, remember her and Howards bonus trip to Las Vegas, and makes a lot of money in the drug business.

I agree with you that Amy is probably smarter. I actually always saw an episode play out that he finds out her IQ is higher

I find it rather humorous that kerry would quote you concerning Amy's IQ being higher than Sheldon's. ;)

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