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After preparing for the firelife, anyone focus on the afterlife?
Old 02-05-2015, 02:18 PM   #1
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After preparing for the firelife, anyone focus on the afterlife?

Maybe I'm a little too OCD about planning, but with my freed up cycles from not focusing on how to stay alive with 8 knives in my back (corp politics) and other money making pursuits, I start to wonder about the universe, purpose and what will come next.

I have a long way to go, and work as hard as I can to maximize the time here, but I wonder if any of you have gotten out there and explored the scientific community looking for exciting new paths of study and self discovery.

I'm actually about to go back to university this year to explore some new gen breakthrough / bleeding edge theories in physics as I'm so piqued by it.

I seek for this thread not to be a debate of beliefs. One could also go back to school and study the bible of their choice and follow advanced topics. So all welcome.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
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I've been exploring pretty much the same path. Trying to determine if there's a way to develop a scientific expertise - genetics and environmental sciences were my undergraduate major fields before moving into the IT field where I could actually make a living at the time.

I have a friend who has a nice job as a chemistry researcher that he enjoys so much he doesn't want to retire - but he's worked in that field most of his life.

In another year I can audit classes at the local branch of the state university for free. I've got no tolerance for being tested, though - so reading and lectures are more than enough for me. Also have taken some Coursera online courses. I'd considered going to law school for my own interests (mostly as a way to effectively challenge the authorities in areas I care about), but can't justify the cost - and they'd make me jump through the educational hoops that I refuse to deal with.

There are also some computer oriented areas I think I'd enjoy exploring, after years of working in the duller areas of information technology. And even some political activism areas look kind of interesting.

I'm pretty sure it will mostly just be entertainment for me, though - mental exercise. I doubt there's a real pathway to making an actual contribution to a field as an independent entity.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
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I have looked into various courses at local university or community college but the credit courses all require extensive application forms, credentialling, documentation, fees and even interviews before you ever make it to class. I dealt with far too much of this kind of bureaucracy in my career and never want to undertake it again. My career was in a scientific field.

Last Fall I took two free MOOCs (massive open online courses) through the Open University. I enjoyed both courses, one on history and one on creative writing, but neither would be useful in generating income. (I am insufficiently motivated to become a writer and it doesn't pay much).

I have also taken a few cooking workshops. Learning some new techniques, having more time to experiment, and following some great cooking blogs and vlogs have helped me to become a much better cook than I used to be (and save money).

I like to dabble in any field of learning that interests me, so long as it's not w*rk. It's amazing what free resources you can find online.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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I would certainly like to take some music courses at a university, mostly in an attempt to meet people who share my interests in performing 18th century music. Unfortunately, this state's "free auditing for seniors" doesn't kick in until age 62, a few years away. Also, the music departments around here aren't particularly strong in this area.

I also kicked around the idea of taking some classes in my undergraduate major (Physics). I really enjoyed it 35 years ago and I enjoyed teaching high school physics. It would be fun to try it again. But... I'm not going to pay big $ for the privilege so I guess I'll wait until 2021.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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I would certainly like to take some music courses at a university, mostly in an attempt to meet people who share my interests in performing 18th century music. Unfortunately, this state's "free auditing for seniors" doesn't kick in until age 62, a few years away. Also, the music departments around here aren't particularly strong in this area.

I also kicked around the idea of taking some classes in my undergraduate major (Physics). I really enjoyed it 35 years ago and I enjoyed teaching high school physics. It would be fun to try it again. But... I'm not going to pay big $ for the privilege so I guess I'll wait until 2021.
I'm currently obsessed with Biocentric Universe theories.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:42 PM   #6
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I would certainly like to take some music courses at a university, mostly in an attempt to meet people who share my interests in performing 18th century music. Unfortunately, this state's "free auditing for seniors" doesn't kick in until age 62, a few years away. Also, the music departments around here aren't particularly strong in this area.



I also kicked around the idea of taking some classes in my undergraduate major (Physics). I really enjoyed it 35 years ago and I enjoyed teaching high school physics. It would be fun to try it again. But... I'm not going to pay big $ for the privilege so I guess I'll wait until 2021.

Have you tried ducking the auditing rules by explaining your situation to the prof and just asking to sit in on the class? Or, if the class is large enough, just sitting in anonymously? Haven't tried it myself, but I do attend interesting physics (I too have a BS in physics) and data science colloquia here (UW Seattle) without anyone yelling at me.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:22 AM   #7
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I have looked into various courses at local university or community college but the credit courses all require extensive application forms, credentialling, documentation, fees and even interviews before you ever make it to class. I dealt with far too much of this kind of bureaucracy in my career and never want to undertake it again. My career was in a scientific field.

Last Fall I took two free MOOCs (massive open online courses) through the Open University. I enjoyed both courses, one on history and one on creative writing, but neither would be useful in generating income. (I am insufficiently motivated to become a writer and it doesn't pay much).

I have also taken a few cooking workshops. Learning some new techniques, having more time to experiment, and following some great cooking blogs and vlogs have helped me to become a much better cook than I used to be (and save money).

I like to dabble in any field of learning that interests me, so long as it's not w*rk. It's amazing what free resources you can find online.
A few years back , University of California Irvine was allowing most mainstream courses to be taken thru the UC extension, although not for credit toward a degree. The only catch is the hefty fees. I'm not sure if was a UCI thing only , or they still do this.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:30 AM   #8
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Damn, y'all are quite impressive. I can't even get out of bed the same time every day.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:12 AM   #9
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I'm currently obsessed with Biocentric Universe theories.
Some interesting ideas there. Physics has really changed a lot since the 70s. I never got much past relativity, the quantum physics stuff makes my head hurt.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:36 AM   #10
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I have given this quite a bit of thought. I enjoyed going back to school mid-career and starting a couple of small businesses afterwards. I am interested in doing that again some day only in a different but probably overlapping field with what I do now.

I have been helping one of our kids with picking out classes and researching various job listings, and I always come across a bunch of stuff I'd also find interesting.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:56 AM   #11
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I hit the books pretty hard when I first retired - college textbooks, that is. I made up for bunch of stuff didn't have time to study while in college - earth science, biology, even organic chemistry. I did it mostly on my own I found tons of curricula and course material online.

I ultimately took the Cornell ornithology home study course which equates to three semesters of college level ornithology. That was well worth it.

What motivated me? Mainly having a really strong grounding in natural science to help me better understand and appreciate the world around me as we bird-watched, hiked, went on nature trips, did nature photography, etc.

I still have that Raven botany text around somewhere......

All along I learned a lot about all aspects f photography. Later I studied quite a bit about computer-based graphic design, learning computer page layout, video editing, and lots about photo editing of course. I've kept up with the photography stuff by the way, exploring new aspects every couple of years.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:45 AM   #12
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Have you tried ducking the auditing rules by explaining your situation to the prof and just asking to sit in on the class? Or, if the class is large enough, just sitting in anonymously? Haven't tried it myself, but I do attend interesting physics (I too have a BS in physics) and data science colloquia here (UW Seattle) without anyone yelling at me.
Interesting, that's specifically where I am and was prepping to approach the universities.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:05 AM   #13
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My community is blessed to have, the Southwest Research Station, a part of The American Museum of Natural History. I have taken many courses there, the last being a field herpetological course. Chasing snakes, and lizards about is fun, no animals were harmed, we only dissected road kills.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:44 AM   #14
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I'll be taking an online permaculture design course in March. Not interested in saving the whole planet, just my little corner of it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:08 AM   #15
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I have taken a few online classes on statistics and astrophysics (cosmology). I enjoy them but I am way to weak on math to get a lot out of them and too lazy to update my math chops. I find the scientific observations and speculations about the nature and origin of the universe(s) much more fascinating than the supernatural short cut that some deity is the answer. The later just begs the question, whence the deity?
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:36 AM   #16
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Have any of you taken any of "The Great Courses" that are advertised quite frequently in pubs such as the WSJ? They are available at our local library and I'm curious if the recorded content is OK.

It seems to me that they would be no different than an on-line college lecture series, as that's really all they are. I'm just curious if the content and medium works.

_B
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:55 AM   #17
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This winter I have taken a couple of courses through OLLI. http://www.osherfoundation.org/index.php?olli_list


There are about 120 universities around the country that sponsor the programs. The cost is minimal and it is enjoyable to sit in the lectures with no tests. Some courses may require the purchase of a book.


The only downside for me is that I am the youngest (age 56) in the classes. The requirement for the classes was to be retired and over the age of 50. I do get some looks that I might be "too young" to be there.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:10 AM   #18
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Have any of you taken any of "The Great Courses" that are advertised quite frequently in pubs such as the WSJ? They are available at our local library and I'm curious if the recorded content is OK.

It seems to me that they would be no different than an on-line college lecture series, as that's really all they are. I'm just curious if the content and medium works.

_B
I love the Great courses. I bought one recently on Amazon used, there are a few on Netflix and my library has quite a few.

I also have a number of online course options from various public library cards.
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:28 AM   #19
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speculations about the nature and origin of the universe(s) much more fascinating than the supernatural short cut that some deity is the answer. The later just begs the question, whence the deity?
Sorry, but it's turtles, all the way down.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #20
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Have any of you taken any of "The Great Courses" that are advertised quite frequently in pubs such as the WSJ?
I've bought a couple of them, and enjoyed the experience. Some subjects work great with audio only (good for trips in the car), others would probably be better via DVD (to see the illustrations/white board). I've only done the audio versions.
Some subjects just can't be learned passively: e.g. There's no hope of learning how to do math "mechanics" (derivatives, quadratic equations, etc) without doing the problems with pencil and paper. But for other subjects these audio/DVD courses work really well.
See if your library has some before buying anything.
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