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"Even the most resolute physicist; What don't you know" Brown Main Supplement


melkorthefoul 13 / 31  
Dec 21, 2010   #1
French novelist Anatole France wrote: "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." What don't you know?

Well, for a start, I don't know where I am or how fast I'm going (But then again, who does?). I don't know whether the statement 'this statement is false' is true or not. I don't know whether the cake is a lie. I don't know how to integrate e to the x squared (An annoying problem if there was ever one). I don't know what my brain looks like, or why I need Vitamin D to survive. I don't know whether this is the Matrix. I don't know what existed before the Big Bang, or what is outside the Universe. I don't know how a microprocessor is designed, or how it is made. I don't know how trains can turn on their tracks, given that they don't have a flexible axle...

In short, I don't know a lot of stuff, and knowing that I barely know anything often makes my day. Because knowing very little means that every single thing that happens to me teaches me something, whether it is as mundane as finding out how Google ranks its search results, or as important as finding out why you don't fall off the South Pole (This was something that always bugged me when I was a kid - if the Earth was round, why didn't people fall off the bottom?). Barely knowing anything also means that I can satisfy my raging curiosity, usually by 'link-surfing' on Wikipedia for hours on end, jumping from one topic to another with no purpose but to learn all sort of interesting facts that I would never learn in the classroom. I don't know why any objects with mass attract each other, and nor does anyone else (A physicist may angrily rebut this statement saying, "Of course I know why! It's because the mass of the object curves space-time, and any other objects would follow the geodesic and hence shift towards each other!" and he would be right. But if I were to ask the 'why?' question too many times, even the most resolute physicist would have to finally reply that he has no clue as to why masses attract)

I don't even know whether I'm going to use this essay. But what I do know, or at least I think I know, is that there is a universe full of things which I don't know about out there waiting to be explored.

Your thoughts?
rebrose 8 / 20  
Dec 21, 2010   #2
I love this essay. It is humorous but at the same time shows your willingness to learn. It gives me an image of a student who doesn't take themself too seriously but has a serious passion for knowledge.

Only thing to edit is:
"But if I were to ask the 'why?' question too many times" --- we already know that why is a question because you put a question mark saying 'question' is unnecessary.
Oleh 5 / 33  
Dec 21, 2010   #3
hehehe this is a very funny essay,,, or at least part of an essay.
It would definately work for this prompt, although I encourage you not to use parenthases too much.
This introduction is soo different compared to all the admission essays I have read so far.
It's humorous, informative, and fresh. I would absolutely consider using it, unless you have a better one:)
OP melkorthefoul 13 / 31  
Dec 21, 2010   #4
although I encourage you not to use parenthases too much.

Ahahaha when I wrote this essay, I literally spewed what was going through my head when I saw the prompt... and I think in parentheses all the time xD

I'll see about that... but I don't think that I can remove any of them.
Thanks for all the positive feedback!
zilunaju 4 / 10  
Dec 22, 2010   #5
This is a very interesting essay, and different from any other essay I have read thus far.

In short, I don't know a lot of stuff
I think you should specify "stuff"


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