The Theory Of “I Know Everything”

, , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2019

(I am sitting outside soaking in the sun right after a quantum mechanics final. A guy approaches me and says hi.)

Me: *not wanting to be rude* “Hi. How’s it going?”

Guy: “It’s all right. I’m [Guy]. What’s your name? What are you doing here?”

Me: “I’m [My Name]. Just got out of a final.”

Guy: “Oh, what final? What major are you?”

Me: “I’m a physics major. This was the final for the last course in the quantum mechanics series. I have a math final later, too, so I’m just waiting on campus.”

Guy: “Quantum mechanics? That’s so cool. How much do you know about it?”

Me: “I mean, that’s a little hard to say, but I know everything I should at an undergrad level, and enough to be able to engage in research. The core of the subject, essentially.”

Guy: “Well, I could teach you so much about!”

Me: “Oh, that’d be cool. Are you a physics grad student or something?”

Guy: “No, I’m a psychology major. I don’t really know anything about the math or anything. But I’ve seen so many YouTube videos about it. There’s so much crazy stuff about it that you won’t believe. Anyway, maybe I could take you out to dinner or something?”

Me:  “…”

(While I appreciate people trying to learn about a subject in whatever way they can, it seemed really arrogant to assume that YouTube videos would make you more familiar than me with a subject I’m majoring in. Especially when the subject in question is essentially all math; you can’t do any physics without doing the math! It’s what differentiates it from random thought experiments.)

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