Hey Amir, I saw that you got a publication - congratulations! That's really big stuff, and you got it out pretty quickly! (Meanwhile, my PI is sitting on my paper, even after I handed it to her in a version that was ready for submission... sigh.)
Side note, would you care to join yet another social group? It may turn into yet another dead group, but who knows...
I appreciate your message quite a bit. It's always nice to be appreciated. To be honest, motivational speeches are perfectly fine with me! The truth is that sometimes I have to give myself a motivational boost through a journal entry, or even by writing something motivational to someone else. Don't hold back if you ever feel like writing
I agree with your advice about getting out of ruts. Kakashi's advice applies to a different kind of "rut" I suppose; it's the type of rut where everyone around you seems to be advancing forward, but you're stuck playing catch-up. In times like those it's easier than ever to feel shame or insufficient. Kakashi's advice holds true - to stop looking at others and comparing yourself with them, given that you're vulnerable and are likely looking to tear yourself down, and just focus on what you need to do to move forward.
I'd say I was in the latter rut earlier in the autumn, but I'm doing better these days. Isn't it strange how most of the obstacles we encounter in life are put in place by ourselves?
I hope you're doing well and are enjoying the holiday season!
First of all, I'm going to miss you too. Or to be more specific, I will miss your engaging discussions with Kakashi-sensei and Mystique. I read about the slow period you're going through, and at this point I would normally throw in a little motivational banter about soldiering on through the boring times, and focusing on your ultimate objective. But given how level-headed you are, that would feel akin to a humble eight-grader daring to lecture Einstein. So I'll content myself with a mere "good luck" .
I don't really have any sound advice, other than to stress that you encapsulate yourself within your own little bubble and ignore everyone else. You probably have different goals and ambitions, so it's only natural you find it hard to engage.
I'm not quite sure what Kakashi meant here. If it's a very literal interpretation, I believe the exact opposite. Sometimes, one gets more productive by breaking out of a rut and doing something different . And it's always good to explore the limits of one's comfort zone, where time commitment and priorities permit, both in terms of new knowledge and socialization experiences. Eh. Just my opinion . And apologies to Kakashi in advance, as I sense I took his statement in the wrong context.
Take care, and I'll drop you a good cheer message around Christmas.
He's a zoologist/biologist, so his focus is more on the evolutionary benefits of various behavior patterns and Darwinian theory, as exhibited in man. and other species. Ridley does draw in a lot of sociological indicators and case studies (for example, average number of years in a committed relationship for gay men as opposed to lesbians) though. And to be fair, Ridley acknowledges the importance of all the other factors while focusing on his own area of expertise.
That's a really familiar title, and your description of it leads me to believe that I've come across that book before and considered picking it up. However, for some reason I didn't and as a result I have not read any of it. It is a very fascinating topic though, and if the book has your recommendation then maybe I'll take a look and see if it's in the library system. It might be a nice break from genetics and T-cell lineage studies...
One thing that would be interesting to note before diving into the book would be Mr. Ridley's background. Is he a biologist, a psychologist, or an anthropologist? Each group could examine very different things and interpret each finding quite differently. Even though I often write about the biochemistry behind certain phenomena, I don't believe that it's the end of the story. Culture and other environmental factors play a role as well. We just don't really know how they interact, what their impacts are, and which factors might have more weight than others.
Granted, the reason I bring up the biochemistry to people is because most people don't know about it and wouldn't give it a second thought. If you feel lovestruck, are you going to think to yourself that maybe you developed an addiction to a person? It's unheard of. Most people would probably think that this is true love; that they're feeling that way for reasons that aren't too far removed from attributing it to magic/fairies/spirits (impracticalities). Mystique chided me for taking the fun and excitement out of love by boiling it down to the chemical level, and I disagree that the fun factor is removed. The biochemistry is far from being the full story. It's just a bit of information, intended to help people avoid getting hurt or from making bad decisions in the game of love
I recall reading your posts on the chemistry of cross gender attraction and arousal. While that was quite illuminating, the approach illustrates the "how" of gender roles, rather than the "why". Recently, I read a few chapters of a book by Matt Ridley, called "The Red Queen" which takes a fascinating evolutionary history approach to explaining human sexuality and why certain behavior patterns develop as they do.
Somewhat reminiscent of Howard Bloom's approach, Ridley relies extensively on examples from the animal kingdom as well as sociological case studies and research. Most refreshingly though, he's very focused on setting up a logical framework. Why are some species more polygamous? Why are others monogamous? How do the various periods of technological development shift humanity along this spectrum of monogamy vs polygamy, if at all? What are the gender differences in how people approach sexuality, and what is the evolutionary rationale for it? Why do the social structures develop as they do in primates (and there's a surprising variety in the mating habits of the different species)?
Of course, with your background in the medical field, you would take a more critical understanding of the author's assertions (which like any argumentative treatise sometime drifts away from fact towards speculation). It could even turn out that I'm recommending a book covering stuff you've already read in far greater depth.
Nonetheless, the idea of analyzing sexuality from a logical , cause-and-effect, biological and evolutionary perspective seemed something that would appeal to your tastes. If it's fresh material for you. Although with your grad school commitments, I'm pretty sure you have plenty of other stuff on your plate to occupy you for a few years yet .
Thanks for the birthday wishes Amir I'm enjoying the aging process - I know of some people who freak out about aging once they get over 21, but I'm looking forward to hitting the 80's some day. But who knows - maybe when I hit 30 I'll start feeling like things are coming to an end, too much was lost, and all that sort of stuff. I hope not, though.
Happy birthday, Ledgem-dono! I wish you luck and a productive year up ahead. Remember.........you may be getting older, but wisdom comes with experience. Fine wines get better with age, so do classy guys.
Actually, I meant I really don't meet the humanities focused criterion, so I wasn't sure if I could offer anything to the discussion. But onto less trivial matters .
I wouldn't say that I'm suddenly against the use of animals in research, but you know how it is - it's different to hear about or witness something, and to be the one doing it.
I agree entirely and I wouldn't want to be facing what you are. In one sense though, it's probably the best ethical position. If most of us accept the medical benefits of animal research, then isn't it fairer to actually get our hands dirty and see the heartrending price firsthand?
Compared to those of us who enjoy the benefits of medical research without ever worrying where it all comes from. Your new position doesn't add to your personal culpability as much as it does your personal awareness. But it's still a bad part of the job.