Musings on a New Year

Jan 20 2010 Published by under Blogging, Day in the life of DrugMonkey

It's a New Year and it will soon be a new year of DrugMonkey.
So in shameless solicitation of our own little Sally Fields moment, DearReaders, would you be so kind as to supply some thoughts on the first past year of DrugMonkey?
Why do you read?
What categories of discussion do you come back for?
Do you have a favorite post or discussion thread?
What make you say WTF? and go elsewhere?
What would you like to see more of in the way of discussion?
Does the blogosphere fit into your professional engagement as a scientist, academic or other?
Which blogs do you read that it seems as though we don't and should?
In short DearReader (and especially you Lurkers, no email necessary), fire away!
__
This is a repeat of something that went up on the old blog in January 2008.

30 responses so far

  • ScienceGeek says:

    I read the musings and discussions on the process of science. A recent example is the post on not having the editor's decision and the other reviewers' comments sent to you after you review a paper. That irks me too, but I never thought to mention this to the editor (duh).

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that Comrade PhysioProf d00d is fucking awesome!

  • msphd says:

    My favorite posts are yours on NIH funding type stuff, the occasional post by Bikemonkey on ethics or something like that, and CPPs posts on retractions.
    What makes me go WTF is when you have occasionally posted about how clueless and wrong I am. I find that is usually not very constructive, although it is sometimes instructive. And it is often heartening to see that your readers (and mine) usually tell you when you're being harsh or off base.
    Anyway thanks for blogging, keep on blogging, and happy new year.

  • cookingwithsolvents says:

    I started coming here for the excellent series on careerism and grantsmanship, even though I will not be applying to the NIH any time soon. I keep coming for that insight as well as the high level discussions about all aspects of being a scientist. This includes data collection and evaluation, dealing with colleagues (students included), publishing, reviewing, reading (including retractions), and the changes in perspective as one progresses from student to postdoc to PI. Those I find particularly enlightening as I consider my own policies and motivations while I'm preparing my own independent lab.
    In other words, keep it coming!

  • Dr Becca says:

    DM, you helped bring me into the science blogging community when my blog was but a few weeks old, and for that I'll always be grateful. I like it here. A lot.
    Also a big fan of your posts on NIH funding/grants, the inner workings of academia, and general advice for young scientists. Really thoughtful and helpful, so thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    I appreciate your thoughtful posts on the danger and pharmacology of recreational drugs. So much of that information out there is too slanted with an agenda to trust while your posts seem unbiased.

  • MitoScientist says:

    I enjoy all the writing on career development for young scientists, and the grant topics. As a young scientist myself, I've learned a lot from this blog that I probably would not have encountered until much later in my training.
    Also, I just want to know what FWDAOTI means. I never know if I can take Laden seriously.

  • DrGEpop says:

    I came to your site through links on grantwriting from another blog. I stayed because I found your insights into the process of being a scientist (manuscript reviews, mentorship, etc) are interesting and useful. I don't care for the dOOdly posts but will take them in stride as long as there are still posts related to the profession of being an NIH-funded research scientists.

  • What the fuck is the matter with you, Monkey? Do you read me? Do you trust me? What are you, my fucking prom date?

  • I've been lurking around here for a while, poking my head into the comments periodically. I come here for the grantsmanship and science policy posts mostly. I also like CPP's occasional posts on retractions/reviewer's comments/authorship wackaloonery. I usually skip over the ones that are continuations from debates in comments.

  • Namnezia says:

    I started reading and lurking around after seeing some interesting posts about the grant review process, and the inherent bias in this process. I kept reading because I found some of the career advice insightful, I also like the posts about journal authorship, publishing practices, retractions, ins and outs of different academic departments etc. But I think most of all I like reading the comments, which provide a good community insight into these issues. And they are also entertaining, despite (or because of) all of the cursing.

  • ginger says:

    I come here to learn new swear words.
    No, seriously, I do enjoy a good internecine dust-up, and SciBlogs is a nice place to indulge that (as opposed to in my department, where the dust-ups just make me want to kill myself.) But I also enjoy the posts about science I wouldn't otherwise encounter (pharmacy stuff, you know, that famous Interdisciplinary Thing that people bang on about) and the glimpses into the horrors, er, inner workings of NIH.

  • pinus says:

    I came for the career advice and stayed for everything else. I especially enjoy talk about grants/funding.
    I enjoy most everything, although I grow weary at some of the 'legalize it' crowd's back and forths with DM.

  • Isabel says:

    "I enjoy most everything, although I grow weary at some of the 'legalize it' crowd's back and forths with DM. "
    Why on earth do you read it then?
    What a stupid complaint.

  • Isabel says:

    ""Does the blogosphere fit into your professional engagement as a scientist, academic or other?"
    It would be nice if those of us from white working class backgrounds felt welcome in the blog'o'sphere, but that may be too much to ask.
    I submit CPP's hateful attacks on me for joining in a discussion about class on a feminist blog, and bikemonkey and isis' recent hostile, stereotyping "redneck" posts as a couple of cases in point.
    Since my reading suggestions are inevitably mocked and ignored, I won't bother.
    I do appreciate the fact that my comments are allowed on this blog, even if it is just for certain people's entertainment. I guess that's something in a world of intense hatred for those that share my skin color and socioeconomic status.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    putting some of my considerable ego aside, Isabel, I meant well beyond this blog or even the sub-circles this blog operates within. Are there other blogs where you gain real-world type value?

  • Isabel says:

    Sure, when it comes to science, I'm alerted to a lot of interesting work and perspectives by reading blogs. And I appreciate the discussions of the workings of academia, being a rube and all, it's helpful. As far as the "social issue" discussions on academic or science blogs, most I've come across fit into the generalizations I made above. And that goes for academia itself, and other outlets for "progressive" points of view. If anyone knows of any exceptions to that summary I would be thrilled to hear of it.

  • becca says:

    "It would be nice if those of us from white working class backgrounds felt welcome in the blog'o'sphere, but that may be too much to ask."
    Before Scio10, I might have thought "well, I'm not sure personal issues aren't confounding this perception".
    But then...
    "Teamsters don't read Nature Networks!" -Henry Gee
    On topic- DM, the only general thing that has been bugging me is how susceptible you are to private injokery. Which I usually get, making me feel clever and included, so you'd think I'd approve. But it's a cheap community building trick. #FWDAOTI and @bobchickenshit notwithstanding.
    CPP makes me go WTF sometimes but I don't go elsewhere because it's entertaining to the spectators.
    I'd like to see more stuff that makes me a better scientist. The career advice stuff is handy, but the 'how do I think about ideas that I eventually use for grants' type glimmers of insight are really especially great.

  • Anonymous says:

    "I enjoy most everything, although I grow weary at some of the 'legalize it' crowd's back and forths with DM. "
    Why on earth do you read it then?
    What a stupid complaint.

    Why is that statement/complaint less valid than any of yours, Isabel? Perhaps you might enjoy this blog better.

  • Isabel says:

    "Before Scio10, I might have thought "well, I'm not sure personal issues aren't confounding this perception"."
    Please elaborate, Becca. What personal issues?
    "Why is that statement/complaint less valid than any of yours, Isabel?"
    If you really need me to explain here goes: I was complaining that an entire group of people is frequently mocked and their concerns generally ignored around here and that they are therefore victims of discrimination in my opinion; and pinus was complaining about not really enjoying reading a particular subject that doesn't even come up that often. And "growing weary" with "the back and forth" suggests a bit of masochism going on - why even pay attention? Overall, a petty, and pretty meaningless complaint. Maybe if pinus had been more specific about what was tiring him/her so much, it would have at least been informative.
    On the other hand, maybe you're on to something, as it is the one issue I regularly comment on, I suppose it is possible I took offense, especially on the way the comment was just tossed out there. You can call me paranoid if you want but I just see it as a headache I have to deal with on a regular basis; for example, I was over at G. Laden's blog recently when Stepahnie Z blew in and started blathering on about what a troll I am over at Drugmonkey's place on the cannabis issue. WTF? How in the hell am I a troll? So you could see why I'd be a little touchy on the subject.

  • Anonymous says:

    Overall, a petty, and pretty meaningless complaint. Maybe if pinus had been more specific about what was tiring him/her so much, it would have at least been informative.

    But how is that different from you dissing him in your comment that his complaint was stupid? DM posed a question, pinus gave his response and you gave your opinion on pinus's response. Whether his response was informative or not is irrelevant. Don't dish it if you can't take it. Peace out.

  • Isabel says:

    "But how is that different from you dissing him in your comment that his complaint was stupid?"
    good point. It isn't, really.
    "DM posed a question, "
    yes also a good point, and I already acknowledged that; like I said i'm a little touchy OKAY?

  • becca says:

    Isabel- it has been my observation that you may feel less than fully welcome, for reasons aside from/in addition to your self-described white working class background. For example, on this blog your stance on marijuana may be one that sets the stage for vigorous debate (which does not always feel welcoming). Not that I endorse either type of unwelcome attitude.
    Also, I wonder if bald classism is more acceptable in the UK; which perhaps puts less cultural salience on the 'rags to riches' meme.

  • The thing that's totally fucking hilarious about Isabel is that she wakes up every day, fires up her computer, and is all like totally shocked at what's going on, "Whoah! What's this thing? The Internet? Hey, there are these other people on here, and they are saying stuff and, HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!!! They are disagreeing with me and making fun of me!!!! OUTRAGE!!!!!111!!11!!111!!1!ELEVENTY!!11!!111!!1111!!11"
    It's like watching a little kid on christmas morning, but every single fucking day!

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Becca, what defines a "cheap" means of building community and why is economy a bad thing? Can you go down the list of things we do here, intentionally or otherwise, that have community building effects and indicate which ones are acceptably expensive?

  • pinus says:

    Wow...sometimes people grab on to anything just to stir up shit!
    To be more specific, I dislike said discussions because they seem to go nowhere....ever. It is not like at the end of a particularly rousing post there is a lesson learned. In fact, the comments seem to play out in an entirely predictable fashion.
    I find that boring. But you know what, it is DM's blog, so he can do it all he wants...I just don't read the comments anymore. I read the posts, because I have a professional interest in drug abuse neurobiology and the stuff DM posts is often outside of what I usually read.
    Also, I don't see how being from a white working class background relates to being unwelcome. I come from the same background, and never noticed? But maybe, I get a pass, because I have my scientist membership club card (?)

  • becca says:

    Perhaps it is not the presence of cheap tricks so much as the balance. Or perhaps I'm just bitter about how long it took me to figure out #f-ing with dumbasses on the internet. Or perhaps I started thinking about it after having some old scars itch at scio10.
    I do think it's worth the time/energy of the expensive and valuable ways of building community, like, oh say having respectful conversations where you actually strive to understand each other.
    And where you welcome newcomers by helping them feel included.
    It's a cheesy example, but if you ever go to a Toastmasters meeting you'll see there's a very complicated structure that keeps everyone on the same page. Now that has the unfortunate effect of being very obscure/baffling to newcomers. So there are also lots of explanations of everything built in and very intentional efforts at welcoming.
    On the internet, it's easy enough to maintain a hyperlink to the in-jokes, or have threads specifically about common topics. Have you ever seen the phdcomics phorums?
    Drinking together is a cheap means of building community, and there's nothing wrong with economy in that case, for thems that can handle it.

  • TTabetic says:

    It would be quite convenient if we could have hyperlinks IRL. But we don't and we count on sometimes very subtle clues, and on two other important facts: examining our own behavior viz are we meant to understand, and should we be trying harder to help someone understand.

  • Isabel says:

    you people are so fucking clueless! You think I am upset about arguing here about pot? That is not what I said at all! I enjoyed it, as I have stated in the past. What does that have to do with the two examples I gave? As far as being touchy about people complaining about the cannabis discussions, I already explained why.
    And the replies to my feedback to DM (including pinus') would, as usual, fill out one of your bingo cards nicely. Just scratch out racism or sexism and replace with classism. Hilarious. Yes Becca, I find it amusing that classism is completely accepted by such otherwise sanctimonious types.
    So pinus, mocking and stereotyping less privileged white people, as Isis did in particular with her images choices, is totally cool with you? Please answer just yes or no. If you read the comments there and at other blogs not everyone agrees it was cool. Maybe you are an Uncle Tom type. Or are in a unique situation.
    CPP is the most clueless and hypocritical of all, as usual. For example, he can only understand my sense of humor, (or perhaps accept that I have one? I don't know what his problem is) if he imagines I am crazy, which is weird. I am entertaining myself here as much as you are believe me PP. Although all this posting is exhausting - I don't know how you people manage to ramble and spew day after day like you do.
    At any rate, I am not talking about a fucking red carpet welcome mat. I am talking true diversity. Including class and ethnic and religious diversity that reflects and respects the society at large, at least to some degree. It's hilarious that you all think that will be achieved here in the US by skin color-based, often international recruiting, or more immigration of spanish-speaking people. Multiculturalism= equality?
    And if you all agree that class divisions are fine, and just need a little ameliorating via social democratic reforms, then shouldn't the ethnic/racial breakdown of each economic class reflect that of the society at large? Isn't anything else evidence of discrimination and lack of class mobility? By your own 'rules'? After all, IQ and other redeemable qualities are not inheritable or race based, right Greg? Just asking. Because I don't think any of you have any clue what your answers would be to any of those questions, or what you really mean by equality or social justice. Or perhaps some of you are just being disingenuous, and do know what you really mean.
    And I don't care what pinus says, the interests, culture, concerns etc of working class white people are not routinely represented around here or by social "progressives" in general, and when they are it is usually in a condescending or even insulting way.

  • Isabel says:

    TTabetic, your movies are brilliant and the funniest thing I've seen in a while. My favorite one of course is the one starring me and evil DM.
    I will have to check out that software!

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