Aug 27 2014 Published by drugmonkey under Day in the life of DrugMonkey
Cling fiercely to what you want to do with your life and what kind of person you want to be.
View it through your expectations of yourself and your view of what constitutes a good person.
Defend that against all comers.
14 responses so far
You need to add that text to a PicLab photo. In other wards, snark, because, although it's good advice, the real challenge is in how to implement that advice.
In child raising advice, one of the ideas that sticks with me is that it isn't enough to tell children values -- you have to script through specific examples, and how those values will bias decision making in the example, and then, give them tools/scripts to follow when they find themselves in that situation.
Example: your advisor asks you to double check whether there's a good reason to exclude that "outlier" data point. What do you do?
Be willing to consider that what you want to do with your life, and the kind of person you want to be, may change through the influence of others. Recognize that your own idea of "what constitutes a good person" may be deeply flawed, and require correction.
Don't "defend it against all comers". Value other people's opinions and advice, and don't be elevate defensiveness to virtue.
Dude, hitting the government ditche weede again?
This raises an interesting question. Are people who one defines as not "good people" people who failed to cling to their ideal and gave in to temptation or are they people who simply have such alien ideals to oneself that their "good person" is your "bad person"?
That reminds me of a quote by David Mitchell (the comedian, not the novelist)
"It's as if they actually believe that what other people think of them somehow doesn't matter. I mean, I know we're all supposed to believe that. But obviously none of us actually do, and nor should we, because it does, it does matter. And the people who genuinely believe it doesn't tend to be the very people who ought to care the most about that other people think of them, because what the other people are thinking is that no, actually, I don't think the Chinese are up to something, or you should use mouthwash, or your mania for the collectivisation of Soviet agriculture will surely cause the death of millions, or 40 cats is too many cats."
Comedians do a lot of cocaine, don't they?
Yes, but probably not Mitchell. He's basically the ideal Englishman. At worst he probably has one pint too many occasionally.
Being a member of the Inebriati, he always drinks just under two pints.
Sigh. So much cynicism here. DrugMonkey, thanks for your post, which articulates my own philosophy. I like to phrase it in a practical way: namely that, whatever I do, I still want to be able to look myself in the mirror and not see a scheming, unethical toad looking back at me.
whatever I do, I still want to be able to look myself in the mirror and not see a scheming, unethical toad looking back at me.
Word, E PI, word.
When I was a grad student--I saw so much weird, unethical and creepy behavior. I wondered--are you like that and that's why you're in this profession--or do you become like that because you are in this profession? Neither was a good option--and I seriously considered quitting on that basis alone. Finally I met a few good people. But still--the head of a very prestigious research institute told me that he took that job because he realized he could not be selfish enough, uncaring enough, duplicitous enough and ruthless enough to be a top investigator (He was commiserating with me after I had been schumcked by a senior PI). I cling to the idea that you can still make it--maybe not at the highest mucky-muck level--but you can still make it and preserve the good parts of who you are.
I hate it when you're right.
But CPP's ruthless trolling of you does make it worth it.
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DrugMonkey is an NIH-funded researcher who blogs about careerism in science. And occasionally about the science of drug use.
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