Here's the deal

Dec 14 2016 Published by under Careerism, NIH Careerism

When a lever of power unexpectedly extends into your operant chamber, press it.

That is what they have done to get to where they are. Constantly.

I know it irritates you that the world works this way. It irritates me too. This irritation changes nothing.

Take the opportunity. If needs be, remind yourself of all those times the system screwed you over. Let this make up for that.

Press the damn lever.

14 responses so far

  • Jonathan Badger says:

    Okay, don't feel bad about accepting the NIH directorship despite who picked you. You can still blog and tweet -- he loves social media himself. That's what this is about, right?

  • EPJ says:

    A good one, DM. The mental exercise that goes on when the head shape is that of a cone? hahaha....

  • EPJ says:

    Another exercise on trigger words vs the actual reality around everyone (including "they", brain shapes, etc).

    Truly amazing the eco effect.

  • aspiring riffraff says:

    @EPJ what on earth are you talking about?

  • zb says:

    Yes. But, there are caveats. That lever can't be actively screwing over someone else (as opposed to theoretically, as in some other person "deserves" it). And you have to want it. Taking power you don't want because you can help others doesn't necessarily help anyone. And, it has to be real power, not pretend power.

  • Namnezia says:

    I don't know. Every time I press the stupid lever all I ger is a fucking cookie. Or a little bit of fruit juice.

  • Grumble says:

    Really, Nam? I get this really pleasant sensation that I think somehow comes from that wire thing in my midbrain.

  • jmz4 says:

    @aspiring riff raff
    I'm like, 90% convinced EPJ is a bot of some sort...

    I don't know, man, isn't this how downward spirals get perpetuated? Is that the best we can hope for. Just race to the bottom as quick as you can till you hit the point the system collapses and we build a new one at the top of another hill?

  • drugmonkey says:

    zb- In a zero sum game like NIH funding each award screws over someone else. It is never perfectly correlated with "deserve".

  • drugmonkey says:

    Oh and also, this post is more about using the link to power that might be (temporarily) available to you in a given situation. Not about seizing and wielding it oneself.

  • EPJ says:

    Jmz4 and aspiring riffraff:

    reality is important, at least once in a while look at it, be in it, so that you can actually makes better sense of the science work. DO THAT or everything will be wasted.

    The trigger words are a clear example, don't you see how the students react to them?

  • neurosomething says:

    "Oh and also, this post is more about using the link to power that might be (temporarily) available to you in a given situation. Not about seizing and wielding it oneself."

    But wouldn't it follow that you should try to get that lever extended to you as frequently as possible if pressing it is actually so good?

  • AcademicLurker says:

    When a lever of power unexpectedly extends into your operant chamber, press it.

    Unless it has a label reading "Nuclear Missile Launcher".

  • shrew says:

    I talked to a brilliant young investigator recently who was invited to several high-level meetings at her institution and said that she never spoke up for fear of being thought an idiot. It made me sad for her. I always feel like I have to speak up in those situations or else I'd be afraid people would forget why they invited me in the first place.

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