Crossing the Chasm Between Science and the Real World

Recovering scientists discuss the impact of spending your formative years married to the life plan of a career in academia:

Most people don't understand that somebody who's really committed themself to science, they get this emotional attachment like a lot of people will have towards their political view. … It's really passionate, and you get angry or happy or sad, tied to this seemingly arbitrary thing.

Gabe Weatherhead, Crossing the Chasm Between Science and the Real World, Generational, Episode 023, 70Decibels.

This reminded me of a recent article in the Guardian: Scientists and their emotions: the highs ... and the lows

I am sometimes jealous of novelists and artists for whom sharing and explaining the emotional journey of a piece of work is celebrated (almost required). The lack of a natural forum for scientists to describe their emotions in their work can lead to the mistaken view that scientists are unemotional people. In my experience, this is very far from reality. In the working world of science, people spend a lot of time externalising often half-formed thoughts and probing new ideas. Scientists are men and women who are unafraid to question both themselves and one another openly and who have made a huge emotional investment in their work.

Dr Ewan Birney, Associate Director of the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Camebridge.

My first visit to the US: California in January

I had the pleasure of travelling to the American continent to meet the good people at the Shopatron main office in San Luis Obispo, California.
This is my travel log with experiments in US living and reminders for the next trip there.

Looper ★★★★

Circular, punny, smart.

If you liked Inception, you’ll probably appreciate Looper.

This mind tease has it all: Bruce Willis, time travel, lovely ladies, crash boom bang and a picture-perfect farm house in Kansas.

Under the hood, hyperbolic discounting, the just-world hypothesis and a peculiar flavour of prisoner’s dilemma pull the strings in this compelling tale.

This American Life: What Doesn't Kill You

You'd like to think that nearly getting killed would be a permanently life-altering experience. But getting stabbed was like a lightning strike-- over almost as soon as it happened, and the illumination didn't last. You can't feel crazily grateful to be alive your whole life anymore than you can stay passionately in love forever, or grieve forever for that matter. Time makes us all betray ourselves and get back to the busy work of living.

Tim Kreider, in: What Doesn't Kill You, This American Live #476: Act Four. The Year After.

Anna Karenina ★★★1/2

Tolstoy meets Laclos, Stephen Frears meets Buz Luhrman.

Theatrical, stylish, nauseating. Pretty women in finest attire and rigid social corsage, fixed in their roles, held in place by the rules.

The topics are left-brain, the presentation is right-brain. The two clash and a desperate Anna Karenina sinks into madness before she falls.

Just as hard to watch as Mad Men, but easier to be judgmental about.

Note to self: Watching Anna Karenina just after the departure of Amy & Rory was a not a good idea. Cognitive dissonance.

Let's Make Mistake: The Right Way To Give Feedback

We've become very binary in our feedback. It is either brilliant or a total failure, there's nothing in between. … One, we're lying… There are neither that many things that are total failures, nor that many things that are totally brilliant. It's a much wider spectrum than that and I think we need to be much more honest with each other about where things sit on that spectrum and then much more helpful in moving things up the chain.

—Mike Monteiro, Let's Make Mistakes, The Right Way To Give Feedback, Episode #66