Monday, April 27, 2009

science is for people!

As I try to write up work and look at the plots I create and the documents, I realize that these are for reading. A good part of the work was making files that could be passed back and forth between computer programs. I also realize that there are perhaps different styles and I was working with someone more on the autistic end of things.
So I'm finally looking at this work and trying to view it as natural language and as images.
What an odd path I have been through.
Have I been trying to turn dysfunction into function? Or simply a system I didn't understand into one I did?
I'm still not there, and even writing this is perhaps a form of procrastination. But being able to speak, think and look clearly about my work has been missing, so this is just a piece of the process that will or will not finish on time...

Friday, April 17, 2009


Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm not supposed to be a human being at work.
I feel like only the technical work is valued and the collaborative work and work at helping others understand things is left implicit. Its true that a certain minimal level of expressiveness and clarity is required in documenting. I sometimes find that if I really take the technical work seriously, I'm left without enough energy left to pull it together and explain it properly. I then appear to have done very little work.
I guess the point is that these abilities to pull things together and put them in a reasonable context require you to be a more complete human being. And this isn't nurtured in this environment. The time I need to feel like a more normal person just isn't allowed.
So this means I should change jobs?
Or just keep at it, and hope that I can straddle both worlds?
Regardless, it only makes sense to sacrafice being a full person for so long... and one hopes that by the time you remember to stop sacraficing so much, there is still enough of you left.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Day as theorist

Theory is a rather lonely profession.
And what is my approach?
I want to contribute to non-linear dynamics.
I approach it from this funny corner of technology/history/discipline called accelerator physics.
There is a body of insight here that is stuck and is a mess. If straightened out, it may be some important results can come from this.
Or perhaps it is just a cult-like curiosity?
I wonder if those who leave cults have a similar experience of trying to relate what they learned within the cult and bring it to a larger audience?
This is my basic question: am I actually doing something interesting, or is my main achievement simply survival within a difficult insular group?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Papers continue.
Slow progress. Somehow, out of disfunction and unfinished work, something more solid seems to form. I call this field unscientific. I complain a lot.
Maybe this is just how it goes.

I apply for jobs. I head towards staying where I am. I try to gather enough perspective, to see clearly enough that the choice feels like my own. Progress comes during the dark times, reveals itself after the difficulty.

I keep trying to find words and clarity. I keep feeling trapped and not wanting to trap others. I see every limitation and weakness in others as a potential cult. I question science, don't want to be managed. I look at this and it seems to point to a questioning of the notion of progress, of the value of any organization. I know that I go too far, here, and so I just float from day to day. My papers are like a mantra in a meditation. I put my attention on them, only to find my mind veer off. But what is satisfying is the fact that they don't go away. They are there to return to.