We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 255: The impossibility of complete knowledge


Have you ever tried to learn something and you just can’t seem to get it to stick in your brain? That would be my life, well most of my adult life since I left the Marines. There is just so much knowledge in the world and wrapping my brain around even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of that knowledge seems to be an impossible task. So what is one to do?

It seems like no matter how much you think you know there is always more to learn. The best way of course to realize how little you know is to have to write and publish a journal paper on a topic you think you know. It’s fun I think everyone should try it… that was sarcasm.

Journal paper writing is like cutting off little bits of yourself and eating it to survive. Sure you may make it through whatever this horror is, but when it’s all done and you look up, you may not have much of yourself left and all the blood and tears were for what? Writing is hard, but to me, technical writing is even harder.

It’s all those pesky facts you need to double check and equations you need to derive, no one uses the same variable labels so A for you might be ρ somewhere else (no that is not a p that is a ρ or rho, yes there is a difference and yes it will confuse you when they use both p and ρ in the same damn formula).

Writing a journal paper doesn’t work in a vacuum, you have to do experiments first, so on top of the fact that you’re writing about things and doing research you need to keep notes about how you did the experiment. Why you did it the way you did. What you would have done differently. Why you accidentally summoned a 50 foot Bebilith. How you defeated the 50 foot Bebilith. Why a 50 foot Bebilith was easier to deal with than writing the paper. Why didn’t you accidentally summon a Obox-ob instead? How many students you lost in the process. Basically a lot of questions with no real answers.

What I am trying to say is that for every one answer you find, there are about 50 more questions that come from it. So it’s a vicious process that results in a tidy and compact paper that explains all the steps to get to your end goal, but glosses over the deal you made with Baphomet to get to that end goal. On a completely unrelated note, does anyone have a young first born child they wouldn’t mind parting with?… anyone … eh, never mind.

In any case, I have work to do and it looks like it will be a race to Sunday. My computer has been going non-stop for the past few days and it will be another two or so before it is finished. How many days until the paper is due, oh right three. You see my problem. Now if you’ll excuse me this Myrlochar isn’t going to slay itself. That’s the last time I read from the book of vile darkness. Grad school, amiright?

But enough about us, what about you?

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