Neurophilosophy

Help an impoverished student

That impoverished student would be me, and I feel like I’m begging, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m studying part-time for my M.Sc., and working three days a week to support my family and pay the mortgage, bills and my tuition fees. (Actually, my meagre income has been further reduced these past few weeks, as I’ve been on paternity leave.)

If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider showing me some love by donating a few dollars. You can do so by clicking on the orange “PayPal – Donate” button that I’ve placed near the bottom of the sidebar on the left (and which is also embedded in this post). Using PayPal is easy, quick and very safe.

Also, if you’re in the market for neuroscience and psychology books, why not buy something via this blog? You’ve probably noticed the adverts from Amazon (also in the sidebar on the left); if you buy a book via this site, I’ll get a tiny percentage of the cover price. The ads have been on the site almost since day one, but I haven’t sold a single book yet!

Alternatively, you’d make me very happy if you bought me a gift from my Amazon Wish List. Any donation – no matter how small – or purchases made via this site will be greatly appreciated.






Comments

  1. #1 jim speck
    March 30, 2008

    Dear MS Mo:
    Although I have spent hundreds of hours on the computer in the past few years, yours is the first I have ever seen that was, in essence, “cyberpanhandling”. Being a card-carrying liberal I’m not automatically averse to the practice. But even I would take a good look at someone’s life story before deciding to help.

    It seems to me that you are asking the general public to subsidize your choice to have a child and to take on the that ongoing expense and the loss of wages during maternity leave. Were it not for that, you were capable of making acceptable progress academically. No baby, no begging problem. You remind me of Catholic families I know who buy a 3BR 1.5BA house when first married and then proceed to have six children. They then cannot afford to “move up” for educational or other factors and wind up iving in an overcrowded urban slum with three kids to a BR, etc.. When one asks why so many kids and suggests poor choices, said family cites freedom to have the size family they want. They still reserve the right to expect the government or welfare or society in general to subsidize their lifestyle by providing larger quarters.

    I wish you nothing but the best, and all possible success. And its not like I don’t admire your aggressiveness in reaching your objective. But — especially in these times — very hard choices must be made. Significant numbers of women are putting off having children into their thirties and even forties because they cannot handle both education/kids or career/kids. They make their choices rationally. You are probably going to have yours made for you by others. You have chosen to go the combined kid/education track, but it will only work if there is enough money. You can’t undo the baby, but you can (and may be forced to) put back the degree.

  2. #2 Neuro-conservative
    March 30, 2008

    Perhaps if you had not deleted a previous comment of mine (about Israel, as I recall), I might be more favorably inclined towards your request.

  3. #3 Coturnix
    March 30, 2008

    This has been done before by many bloggers, usually with great success, and is nothing to be worried about or ashamed of. This is how the community helps one of their own. Please donate.

  4. #4 Justin
    March 30, 2008

    What an ugly comment.

    I’ll just say that the person accused of panhandling seems to have thousands of people who find his work worth reading. Is your typical response to an author to call him a panhandler, Jim?

    As for the idea of children as a choice, I’ve found one of Bitch Ph.D’s posts to be tremendously helpful on the topic of viewing children as just another lifestyle choice.

  5. #5 Mo
    March 30, 2008

    jim speck: It seems to me that you think you can pigeon-hole me according to some socio-economic stereotype that you hold. Please understand that you know nothing about me or my life, other than what I have chosen to tell you, so don’t come on here ranting as if you do.

    I strongly resent your comment and the implications in it. I’ve never claimed any kind of benefit, and I’ll finish my M.Sc. on time regardless of your opinion of me and of whether or not you – or anyone else – donates. But, FYI, not all my readers are as judgemental, patronizing and self-righteous as you are – I got the first donation within one hour of publishing this post, and I’ve just received a couple more.

    I maintain this blog because I enjoy writing, and not to make money. Here’s what I have to offer: examples of some of the best science blogging in recent years. I do it in my spare time, and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to ask my readers for a small donation. I don’t know what you do for a living, but if you tell me that you wouldn’t want to supplement your income with a few extra bucks, I’ll call you a liar.

    Neuro-conservative: I didn’t delete your comment (I just didn’t respond to it, or to any other on that post), and I don’t want – or need – your money.

    Coturnix & Justin: thanks for the support.

  6. #6 Neuro-conservative
    March 30, 2008

    Mo — Just to clarify, the censored comment was in reference to your post on doctored photos. My comment included a reference to the Palestinian and Hezbollah practice of fauxtography.

    I’m not sure why you don’t want my money — is it because I support the right of Israel to exist?

  7. #7 Lilly Evans
    March 30, 2008

    Having been reminded of your blog by a colleague (Dave Snowden) I am glad to see you are taking a balanced view at life! Work and family do mix – and that ncludes studying. I was in the midst of writing my PhD when I had a baby (and it was a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Computing). I did finish it within given time, having breast-fed the baby as well.

    So, go for it. And I would be happy to get a book for you that is High Priority.

    Best wishes to you and your family. Enjoy your baby girl – they do love their dads. You can write / read and have her in a baby sling – these are tricks that work for you both.

  8. #8 Michele
    March 31, 2008

    I know what it is like to be a struggling student. I am happy to give a little help as I enjoy your blog. It’s just too bad you won’t get more for the dollar!

  9. #9 Mo
    March 31, 2008

    Neuro-conservative: my mistake – you meant this comment. You’re entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. I don’t want your money because I don’t like being accused of deleting comments that I don’t agree with.

  10. #10 Neuropsychguy
    April 1, 2008

    jim speck’s comment was unbelievable. For being a “card-carrying liberal” Jim sure is not very liberal with his views of the world. The comment made him sound like the type of liberal who is only accepting and open to beliefs that match his own. It sounds like he;s tolerant of only people who are just like him. That’s not very liberal is it? It sounds like he values money and education more than family. Clearly clothes make the man, not children.

    Who cares if it does take Mo longer to finish his degree? Big deal! By the way, I am in a PhD program and have 2 children (we had our second last semester). I’m on track to finish my program faster than the majority of students – I’ll beat the average time to completion by more than a year. Clearly having 2 children hasn’t slowed me down any (both were born while I’ve been in grad school by the way).

    Jim also can’t assume that “no baby” is equal to “no begging problem.” Is it begging when authors go on tour and ask people to buy their book? Is it begging when companies advertise their products? Mo does excellent work and maintains a wonderful blog. Jim needs to spend more time worrying about other people than himself.

  11. #11 steppen wolf
    April 1, 2008

    The way I see it, many bloggers put a “donate” button on the side, and offer books, and that means they are basically asking for your contribution. All Mo did is…he asked out loud for it this time.

    Mo is writing excellent stuff. And if you write any blog posts of substance, you know how long that takes. It should not hurt anybody’s ‘political sensitivity’ to give a hand once in a while.

    Because of this, and because of the service this blog does, IMHO, to the scientific community, I think that using the word “panhandling” against Mo is truly an insult.

  12. #12 Chris Wills
    April 5, 2008

    Now buying you a book is no problem, your wish list is on Amazon.co.uk so not a problem.

    But as I’m a UK subject could you have the Amazon link go to Amazon.co.uk; seems silly for me to buy a book from Amazon.com and have to pay airfreight.

    On the Paypal thing, being a fraidy cat I’ve never trusted them; they wanted to know too much.

  13. #13 PalMD
    April 12, 2008

    PayPal’s a safe company…as long as you trust your own router, etc.

    Here in the states we have public radio and public tv and they “panhandle” about twice a year—they provide a great service, and ask only for what you can give in return.

    If you don’t like the blog, fine, don’t read, don’t donate, but don’t berate they guy.

    Oh, and that comment above seemed rather anti-catholic. I’m not catholic, but I take offense to negatively stereotyping about 3 billion people.