Rule #9284748 of Science:
Your side projects will work beautifully, garnering you lots of middle-author yet high-end publications, while your main project stagnates in a puddle of its own filth, laughing maniacally as you poke it with a stick trying to get it to move.
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Ugh. This nails my CV up to right now. Way to go, abbie - if I had a soul, it'd be devoured.
My most-cited papers from grad school are all middle-author papers. So, yeah.
From my experience I'd like to propose Rule #9284749
Should you foolishly decide to focus on what was once a side project it will immediately stop producing results, while anybody that picks up your former main project will have great success with it.
Strange. I'd've thought this would be higher on the list.
Try ignoring the main gig for a while. Something fun is sure to grow. Penicillin anyone? Or you are obviously using the wrong kind of stick. So sorry Abbie.
To be honest that pretty much sums up most things in life. My work is pretty much that way right now. I spend my day following up on emails, fixing minor issues, writing up technical documents, commenting on other peoples technical documents and sitting in on other peoples meetings.
Meanwhile the important stuff, stuff that would actually move the company forward, sits waiting for someone to actually approve a budget or check with the CIO that it fits into the strategic plan which it doesn't because a strategic plan would be useful thing to have and therefore we, obviously, don't have one.
No one cares about the articles I wrote for history journals or the giant methodology manuals I edited.....I had an unpublished paper cited nine thousand years ago as a footnote and attached in its entirety. It's that thingy that makes people want to fly me to France or Dallas.
Somebody is calling to gibber at me about it once a month and these funky European magazines keep calling me America's leading sindonologist.
I would love to be on The History Channel nodding my head at Peter Weller and saying "Why thanks for asking Robocop. Here is my brilliant theory....." but in good faith I just have to make a scrunchy face and yell "I do not care about purported relics of Jeeeezbus!"
It has long been known to scientists that the probability of a experiment's success is inversely proportional to its importance, but one little-known aspect of this is that it's the experiment's own perception of its importance that is critical.
I once had a experiment in grad school that I was convinced was vital to the success of an upcoming paper. Thus, I was overjoyed when it worked spectacularly! When I showed the result to my adviser he said "Hmmmm, yes, I always thought this experiment might make a good supplementary figure." Supplementary - are you fuckin' KIDDING me? Supplementary???
I went home very depressed and thought about this critical aspect of experimental success - the experiment itself must be convinced it is inconsequential in order for it to work at all. Any misconceptions the experimenter has are of no importance.
It didn't even get in as a supplementary figure.
People call you the American expert on the study of the shroud?
That seems like an interesting story, I wish you would start
The shroud makes my butt hurt but at least they are better than the grail guys.
Everybody wants the guys in Marseilles to be right. For them to be right, I have to be right first. I just demonstrated how the Mercator effect works on dead heads using the Mask of Agamemnon as an example before anybody else.
It was a silly case study in how curators can't afford to miss the forest for the trees in authentication.
Might as well have called it Stewie Griffin syndrome.
See what I mean.....everybody wants to hear about the shroud, or where the dumb Dracula sword is and what it looks like. Nobody cares that this stuff is just illustration for curatorial studies to wit: my bag.
I really don't give a shit. I like cataloging systems for tracking artifact storage...sexy huh.
The polarograph I built only worked well enough to get me through my PhD, then disassembled for parts by subsequent grad student.
The power supply I built for it, however, was still in use when I visited the lab 10 years later and for all I know is still humming along powering PhD project after PhD project.
Of course, but if you did have a strategic plan, it would be obsolete and useless. (Unless you consider it useful to spend countless hours devising a strategic plan that becomes entirely obsolete the moment it's completed, such that you must then spend countless hours justifying why all the things you now want to do are completely unrelated to the strategic plan.)
Thats gotta hurt.
Talcum powder helps.
Thanks, Cain, for saving me the trouble of me looking up "sindonology" on Wikipedia. That's pretty funny. I still feel your pain, Prometheus.
Sindonology - one would think Turinology or Shroudology would make more sense but apparently the word comes from the name of the chapel in Turin. Just my guess.
@Oldfart: IIRC, "sindon" is the (latin? greek?) name for the shroud. My wonderful IT dept has again blocked google and wikipedia so I can't verify my rememberance.
Prometheus: how far off am I?
You're close. Its a stupid name for a stupid thing to study. Sindon is the general word for linen Himation or Chiton (togas and tunics... sorta).
Literally translates as the study of outfits. The fact that they choose to describe themselves in a sciencey way (that is wrong) just proves that they are all looney auto didacts.
If you were going make the hobby legit it would probably be better to call it duliology or the study of venerated relics.
I saw a guy on the history channel last month that used to send me hilariously crazy letters.
He's an old M.D. whose "sindonology" consists of dangling his relatives from a big cross in his garage.
Wow. How ... tempting ;)
"Wow. How ... tempting ;)"
You went a G rated direction but as I wrote that, I was thinking there were probably a few budding sindonologists at the last pride parade who like to dangle people in the garage.
The Basilica San Pietro in Vincoli (peter in chains) might have an untapped mission opportunity in West Hollywood.
P.S. I think crazy doc is Fred Zugibe I'll look for the letters when I get home, they had tons of hysterical hand drawn diagrams in them. Arrows with whacky labels to wit: "nails go here".
Next on Discovery Channel: The Airbag of Turin.
Once we had self-flagellators, now we have pride parades. Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.
If thats your competition, its no wonder you are "America's leading sindonologist."
See what I mean.
One little paper that demonstrated why the shroud would be a highly suspect museum acquisition as represented and I'm branded for life.
ERV's point proven.
She tried to use the Pluto thing as an example of why Chris Mooney is a douche and the debate over astronomical nomenclature went on for 87 comments.
P.S. If you kids are good, someday I will tell you how I saved a middle aged DWI lawyer from Midland Texas from rape by thousands of Anne Rice fans.
I was surprised by how long it took for them to realise I was right too.
SWEEEET!!! Could you let us now when you are ready to tell the story? I don't want to start being good until it is absolutely necessary.
know...let us know...crap
It turns out that the House Bassarab only has four living male direct descendants. Very nice people and also, oddly, direct descendants of Ulysses S. Grant.
Since I did some curatorial stuff on the Dragon Court of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, everybody I knew, who knew anything about Bassarab genealogy got an advisory that Elizabeth Kostova had a hyped Dracula book coming out and the vampire kids were going to go nuts. We were all told to protect the families privacy but the kids would keep looking if we didn't give them something.
*Cunning plan unfolds*
It was great to hear about these old Balkan historians and genealogists getting on the phone and bold faced lying to goth kids about Vlad Bassarab's relatives.
Since he had been claiming to be a descendant of Dracula for years (bullshit) I got them to tell anybody who asked that it was Jeff Corwin, the guy who pesters wildlife on Animal Planet.
He was probably wondering why androgynous types with eyeliner and fake fangs were milling around his driveway for a month.
Shroud I don't care about and a multinational prank.
How sad is that.
Go back and read the comments. No one thought you were right, gf1.
Don't go and claim you were right just because you were willing to argue your stupidity with us longer than we were willing to argue it with you.
So, I bothered to google your crazy doc. I am disturbed to find out that he was the Medical Examiner for the the county next to me for about 25 year. Even more disturbing, his kid, who was apparently the subject of many of his hang-relatives-from-a-cross-in-the-garage experiments is now the DA there. I could stand on my roof and spit into Rockland County. Thats just weird. Remind me not to speed through there any more.