Never take a mean advantage of anyone in any transaction, and never be hard upon people who are in your power.
1. [Turing tape] You need an idea notebook.
2. [Open-minded] Do not aim to solve some specific problem.
3. [Proliferate and select] You may need 10 to 100 ideas before you find a good one.
4. [Aloof] Avoid feeling part of any specific academic community.
5. [Be the boss] Avoid working for anyone, and that includes a granting agency.
6. [Data] Don’t publish without data.
7. [Sloth] Avoid all but the simplest experiments, and avoid building complex tools.
Mark Changizi, author of Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man, on the 7 requirements for all effective scientists.
Basically tape this on your mirror or something.
RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.
This is advice to come back to again and again.
On charting new courses of inquiry, and finding inspiration in research and in learning, he tells us to march to our own drummer, and to not fall in with the army of the masses:
“Observe from a distance, but do not join the fray. Make a fray of your own.”
And on our need to seed, stoke and feed our curiosity with as many varied influences and disciplines as we can:
“In time, all of science will come to be a continuum of description, an explanation of networks, of principles and laws. That’s why you need not just be training in one specialty, but also acquire breadth in other fields, related to and even distant from your own initial choice.
Keep your eyes lifted and your head turning. The search for knowledge is in our genes.”
Finally, bad at math? You’ll be happy to know that he says not to worry too much. You’ve got plenty of time. And you can always add a mathematician as a collaborator.
(via Brain Pickings)
We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
Alan Turing, who would have turned 100 later this week.
He had a particularly wonderful life philosophy, and one that can teach us all a bit about being intellectually productive and emotionally fulfilled.
Source: Ars Technica
When you are trying to create a version of yourself that will one day make you happy, half the battle is know your insides — know your pleasures.
And the other half is to know your outsides — to find allies, partners, mentors.
You don’t become yourself by yourself. You become you, boosted on others’ shoulders, buoyed by others’ smiles. You may be a singular person, but your success will always be plural.
Some great words from the iconic author, on how literature is a necessary escape for the human mind, to keep us from coming apart:
“No matter what your profession in this world, you’re grabbing onto a piece of reality and interpreting it, and helping yourself and others to make do.”
“We are the tension collecting animals of the world … every other animal acts in the instant to destroy, or run from destruction … we build walls, we build cities, and so inside these cities, inside these walls we need artists.”
On harnessing what’s already inside you to feed your creativity, instead of forcing it:
“You didn’t even know the story was in you, but you go with it.”
Ray Bradbury’s 1951 short story “The Rocket Man”, which will make you yearn to explore space even 61 years later.
Neil Gaiman to the University of the Arts Class of 2012
… or a meditation on the limits of creativity, which are, of course, nonexistent.
People who know the rules know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not and you should not. The rules of what is possible and impossible were made by people who have not tested the bounds of possible by going beyond them - and you can.
…don’t ever forget that!
And don’t say “I’ll never be good”. You can become better! and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll find out how good you actually became.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
He really just makes me smile.
Remember, you can. I got your back, folks.
Occasionally, I like to give advice.
Here’s a piece: F**k ‘em. Your brain is a treasure. Offer its fruits in peace, and with compassion. If those that you offer them to refuse to accept them, and ask for an easier-to-digest version … smile, pack your mental bags, and journey on to a greater social and intellectual adventure.
We’re here for you.
(Made rebloggable by request. Never dumb down.)