diary of a doctoral student

Energetic ideas

Seems that the one original idea I had for my book may have some basis in science or at the very least can be expressed as a stochastic process.

So maybe it wasn’t an original idea. Still, it was a good idea, an idea with energy. You’d think that being in grad school I’d find a lot of ideas with energy but no, not much energy there.

That’s one reason I’d really like to blog regularly again, to find some energy in ideas, to find energetic ideas, to connect with people who are energetically exploring ideas. But all my energy and time has been drained by data analysis labs and departmental politics and trying to overcome my temperamental limitations.

I do actually enjoy the data analysis labs but they are not stimulating in the way that exchange of ideas is stimulating. I analyze data because I want to know, I want to understand, I want to explain. I analyze data because I want to find meaning and insight and energy.

But data analysis labs are not about understanding something new; they are about showing the professor that you have some grasp of the basic concepts she has presented. Also, you have to show the professor that you can wrangle the often-angry software that will estimate the model she has presented. You don’t have to actually understand the model you’ve drawn graphically pretty, just make it run and get the right output.

I am busy now but I will be bursty later; bursty and angry and maybe not all that pretty but energetic indeed.


2 thoughts on “Energetic ideas

  1. You are on a difficult path but one that will be ultimately very satisfying. The slog of the classes are unfortunately a threshold requirement to getting admitted to the PhD club. But at least once you get through them or when your research does gain traction, they will be a distant memory. This from someone who burned out during his masters program and gave-up on the PhD idea one semester into his PhD path – translation: I appreciate the difficulty of your path and envy your stamina!

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