Anonymous asked: What are some life changing events that have happened to you in the past year? Chance encounters? New/recently ended friendships? How do you think they've changed you as a person? I've recently pondered my life and I feel as if there are actual key moments that have lead me to this moment (not this as in questioning you but an event in my life).
So Kuhn had this perceptual framework [x] for the growth pattern of science: short periods of radical change, filled in between by long periods of development and making things as precise as possible. From this perspective, there are two main types of scientists.
- The more stable and secure job was to calibrate and perform the same experiments repeatedly to get more precise values for fundamental constants and such. This is respectable, but a bit tedious.
- The much less stable and often less respected position was held by those scientists who tried something so unexpected that they were often mocked by their eminent contemporaries. But it is these people who brought about these huge, revolutionary shifts in our basic understanding of how the world works. Unfortunately, many of them spent most of their lives being ridiculed and were often not appreciated until long after their death. That they performed their work despite this is admirable in my eyes.
I still think of my recent fundamental shift as being almost exactly two years ago. It was precipitated by my first exposure to basic philosophy, and the ‘enzyme’ (as it were) of a bounty of free time after getting out of an unhealthy relationship. That semester I demolished essentially my entire world view and started building it up as efficiently as possible (that is, excluding redundancies and things which I had accumulated, but didn’t actually have strong enough support for or belief in). In some ways, it was not dissimilar from the Cartesian tradition of doubt.
Skepticism, and doubt, and uncertainty were the basic principles I centered myself around. So the past two years have been ..somewhat volatile (at a first derivative), but have at least been more or less constant in doing so (at a second derivative).
There are some really awesome and terribly interesting people that I’ve had the great fortune to encounter at university. People who also enjoy sitting and talking; people who want to see the world; people who have seen the world; people— real people.
Chance encounters: only a few that I would consider using that term for. Most were of the sort that made me sit and think about how connected we all are. How easy it is to keep our head down and walk right by each other.
Friendships: keeping in touch after high school hasn’t been as good as we had hoped/planned, but that doesn’t really mean they’ve ended. Some have, and that’s just how things happen; we grow in our own directions and sometimes they don’t fit together as well. But mostly, they just get put on hold while away, and brought up when returning home.
New friendships have been really really nice [: Tumblr has actually been really useful in bringing many of us together despite the size of campus, our varied interests, and fields of interest.
Overall though, I don’t think there have been many key moments. These two years have been mostly defined by a refinement of doubting and my thoughts on which beliefs are tenable. I think this aligns with my personality— sort of a restless curiosity and ongoing turmoil, rather than fits and jumps of great magnitude. That’s just me and my experience~