Archive for December, 2012

Last Stretch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 12, 2012 by angiegiegie

And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time ‘til touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no, I’m a rocket man
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone

-Rocket man, Elton John

Even at the hardest times, we should never stop believing and hold on to our passion. To have that mindset could make one dreary especially when everything else seems dim. To have a seemingly bright candle to hold on to was the one thing I’d cling on to sometimes. From hereon, looking forward to a greater future and a better me — that’s what I want to prove myself after next week. If there’s anything that should hold against me for my exams, it would be incomparable to anything that lies ahead where I’ll be sure that I will hit rock-bottom.

I could be a hypocrite for sometimes being hopeless, but this is the last stretch for me as a student behind the board. The next time I’d be doing will be actually working on machines and doing experiments, while also presenting what I know in front of the board, or maybe in front of a large crowd. There’s nothing else to fear if there’s nothing else to lose.

And to hope and aspirations to be a contemporary leader in the field of the sciences and politics, we drink!

Getting Personal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by angiegiegie

Going personal does not mean that we have to be extra-sensitive to other people’s actions, and thoughts. It’s the way one listens to another being, and how to articulate the problems he or she may or may not fully express. We’ve been indoctrinated to a world that classifies anything fragment per fragment but in the long run, this won’t be self-sustainable nor containable. We’re first beings, rather than being subjected to power or the panopticon, as Foucault would try to remind us once in a while.

We cease to exist when we do not act as human ourselves.

  • If one’s own priorities only include materialization, where’s the sense of being?
  • If one does not listen to the other party or being, would there even be communication?
  • If happiness of oneself is done at a concrete point of view, what is the point of living up to everything?

At the moment, we are still moving further even at the slightest chance possible, to develop the world — though is the word, “development” a  be-fitting word that we rightfully use today? We live in a world where everyone has his or her own crisis to deal with be it concerning any of their basic needs including health, or be their social needs. Public policy has taught us several lessons over the past history, granted that they indeed make us learn from our irreconcilable mistakes. As well, medicine taught us that the human body would fight against the right “diseases” when given the right medication, or treatment.

Well folks, being indifferent could sometimes alleviate one’s worries, but I think what the world needs to  keep in mind when attaining “development” is to get in touch with what it means to be human — to be more personalized. We all have different needs, be it at a minute or macro level. We cannot always get what we want, but at least there might be some hope to attaining justice  and getting the right “treatment” (no matter how cold it sounds) at different levels. It’s a matter of balance, as Aristotle once said.

In the end, we may just need to stop, and reflect what it means to be human, and then, maybe and hopefully, we’d understand more the next time around, what we need to do for ourselves, and for others. It’s not easy to “be personal” but maybe it could be the next step to improving the welfare of everyone.

Checkmate… Almost

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2012 by angiegiegie

It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money

-Albert Camus

Money is not the answer to everything, but it also embodies the means of exchanging goods, as any person who took Economics 101 should know. Would you possibly think that scientists like us don’t worry at all, on how to pay for our basic daily expenditures? And how would you feel if your country (such as some in the European Union) or maybe an unspecified country that has not been in the limelight, would be under a crisis?

Re-positioning oneself while being vigilant of things other than money as a key to survival, could be a means to cope. This means acceptance of one’s fate when held under the dependence on the national government. As much as national expenditures could help alleviate the welfare of the people, it’s not the only answer. I may not know much on what economic school of thought each country follows with regards handling the crisis, macroeconomics is not the only basis.

We scientists, no matter which nationality we have, also worry, not only for our countries, but also for our future. I truly believe that if we don’t move a step further rather than depending on the state, it would come to a point that science stops developing and would just be succumbed to a superior level’s “personal interest”.

As much as we want to work passionately and live simply, let’s also try to be pragmatic as much as possible. If we do not think ahead and advance two steps further, who knows what could be waiting for us in the near future. We could be martyrs or act like hungry poets for choosing such profession, but we must know when to start thinking of ourselves and jump up a notch.

“Communicative rationality” between the sciences and politics

Posted in science with tags , , on December 10, 2012 by angiegiegie

We were once told in class that there’s a need to bridge communication while accounting for “social responsibility” when nuclear disasters strike. I would agree on that and think this mantra should be extended to almost any practice between the political parties and the scientists were believed to be “neutral”.

As much as the community continues to believe that scientists follow a straight path, in reality, it does not work that way. I’ve seen and I am one of the many, who gallantly follow ideologies as any human would. We all respect one another while some are tolerable, as a start. And as much as how easy it should be to bridge the knowledgeable gap between science and policy making, it’s not — as far as history foretold it.

Furthermore, a scientist who deals with experiments would know that he or she needs to keep an open yet critical mind during the entire process. To let everything matter and sink in is not possible, especially when one of those details could be based from an error unseen by many. However, one cannot shield himself or herself from biases as hypothetically one should.

As with politicians, I cannot say much. In the end, it all boils down to communication, listening to everyone’s point of view, and being critical while being able to deliver a fair discussion of one’s defense line, according to one’s ideology. It’s not easy, but it’s worth trying. What’s worse is that until now, there’s the lack of communication as Habermas would want to express.

But then sometimes, it’s sometimes worth hearing out from a “rationale mind” in the field of politics, such as one coming from a scientific degree. But also, one should never forget that every action one executes would have implied of serving others’ needs, as “social responsibility” should be thought of in every way possible way. We’re rationale and social beings after all.

Being abroad not as a mere “status quo”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 9, 2012 by angiegiegie

Some people tell me that I am lucky to start my life abroad. What does it really mean to “live abroad”? Of course, I can’t thank enough the people back in my country who have helped me reach this point of my life wherein I need to prove my existence. This is just a starting point of an entirely whole new experience — being able to argue and work like a scientist, except I am doing it abroad. 

I have already finished my mandatory theoretical classes for Masters. In a few weeks, I will be taking exams, and a few months, start working as an intern. Looking back those months of struggling to understand organic synthesis, radiation, and so on, I am proud to say that I’ve learned something despite my lack of proficiency on some subjects. 

But going back to the topic of being abroad, one cannot fail to lose contact to his or her own country, which in my case is the Philippines. As much as I try to monitor the news, the feeling of grasping one’s language by being able to talk Filipino, or being able to express freely as Filipinos don’t mean so much here. The best one could do is to be able to show that Filipinos exist, and not struggle so much on creating a solely desired Filipino identity – a crisis still much debated to date. In my case, I’d have to prove my existence as a Filipino scientist. 

Everyone makes sacrifices and I know since decades past that Filipinos love to that. Aside from Filipinos, I also know other people from different countries who’d do it without much thought,  and I appreciate them for that. Passion seems to burn their souls and I respect that, but juggling responsibilities, or priorities, along this burning flame, could sometimes complicate things.  Sometimes, distance could change one’s attitude on life, and at this point, I already have.

Maturity is reached by almost everyone that he or she will willingly fight for certain things, no matter how far it could be reached. But sometimes, to believe and keep that passion from subsiding would be the greatest challenge anyone would ever face. I guess being outside one’s comfort zone (i.e. being abroad), proves to be a a far-fetched but more rewarding feeling when trying to do so. 

 

Nakikitid o dumidilim man ang magiging daan, kailangan nating maging mapagkumbaba at alalahanin ang ating mga pinaghuhugutan ng ating pagkatao, at kung ano ang pinagtataya nating lahat.